James from Kiri Surf Craft in Warrnambool - Victoria has just finished an interesting board he calls the Flounder. He sent some shots and I asked him to send a ride report when could.
"Disclaimer: It had been over a week since my last surf ? so I was stoked just to be in the water. It was a perfect day for alaias ? head high, glassy, hollow and fast peeling waves. I have been dreaming about this board and how it would work for months and I had visualised every line I could ever hope to draw on a wave long before I ever paddled it out.
But seriously it was SUPER fun! I didn?t really have too many opportunities to test it on my backhand (I struggle on my backhand with alaias, in fact I normally choose to ride rights on my knees), but for the couple of rights that I did get, I was happy to be able to take off and hold a line and even pull a little floater.
On my forehand it was crazy good. The Flounder held its line so well, had heaps of speed and glide and doing the LaLa (a kinda vertical climb and slide in the pocket of the wave) was a lot easier to control.
Freshly oiled boards tend to feel fast at first and this was no exception, but this board also felt different, the hold and control through the bottom turn as I set my line was not something I had felt before.
On my third wave despite my best efforts to paddle wide, when I took off I was still about 12 ft behind the peak, but it was a small day with long waits between sets so I thought I?d have a go. I took off fairly early and immediately pulled the Flounder into trim setting a fairly high line angling down just a touch. The lip hadn?t quite folded over as I approached the peak. Just as the Flounder reached the bottom of the wave and I straightened up, the lip folder over my head and for the next few moments I was locked into a perfect little barrel travelling really fast and really smooth across the glassy wave. These moments are rare in my surfing life, and tragically I often slip out at this point on the traditional alaias, but not with the Flounder, this time the Flounder held its line perfectly and even seemed to accelerate as I tried to pull up the wave a little. It was all over in another second or two as the close out section approached I tried to squeeze out at the last minute as the wave crunched shut. I lost it at the last moment getting clipped, but I had all that I needed. This strange looking board worked even better than I had expected.
Thanks to all the other wooden board and finless builders who have posted their stuff. Its a real inspiration to see so many other guys doing their own shapes and designs. Keep it up! I'm super keen to make it to the next wooden board day!"
New Zealand shaper Roger Hall is a master at whatever he puts his hand to. His current passion is revisiting the Hot Curl model and ramping it up with more than a modern twist.
These boards are finless and the wood adds the weight to help hold the tail into the power of the wave.
As you can see it is a pretty solid lump of wood , but not just one piece. Roger loves to laminate and mix up the timbers he uses.
Not only is it very hard to work with wood and foam together due to the differences in densities but he has so many different timbers that vary as well to make it even harder. And this is all hanging off the end of the foam. A true test of anyones skills. But as you can see not only is it a great design with the flowing lines of the board enhanced by the beautiful timber.
Hands of the master.
Form and function
Who do you know that would cut and glue up 7 stringers and foam like this. I have seen him do 13.
Great shots from Mike C. Lets hope Roger can make it to the Wooden board day this year.
The Flounder is one strange fish. Should be a blast to ride though.
The Flounder is inspired by Tom and John Wegener. It is a combination of my parabolic alaia, my traditional alaia and mini simmons hybrid. Here is the Flounder and its cousin the Alaia Hybrid. Both about to be branded and oiled."
Looks like some interesting craft with lots going on and great to see James experimenting. Will wait to hear how they go. Alaia's are not easy to ride and this is surely mixing it up. Nice one James.
This is a board that Jan Dressler built in his apartment in the middle of Berlin. This is a wave SUP that is Paulownia vacuum bagged over EPS and lanolin finish. " This July the board will travel with me to Sylt a small island on the boarder of Germany and Denmark. "
" Here you can see a slight sort of dent in the rail. This happened very early when I was trying to get a clean outline out of a vertically glued up blank. As I hadn't found a supplier for 3000mm plus EPS blanks of the right density I glued up 1000x500x100mm pieces. The naturally harder glue lines crossing the foam outline made impossible for me to keep it flawless while shaping."
"Here's another example in the very tail section. (Pls note the Elu planer. It is a marvelous alternative to the notorious Skill 100 for much less money and 240V. Similarly rare though."
Bagging the deck.
Nice touch with a small ebony tail block
" Grant please meet Anita. She's my first one and designed as a paddleable blend between a flatwater cruiser, a floating taning plattform and a '65 Riva Super Florida. The hollow non laminated Strip and Feather construction is quite leaky but everybody loves her.
Jan and I had been in touch on and off throughout last year and at Christmas he came out to Australia with his wife and twin 5 year old boys. They travelled from Melbourne to the Gold Coast in a camper van. I met up with them for a day surfing in Byron Bay and then they stayed with us here on the Gold Coast before heading out of Australia. Jan works in the film and television industry and loves his surfing.
This years Wooden Surfboard Day will be Sunday 7th August
Poster for 2012
Poster for 2011
Poster for 2010
Poster for 2009
The joy of wood and water...
Wooden surfboards have been around for a long time and it was probably on a simple piece of wood that man first enjoyed surfing waves somewhere in the world. It may have only been a crude piece of driftwood found on the beach that served as a way of catching that first wave, but the joy and connection felt with the sea then is no different from what we feel today. As someone who has crafted a surfboard from wood, taken it out and caught a wave on it, I can tell you that the first time you paddle in and get to your feet, is truly a timeless feeling of joy and achievement. I hope that in assembling this list of talented people will inspire you to have a go at building your dream board and also experience that feeling for yourself.