Thursday, February 23, 2012

The chambered simmons

 Kiwi , Mike Grobelny has been at it agin , pushing the boundries with his CNC router . This is his latest offering. He even left a window in the deck so you can see what is happening.

 4ft 10" x 22" x 2 3/4" with bamboo deck and bottom , Paulownia rails , Cedar and Rimu tail details finished in varnish.

 It is Bio - Foam ( PLA / Corn Starch )

Check out what else he has been doing at :

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Jelly Bean

 Beautiful emerald green resin tint over Paulownia

 Andrew Wells for Grown Surfboards at Lennox Heads with another great looking board to share with us. It is hollow wood and a frame construction.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another beautiful wooden Pig by Mike

Mike Connor has just finished this 9ft Bush Pig that will grace the walls of the new Lennox Heads Surf Museum. Check out other projects that Mike is on at :

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Guilherme's wooden board from Brazil

 Guilherme Pallerosi lives in Brasil.  He likes to surf on and to make ancients boards. He has started a blog to tell surf history and research techniques to build the old wooden surfboards. " Its in the beginnings, but you can see at: (its Portuguese)
I would like to post in your blog my blog address and the photos of a board I´ve made. (I have more photos on the blog )"

 Guilherme has a different approach to building his boards , as it appears he laminates the ply to achieve the rocker in his boards and then shapes and foils it to achieve the final shape.A very interesting way of doing things.

The finished board has quite a different look. It may be a little heavy depending on the ply used and the amount of timber left. It would be good to hear from him on this. There are many ways to build a wooden board and it is great to see the different approaches people use depending on their experience and tools or situation they have to work with.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rick's new Alaia

 Rick Malwitz is a shaper in New York and builds beautiful boards. Every now and then he gets time to build wooden ones. Here is his latest Alaia . He is has even just shaped a board for someone in Byron Bay. It is a small world isn't it . When he is not shaping boards he is an Art Director  / animator in the advertising world. A talented man .

 Check him out at :

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pig gets new life

What started out as a 1950's Balsa Pig
 Richard Harvey just sent these hots of a project he has just completed for a customer. The board was restored for the original owner by his son as a 70th birthday present.

Complete with original surf permit.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Big Cam rides wood , really well.

Trish is not afraid to mix it with the crowds when she has to.
 There is not a more passionate wooden board rider that big Cam Byram and his wife Trish. He has quite a quiver of wooden boards. 12ft , 14ft and 18ft Tom Wegeners for sure. Plus an 18ft and 21ft Bill Wallace toothpicks.

 Cameron enjoying the ride and the wide eyed looks he gets as he heads off down the line.

Now this is a mans board if ever there was one. I surfed with Cameron at the Alley today and he was on his toothpick before swapping over to one of Tom's boards. He said the toothpick he was on was one of the last that Bill Wallace had built and that in all the years that Bill had built wooden toothpicks this was the first custom order. Cameron is not afraid to paddle in on these large boards and cut through the pack with the greatest of ease. He offered for me to have a go , but there would need to be way less people for me to consider it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

 This Sunday (the 12th of Feb) the BBC are broadcasting an episode from the Isle of Wight, featuring a story on one of the original members of the Isle of Wight Surf Club & his homemade boards and suits.

It was on Paul Blackley’s Wight Surf History Site that the story of Archie Trickett and his home made surf equipment that the BBC found their story. Archie was a pretty smart chap by all accounts and made himself a surfboard and wetsuit by hand - you couldn’t buy them back then. With his wife, Betty, they built a wooden house and spent weekends surfing at Compton, driving their by motorbike with the surfboard on the sidecar.

The best part is that Archie never threw his old stuff away, and Betty was enthusiastic to share his story with others. So the Isle of Wight Surfclub & Rapanui helped put together a day for Countryfile: Ellie Harrison (presenter) gives surfing a go at our most popular West-coast beach, Compton and the Island's best surfers took Archie's old board out in the waves again. It was really quite a special day to not just have some living history there, but to try it out first hand and bring it back to life.

The Episode is on this Sunday at 7PM, BBC 1 - definitely worth a watch.

See below for more images of Archie’s homemade Surfboard and Wetsuit.

Read more and comment:

About the Isle of Wight Surf club

The Isle of Wight Surf Club is one of the oldest surf clubs in Europe - the Island has been surfed since the sixties - and thanks to Paul Blackley, a local surfer, all of the Island's surfing heritage has been recovered and collated in one place - the Wight Surf History Project.

The Isle of Wight Surf Club had been disbanded for years by the time this came along but with Surfing becoming more and more popular, Rapanui decided to reinvest some profits in it as a community project. Now with a solid membership, a series of competitions and tournaments plus a learner-programme that took 90 beginners surfing for free last year, the Surf Club resurgence is going strong.  There are a handful of surf businesses and a dedicated bunch of individuals involved in running the club now and we're stoked to have been able to help get it back on its feet.

Rapanui was founded in 2008 by Rob and Martin Drake-Knight, now aged 24 and 26, with £200 savings. They feature on the Future 100 list of Top Young Entrepreneurs, whilst Rapanui featured on the Top 100 Start-ups list of 2008. They have sought no investment and make every effort to encourage other young people to believe in their ability to create successful, sustainable businesses.

In just 3 years of trading, this exciting new brand has already made a substantial contribution to sustainable fashion and created real change in an industry plagued with bad ethics. Mart Drake-Knight, designer, sums up Rapanui.

Fashion is like no other medium, in that you literally dress yourself in what you believe in. Rapanui gives people a choice to vote with their wallet for ethical fashion. We want to use the power of fashion to make eco cool, and design traceable, transparent products that let you shop quickly with a conscience.”

For further information please contact Rob Drake-Knight, on 01983 409790 or email

Great to see these young guys giving back to save a piece of history and I would love to see this sometime. So if you are able to dial up the BBC on the telly this weekend , check it out. Hopefully we get to see it some time don the track here in Australia.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Freshly tested

James Osborne just sent through some pics of a board he has just finished and tested. It's inspired by Bob Simmons, Dan Thompson and Tom Wegener's thumb... " I'm just starting out as a wooden board builder and looking to launch my brand (Kiri Surfcraft) with a website etc.
" First thing you will notice about this board is that its made out of wood, the next thing you will notice when you pick it up, is that its on the heavy side. This is a chambered surfboard, each of the 5 pieces of timber that make this board have been lightly hollowed out. The brass vent is to allow the board to breath, unscrew it when you are not in the water and screw it in tight just before a surf (a 5c coin works well in place of a screw driver(!))."

" The light coloured timber is Paulownia – an amazing, fast growing timber originating in South East Asia and now sustainably grown and harvested in plantations throughout eastern Australia. The Japanese word for Paulownia is KIRI, which is where the brand name comes from. The unique thing about this wood is that it is almost as light as balsa wood, but it is much more durable and is resistant to water logging. This enables these surfboards to be made without fibreglass or resin. This board is sealed with a plant based varnish, which will last many years if it cared for. If the varnish wears off or if the board is scratched or dinged, it can be easily sanded back and re-varnished and will look almost new again."

 " The dark red timber is Victorian Red Gum. This timber is used because it looks great and it is rock solid and heavy. Again it is resistant to weathering, many of the old red gum railway sleepers laid in the early 1900’s are still around today unsealed and going strong after a century of heavy use."

" The weight of timber board is often a turn off for many surfers, however this is based on the misconception that a lighter board is faster and more responsive. In fact this board’s weight gives the board more speed and glide that allows you to surf a much greater area of the wave than your
regular board. The low entry rocker, planning hull and chined rails are also all designed to give the board more speed down the line. You will also notice the rails of this board are quite sharp, combine this with small twin keel fins and the board’s responsiveness is greatly improved. A chambered timber board is much more lively underfoot than foam and fiberglass boards (especially when the surf has a bit of power), it will flex a bit and bounce in and out of turns, the resonance of timber means
you will “feel” the way the wave and the board interact. The feeling is hard to explain, suffice to say it’s a great ride!
This board will require you to modify your surfing. You will need to surf rail to rail, as the rails are what gives the board it’s control and speed and hold in the steep sections of the wave. You will need to keep a rail ‘engaged’ in the wave at all times, this will largely prevent you from going completely vertical, but you will be rewarded with an ability to do huge arcing cut backs and long drawn out top-to -bottom ‘figure 8’ turns. This board feels slow to paddle, but from as soon as you catch the wave this board will have almost instant speed, you can relax and just enjoy the speed and energy of the surf, you will be able to make sections that you once thought were impossible, you can nose ride when it takes your fancy and land huge long floaters with ease."

"This board is made to bring the fun back into your surfing, no matter what the conditions are like, all the test surfs have been in very poor conditions, but the board has still performed well and the surfers have had a blast. This board is designed for a surfer from 65kgs and up to 90kgs (can be heavier, but need to paddle harder) and to be surfed in anything up to overhead and a half, onshore, off shore, cross shore it doesn’t matter. This board is the first of its model and has been tested by myself and
other interested surfers, as you can see in the photos. The ideal wave for this board is a long peeling break with a variety of fast hollow sections and slow shoulders that break anywhere from knee high to a couple of feet overhead. Since surfing my first timber surfboard, I have only gone back to my regular PU thruster for two sessions (when the swell was 6-8ft+).
Surfing wood is addictive."

" If you know anyone looking for a cheap wooden board thats a blast to ride, get them to give me a call  (0417106480) - Cheers James "

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Your big chance for free...

So what is this all about you might well ask. Essentially, it's a call for people who would like to learn some board building skills to submit their idea for a board, sketches, written, whatever...  The best entry, chosen by Classic Malibu, get to work with Peter White to refine the design, and produce the board, being introduced to all the skills along the way, and obviously be the proud owner of their own new board...

What a great opportunity to learn your skills from one of the great masters of the industry. Peter has helped many young guys into the industry that I know.

Noosa is not a bad place to hone your skills and test your board. So come on get off your arse , it is being handed to you on a plate.

For information, terms and conditions and to submit your design , email the guys at Smorgasboarder :

A big thanks to the guys at Smorgasboarder Magazine and Peter White of Classic Malibu for this great offer and a once in a lifetime experience.