Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year from the Gold Coast

Happy New Year to all of you that have supported the Wooden Board Day and my blog. Close to 600,000 pages viewed now. Thanks guys and look forward to seeing you and your boards in August 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Paddle out for Chris Walton

 Today Friday 28th Dec we had a paddle out at Currumbin Alley for local surfer Chris Walton. Chris was unfortunately critically injured in a freak accident when a verandah over the street front of a number of shops in James Street Burleigh Heads came crashing down. Just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Chris was the developer and master mind behind the Currumbin Eco Village up the valley from the Alley where he was a regular early morning surfer. He was the most passionate man you could ever meet , the Eco village was his life and life's work. It was with his support that I organised the wooden board building class conducted by Paul Jensen to launch the Wooden Board days in August 2009. The class was held in the recycling centre at the Eco Village. Chris was also a client at work as we did his advertising for the Eco Village.
Chris and I at the Eco Village 2009
 Herold from Japan and Paul Jensen
 Classes in full swing
 Jesse Watson from Black Apache Surfboards

Chris was a good guy taken too soon , survived by his wife Kerry and son Fin.
Thanks mate for all your support.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Boards need names ?

 Toby surfed this little 4ft 8" simmons at the Byron Bay Surf Festival and just had to have it. He picked it up from me last week after I finished the 4ft 4" for Raz to replace this one. Toby said it was so good to ride this board that has named it "Morning Wood"

  "Been surfing the board heaps and love it man, attached a crappy pic of a mushy day, but so stoked- the thing makes me smile....YEW!  'best morning wood I've ever had....ha'."

 This is Raz's 4ft 4" x 22" x 2 1/4" that I built him to replace the 4ft 8" above.
 Raz has called this the "Micro Chip"
Unglassed Paulownia finished in Lanolin ( the waterproof grease from sheep's wool)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fozzy's first board

David "Fozzy" Fosbinder lives in San Diego and has just shaped his first Paipo out of Balsa. He is not sure yet what to finish it in , but I would suggest glassing it as Balsa is prone to suck in water and so you really need to seal it up tight. And with its soft nature a good hard coat would be best rather than varnish or most other things. It will then last and take a few knocks. Looks like fun. Go Fozzy.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grain at the Surfing Heritage Foundation

Grain Surfboards brings NEW 4-day surfboard building class to Surfing Heritage Foundation in San Clemente, CA   

Just imagine it, six people building boards with their own two hands surrounded by the complete history of surfing told through shapes; guns and toothpicks, alaias, noseriders, thrusters, kneeboards and more.

On February 6th through the 9th, Grain Surfboards will be setting up a West Coast classroom smack dab in the middle of the Surfing Heritage Foundation- one of surfing's most treasured collections of history.

Curator and Creative Director Barry Haun: "We have not done anything like this before in the space. We're very stoked to be able to host this here and look forward to documenting the class to share with our followers."

Grain's unique construction style makes it possible for every surfer to build something just as functional and beautiful as the classic boards that will surround them as they work.  The class includes the full course of instruction, use of tools, all the supplies and materials and two meals a day.  Each student walks away \with their own wood board ready-to-glass and a free membership to the Surfing Heritage Foundation.

" We're doing alot to help surfers get the chance to build their own - our new 4 day class format allows people to take just a few days off from work, and setting up a moveable shop close to where people are saves the expense of coming to all the way to Maine.  We are so honored for this opportunity to work within the walls of SHF," said Mike LaVecchia, Grain Surfboards co-owner.

The class is only open to six students - spots fill up quickly. Registration is currently open.

Click here to find out more on the classes
Click here for more information about the Surfing Heritage Foundation

Saturday, December 1, 2012

An original Bob Simmons in Victoria

The real deal out for the day -  shot from Scott Wintle

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wooden board classes for Chile

Paul Reisberg in Cornwall in the UK would like to let you know that " from end of November until early February I will be traveling and surfing in Chile. if there are any wooden board builders from Chile I would be happy to connect with them. I can't bring any tools or material with me but if anyone in Chile is keen to organise wood and glues I am definitely up for building a board or two whilst i'm there."
 Paul uses the Tree to Sea method of building boards for his classes and this is a selection of boards built in recent classes. So if you are interested in a class with him while in Chile this is a great opportunity to learn from a great teacher and accomplished board builder.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Back to basics where it all started.

 Torsten Kofler from Brisbane recently did a surf trip with a group of mates to Tupira Mira Surf Club just north of Madang in PNG." During our stay we visited a village just south of Tupira called Tavulte to surf a left hand point break where we met up with the local groms who surfed homemade Paipos carved out of tree trunks. Here’s some photos. The kids were having a ball surfing these wooden boards on their bellies.

 These surfing shots are by Ben Millington from an article he wrote in Niugini Blue. " The locals on Kairuru island about a  two hour boat ride from Wewak on the northern coast of PNG carve their own solid wooden boards out of trees from the local bush."
 Maybe the Hawaiians weren't the first to surf ?
 Some of these kids had never seen a white man surf.
" By the way, the surf at Tupira Mira was some of the best I’ve ever experienced. For 3 days, the surf was head high and above and for the remaining 3 days it was chest to head high. There were only 5 of us surfing so crowds weren’t an issue. The locals gave us right of way on the waves and even hooted us onto some. Awesome."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wooden boards in Smorgasboarder

The guys at Smorgasboarder do a great job of covering all types of surfing and board styles. They are great supporters of my Alley Fish Fry and  Wooden Board Day. This piece was written by Greg Wheeldon from Brisbane who is a prolific wooden board builder. Nobby has come out from Japan to each of the wooden board days and loves Australia.

Miguel Aragão from Portugal

I am fortunate to get some great letters from people from all over the world. Today I have a letter from a very passionate wooden board builder from Lisbon in Portugal that I would like to share with you.
Miguel loves to work with Agave and builds some great looking boards.
"Allo Grant
Thank you very much for the kind answer.
After seeing your blog I could "link" you to the "big moustache man" apeiring on every "Alley fishfry" happenings. About me: I´m 50 years old, was born in Lisbon, Portugal. Living around Lisbon close to Estoril, and the place I surf most is Guincho, a long beatiful sandy beach nearby a not less beatifull green montain called Sintra. Sintra is a world well known exlibris of this area.( Here is a link of fotos."

" I started surfing at the age of 13 yo, was Portugal national champ at age of 17yo and started with resins and surf industry at a very young age, but my "soul veign" rulled...
Had my own surfboard factory at age of 19, worked for others. After the army tried  to become a regular sociaty person/worker, among others jobs I became a carpenter with experience on furniture, house building, worked with plastic artists, theatre and cinema, nautic carpentery..."

"About ten years ago a friend invited me for making a surfboard and the "monster" was awakened. Some time after I saw some Gary Linden agave surfboard pictures, a while after was watching Barry Snider agave harvest clip on "youtube" and I recognized those "trees". I could find them on the clifs close to the sea around my place. After building a board for myself I decided to give it a go on a comercial view, and...The thing is happening, slowly. Well everything is happening very slowly in Portugal and Europe."
 "I see it as a labor of love and stoke, a language I know you understand and practice, because is well writen and declare allover your surfboards, blogs and work.(your "waxglassless" surfboards are "starting" my mind!...)
My `boards are solid agave(no chambers) and epoxy. Starting some longer big boards, so I´m thinking of a diferent method(or to chamber it) because of the weight and to save and make the most of each "tree". Im thinking of some two thick planks blended for the foil(sending picture) and some quick easy way for the rails.(have to test how agave thin strips work)."
"I explore more the fun/soul site of surfing in opposition to high profit buisness /competitive, you can call me a "classic"from the twinfin /fish era..
I have been posting at "Swaylock´s"("show your wood" and "tequilha madness") and "facebook" under "miguel aragao" name.
I defenitly will follow articles and others under your name, and probably will annoy you with questions and for advices."
    "Thank you for everything, this was a big pleasure of mine.

     Have fun,                       Miguel Aragão   P.S. Apologise my English"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The blending of board sports and construction

 Kevin Brennan from sent me these shots of his latest project.

"Here's a foam core surf/snowskate board, I pressed in a mold just like a skatedeck, (plenty of nose and tail kick, no rocker) feels pretty bulletproof, and very light..  Went better then expected in the waves, looking foward to testing it in some powder (bindingless) "

 Looking forward to the ride report from the snow test.

Ian's first board

 This is Ian's first wooden board. Pretty nice job and a great looking board. I don't know any more details so Ian if you read this you might like to fill us in. Love what you have done.
Well Ian did get back to me with some details - "The board is about 9'7"x23"x3" and is made predominately from Californian Redwood and Pawlonia. The centre piece on the top and bottom is Blackwood that came from a tree which was cut down from a property in Lorne and a small piece of mahogany (I think) that I got from my father and thought it would be good to add those for sentimental reasons."

"Once I started the process I was hooked. It is a very addictive project to get involved with and I think the reason it took me so much time was that I didn't want to not work on it. Now that I have finished I want to start another.

I haven't tried it out yet but will be very soon. Probably at Lorne."

Thanks for sharing your project and I am sure you will be pretty stoked catching your first wave on it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another piece of Japanese surfing history come to light.

 Good friend and wooden board builder Nobby Ohkawa from Chiba has been given another interesting piece of the history of surfing in Japan. He started to look into the background of surfing in Japan as it seemed no one had documented it before. He has found that they were riding Paipo type boards back in the 1800's.
" A fisherman who live in Kamakura gave me 70’s Japanese hollow wooden surfboard, it was called “Float” .
I’m keeping the artifact in my shape room.…it would be my collections for now…

I have never seen before “float surfboard” but according to the fisherman, it was very popular in Kamakura in the 1970’s.
Every local guys surfed with it and a lot of sea bathers rented it.
Some people used paddle when they surfed it as like SUP.

I found the heritage of Japanese surfing and It may be one of the world heritage artifact."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quentin's new board

 Quentin Delion is from the South West of France. After following my blog he decided to make his own wooden surfboard.
 "It's a full paulownia surfboard without resin & fiberglass, it's a 5'8 x 20" 4/5 x 2"1/2 .The weight is about 6 kg. So I'd like to share it with everybody"

He started by gluing up a large panel of paulownia and foiling it to the deck and bottom rocker he was wanting.
 The central core has frames inserted and then the bottom skin is clamped and glued on.
 The excess timber is routed away
 The deck skin is clamped and glued on
 The outline is cut and cleaned up to reveal the true shape of things to come
 Looking good
 The plan of attack on the rails and knowing where you have timber to work with without going into the chamber / core
 The lights help make it way easier to get a neat and tidy finish. You can see your cut lines and the flow of what you are doing.Then you can gradually blend them all together for a clean finish.
 He has done a great job

 Nice ...
He has started with a large amount of timber and then taken plenty away to end up with a very nicely finished board. He must have a large pile of shavings. There are many ways to build a wooden board and there are no wrong ways of doing it. It is a challenge no matter how you go about it and there is no easy way as I have said many times. It is best to start with a method you are comfortable with and as you go you will learn from your experience and fine tune your method or think of new ones. That is the challenge of what we do.

 Nice job Quentin and thanks for sharing it with us. I look forward to future projects.
He has oiled the board for a nice satin finish
Here's his facebook album.