Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Davids first board

" Hi Grant

I have just come home from an awesome week spent with Paul Jensen at his recent Coast workshop. I'm so proud of my board I wanted to share with you and your readers.

As you know Paul is an amazing individual but the fact I was able to achieve what you see in the picture is pretty phenomenal considering the only tool I was familiar with before the workshop was the sanding block. This is a credit to his method and certainly validates his approach to board building."

" I'd like to thank to Paul Jensen for sharing his knowledge. Not only do I have a epic looking board, I also came away with new skills.

And the great friends I made during the class just made the week even more memorable.

Also, I live in Newcastle and was wondering if you could put me in touch with Derek (from Redhead - Newcastle) who attended you class last year. I need to find a glasser in Newcastle comfortable in glassing a wooden board and fins."

Doing a class is a great way to learn new skills and face new challenges and it is great that David has wanted to share is experience. I don't know David at all but I am sure he will be the first to say he also learnt alot about himself after the experience.If you surf and would like to build a board it is a very rewarding thing to do. You will have a new found appreciation for what others have done.There is no easy way to build a wooden board and so you will gain a mutual respect for others that have had a go.

So if you would like to do a class then get hold of Paul Jensen and organise one and make it happen for you and your friends. Paul has all the info on what to get together and how many people are needed to make it worth his while to travel out here once again to teach a class.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hucks frameless hollow board

Huck has just sent me these shots of his latest hollow wooden board project , which is an interesting twist on things. He builds his rails first with the deck and bottom rocker in them as can be seen above.
" To get the proper rocker, I used a temporary stringer and bracing to hold it in place as a visual guide while shaping the rocker into the rails - more pics attached"

" The dome in the deck was accomplished by angling the rails according to how much dome was desired. The steeper the angle, the greater the dome."

" When the plywood was clamped tightly to the perimeter of the rails at glueing, it caused the center to rise and form a dome in the deck. The final rounding of the rails was done after the glue dried."

" It is an attempt to use wood to dictate the design. Meaning the spring angle of the rails combined with the flex of the 5.2mm plywood dictates the deck dome and foil. No computer drawn cross-sections, no ribs, stringer, no cnc, etc. Rough-shape the rails, glue and clamp the plywood, finish shaping the rails, there's the surfboard, glass it and ride it."

" The idea met with some dire predictions of likely failure - it would be weak, it would flex in all the wrong places and wrong ways, it would be unresponsive because the deck wasn't attached to the bottom, it had been done before and was a failure, etc, etc, along with warnings to add bracing here or there by this method or that. "

" My intent was to see just how much interior structure is needed, no way to know unless you start with none, so that's what I did. I wanted to challenge some of the assumptions that dictate wood board "fishbones" structure."

" First ride report is in. Small beach break waves, 2-4' glassy. Conditions were pretty good despite being small, but it was definitely uncrowded, so I got a lot of waves. Duck dives easy, paddles easy enough (a bit more work than my 9' 6" I've been riding lately LOL), catches waves easy, stable for easy up, feels lively underfoot, turns and projects well, and mainly, doesn't feel any different than any of my other surfboards as regards being "completely hollow" - just feels like a surfboard! Once the board was glassed it became real sturdy, you can hardly tell its hollow."


To check out what else Huck has been up to check him out at -

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mikes new Hand Planes

Hand planes , small pieces of wood with lots of fun built in. That seems to be the theme. Yes lots of things are new again and with Paulownia now very popular so are hand planes once again. Mike Cunningham from NZ / Fish N Log Blog has been getting into building them and having heaps of fun.
" I took the larger one out for its third test ride last Saturday and was so stoked with the way it went, got so many waves I lost count, lots of clean face and big drops, even a cover up of sorts, not bad for a 105kg pie eating beer guzzler, yew !,Roger has helped me mill a slab of paulownia, making two double handplanes and a prone alaia/paipo hybrid, even rode my 9'6'' electraglide longboard prone on a few waves last week, such a buzz being that close to the wave face, takes the views you get to warp speed so I am busting to shape my paipo thingie, anyway thats my story and i am sticking to it !,"
Mike is fizzzzing with his new project. So maybe after you have built your wooden board you and the kids might need a project for Christmas , this could be it.
Built the Alaia and can't get to your feet , cut the bugger up and make hand planes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Paul Jensen Wooden board building classes

Paul Jensen from Washington State USA is a credited with the revival in hollow wooden boards and has set about conducting classes in his construction method.Paul uses the same internal frame method as say the Grain construction but varies in his rail build out.

Paul's boards use laminated cork and bending ply rails as above. Where as the Grain method is cove and bead more akin to their boat building roots.The difference with Paul's courses is that he is mobile and will come to you where ever you are to conduct the class , as long as you have the minimum numbers and a venue for a week to build the boards in.He has conducted classes in many countries in all sorts of situations , so he is very adaptable.

"During a workshop under my guidance you will build a hollow wood board starting with the assembly of a supplied frame kit. After that you will create the deck and bottom “skins” from very thin solid wood strips, fiberglass and epoxy. Next the skins are attached and tensioned to the wood frame. You will then build the outer rails onto the board with bending plywood and cork. Finally the rails are hand shaped and the board is given a light final sanding. At the end of the class the board you have built will ready to take home to be glassed. I will also show you how to apply those epoxy and fiberglass layers when you get home. There are several to choose from."

Paul has options on his classes as well:

Five day
- Build Your Own Board workshops ,
will have up to ten participant build their own board ready for glassing.The actual cost of materials will vary, depending on location. Some places things cost less than others.

Three day - Collaborative Board workshops ,will have up to twenty participant building two collaborative boards, ready for glassing.

Again, the "How To" CD will be included, as will a Template Kit .

The finished collaborative boards will be offered for sale (for the cost of the materials)

to selected class participants, chosen by a random drawing .

If you are interested in being a part of one of these workshops, or would like to organise one in your area , contact him at:

Organise a class

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grain Surfboard Building Classes

If you are looking for a class to learn the ins and outs of building a wooden board for yourself then there are a couple of ways to go. Grain Surfboards in York , Maine hold classes throughout the year . They run with a number of options and you build the boards right in their factory with the guys who work there with all the tools and gear you need to get the job done.

Here is a list of their classes for next year so you can plan ahead.

2011 Scheduled Classes
Nov 14- 20 2010…… Last available class for 2010, sign up now!

Feb 6- 12 …… Any Kit
April 10- 16 …. Any Kit
May 8- 14 …….. Any Kit
June 3- 5 …….. 3- Day Board Blitz
June 19- 25……. Any Kit
July 17- 23 …… Any Kit
Aug 5- 7 …….. 3- Day Board Blitz
Aug 21- 27 …. Any Kit
Sept 8- 10 …. Alaia class with Jon Wegener
Sept 11 …. Handplane class with Cyrus Sutton
Sept 18- 24 …. Any Kit
Oct 9- 15 …. Any Kit
Nov 6- 12 …. Any Kit

So you see they have a variety of options and special ones with guest shapers on hand as well.So not just their kits , but Alaia classes and handplane classes." The 3 Day Board Blitz is an interesting one as well .Teams of two students together build a single board with a Grain board builder directly helping as needed to keep on schedule. Giving the phrase “team-building” a whole new meaning, this six-person, three-team class is designed not to help you build your own board in class, but as an affordable way to teach the method for those planning to build a HomeGrown Kit at home, and for those non-surfers that are merely curious about how it’s done. Great chance to do something cool with a buddy or your sweetie."

Then there is:
Surfboard Builder’s Fantasy Camp
"Surfers can be loners – their ideal is a deserted break with no one out. That’s why we decided to offer a one-on-one class in board building and/or glassing. For a week or two, it’s just you at your own shaping stand with your own board builder guiding you through the process of building a board you’ll have forever. This is the only class where we will help you build any board in our line of kits and custom boards.

Fantasy Camp is also perfect if you can’t make dates in our schedule, can’t get into a full class, or want to share a really unique experience with just one other friend. So if you need some alone time, or dig the idea of being just another builder in our shop for the week, think about the Builder’s Fantasy Camp.

Any board, any time, your own builder. Pretty sweet."

So I think they have it pretty well covered .They have had people coming from all over the world, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, Norway and France to build boards.So if you want to take a break and travel then this could be right up your alley.

Check them out at :
Grain Surfboards

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lesleys new board

Lesley Adamski, has just tested her latest chambered board and here is her report.
" Here are some pics of the latest board! I won’t say finished board coz it took in water and I’ve had to cabinet scrape off the oiled surface, will wait for it to dry out, reglue some failed joints and refinish with epoxy resin! My main worry now is getting the moisture out, getting rid off slight cupping at failed joints and hoping the resin will adhere to any oil residue left in the timber, then whether to surf it or not! Maybe I’ll keep it for a wall hanger! If only I had wall space to hang it on!!! "

" Would like to use a bioresin but is proving difficult to source, I’ve just seen some on the surfing green website that they are trialing but is yet to be released."

"So,oiling (lanotech) the recycled western red cedar, chambered board wasn’t the best idea. Nice idea but water found its way into hairline cracks. I heard water running up and down inside after the surf."
" How did it surf? Great, looser than I expected, sometimes didn’t carry through flatter sections, which could be too much rocker or I just needed to shift my weight forward slightly!"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Very trick little hand plane indeed.

Nick Allen is a photographer and in his spare time likes to build things.Check out this cool hand plane.
Nick said " Poplar and plywood, with what hopefully amounts to a good amount of flex. It just needs some varnish and a strap, and it's ready for the tube."

To check out what else Nick has been up to: Here

Friday, October 1, 2010

Inspired by the sea

Charlie Loiselle , loves the sea and loves his surfing. Like most of us he is inspired by what is around him. Here is his latest Alaia and his story...

" The latest out of the shop is this unique alaia. Based on the success of the Omilu model, I made Omilusome changes that I hoped would be beneficial. First, more wood. The Omilu was a bit to thin and too light, making it flex more than I would like. Additionally I don’t feel like it would hold up to overhead waves. Also, maintaining more width throughout would help in catching waves and planing. The omilu tended to downshift once off the face. While fairly easy to maneuver, I felt it was too loose – particularly when in the flats, where it was a chore to keep it from spinning out.

So, I developed the uhu. Very little wood was removed from the blank – just enough to give it a nice outline.Unlike the narow waist of the omilu I went with a “stinger” tail, keeping the board wide up until the last 20 inches or so where the tail steps in. For control I went with a catch surf setup – rounded 70/30 rails up front and hard, inward-canted rails in the tail (Catch Surf hand-makes finless soft surfboards which are really taking off) The bottom is the standard single concave, with the addition of a couple of channels in the tail to help keep it straight."

Unique step / stinger rail on this board.

"So how does it work? I took it out on a nice chest-high day at an empty reef break out by the Coast Guard air station at Barbers. It was perfect alaia surf – long, gentle lines with reforms and multiple sections. The board performed beyond expectations. It was markedly easier to catch waves than the omilu, allowing me to get in earlier and really set up my rides. It tracked straight – almost too straight, and I really had to use a shortboard-like technique to turn it, unlike the omilu which really needs a light touch. The only negative was that it really wasn’t any easier to paddle than the others (alaias are a MAJOR arm workout). The extra wood didn’t make a difference – it was essentially neutrally buoyant weight. The positive side of that is that you can duck-dive the thing about 6 feet no problem, and actually “swim” underwater with it. "

" As for the graphics…after cutting the outline, it just looked like an uhu (parrotfish)." Great looking board and the graphics really set it off.

For more of what Charles is up to check out his blog :