Matt Wachtfogel has been working with wood since he was a young kid. He says "It's just in my blood". He has been a General Contractor since 1982 and builds custom homes in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach California.
Matt started surfing in his twenties and after taking an extended vacation on Kauai a few years ago and seeing a hollow wooden surfboard he thought, "I think I can build one of those". The first board took a while to construct and after it was completed Matt felt building it was time well spent. Matt hand builds each board himself. The process starts with design and then hand selection of materials. All material must be milled to size, straight lined, glued up, shaped and detailed. The process is tedious and rewarding at the same time.
The boards are composed of wood, glue, fiberglass cloth, polyester or epoxy resin, fin boxes or fin plugs and leash plugs. A lot of labor and love goes in to each board too. "Matt finds it hard to part with a board when it's finished, he says it becomes a part of him". Matt's focus has been to try to keep the construction process simple and let the beauty of the wood do the talking.
Each board takes approximately fifty hours of labor to construct and shape, after that it's off to the Glasser. Matt uses one of the top glassers in Southern California to glass the boards to a mirror finish. The strength of the wood allows for a minimal amount of fiberglass (4oz. glass on the bottom and 4oz. on the deck with a 2oz. deck patch).
Check out his boards and how he goes about it :