Sunday, December 10, 2017

A new board from Alan Copelin

Frank's new board

Frank Kaczmarek is a Gold Coast bus driver and about to retire. He loves his surfing and building boards. Here is his latest one...
 "Well, it’s finally finished, Whew!! Last night I put on the last layer of clear-coat, and now all that remains is to put on the deck grip. I’ve got the transparent one called Versa-Traction, very similar to what I’ve got on the 9ft board and the 7’6” fish. "

"As you can see it’s got a nice concave under that big wide nose and a V in the tail section. Also a considerable rocker. Except for the rails it’s made entirely from left-over bits from previous board builds. I had to buy the paulownia and cork for the rails. The cork is from Bunnings, floor tiles that I cut strips off and laminated them with the paulownia. Hopefully the edge will be a little less lethal than other boards."

 "Being cork it has a little give in it and the clear-coat stays flexible, so it should be a good combination. All that remains now is to see if it performs well. It ended a bit wider than I had planned, but there’s always the option of building another one. The measurements are 8’2” x 24 3/4” x 2 3/4”. I used the templates from the first fish board you designed with AKU-shaper for me and made some alterations. I hope it performs well.Fingers crossed Thanks again for your help and advice."

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Luis Gasper from Portugal built this new board for summer

 5mm deck and 4mm bottom

Great looking board and thanks for sharing Luis.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Surfing the Eco-design Wave | Jack Candlish | Organic Dynamic

Producing surfboards from locally recycled and renewable materials that compliment the natural integrity of the sport and contribute to the protection of the marine environment. Jack is an industrial designer who loves the outdoors. To Jack, sustainability means living in a way that allows his children and grandchildren to enjoy the same outdoor activities that he did growing up. When he realised the impact his surfboards had on the environment he set out to develop an alternative.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ecopro cork traction pad for your wooden board

"Ruben Verdadeiro is a Portuguese Surfer and Designer born in Azores Islands and he has developed this Cork Traction Pad, it is a functional traction pad made out of 100% cork agglomerate and it is the most eco-friendly traction pad on Earth."

 Designed and developed as a unique pattern that combines powerful traction and comfort so that you can get the most out of the cork's natural texture. By building this pad in one solid piece, we ensure greater strength and increased durability through an innovative design.

At this point we are introducing two models: a one piece model and a three pieces retro model.

This would be a great addition to the top of your wooden board. 
For more info or to get one head on over to their website :

Friday, October 6, 2017

Wooden Board gathering in Florida USA

Dennis Hanson is hosting an event for people that appreciate wooden surfboards.  

The venue  : Tom Renick Park in Ormond by the Sea, Florida.  

The dates  : October 14th and 15th Saturday/Sunday.  

The times :  9 AM to 3 PM.  It's open to all interested.

So guys if you build wooden boards or are interested in finding out more about wooden boards, this is the place to meet and talk to passionate board builders.

Or contact Dennis :

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Reward for effort is always a good thing

Felipe has been building hollow framed boards for many years and made some beautiful boards along the way. Last year he decided to come out to Australia and check out what we were doing.He spent time with Tom Wegener up in Noosa and me down here on the Gold Coast. I loaned him some boards to ride and showed him what we were up to with vacuum bagging Paulownia over EPS. It didn't take long for him to realise this was a whole different direction with a totally different outcome. Tom was also experimenting with cork to enable the control of flex in his boards.Felipe headed home and after lots of emails and his experimenting he has now been able to apply his knowledge and skills to a whole new way of building boards.

It is always good to see people rewarded for the effort they have put into their projects and Felipe  from Siebert Surfboards in Brasil has just been awarded for his. "Best Sustainable Solution". at the International Board Trader Show.

 felipesiebert"Best Sustainable Solution". This award is not just for Siebert. @tomwegenersurfboards @surfboardsbygrantnewby @flamasurf @lascasurfboards and Siebert, are a group of shapers who work together to develop these boards made with less aggressive materials. #theboardtradershow show is one of the world's largest board manufacturers event, including manufacturers from Brazil, California, Australia, Hawaii. It was an honor to be selected between so many manufacturers.
Thanks to all who collaborated in the evolution of this project: @rdiasfabrica @johnmagrath @_larmar_ @surf.sound @lupsurf

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Wooden V Bowls

Nathan Grey from Sydney was just about out the door to head to Byron Bay with his latest board when he sent these to share.

It is My version of a V. Bowls by Ryan Lovelace
             Dimensions  7’10-23”-2 3/4”          
 The bottom skin and rails are made from Balsa wood with Paulownia Desk, then a 4oz epoxy class job top and bottom

Bottom shape, is belly from the nose to about 18” in from of the fin-box, then there is a panel of V that flattens out for the last 6” of the tail


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Festival of Wood

The first ever Illawarra Festival of Wood will be throwing open the gates on Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th of October at Bulli Showgrounds.

There will be local craftsmen and craftswomen sharing their stories and spruiking their wares, including timber spear guns, timber surfboards, traditional indigenous carving from Australia and New Zealand, Japanese joinery, fine furniture, cigar box guitars, timber and silver jewellery, handmade woodworking tools, handmade knives, leather goods, cricket bats, marquetry boxes, pyrography, timber and metal bicycles, handmade bodysurfing fins, floristry, carved timber products, turned timber products, tree houses, garden design, green burials and timber coffins, Native American timber flutes, large carving including a dugout canoe and woodworking literature. Yep, it's shaping up to be a big show.

IFOW is a great chance for everyone to get hands-on and experience something new. To see the full range of workshops available at IFOW, visit their site here. If you're not into greenstick stool making, perhaps you'd like to whittle out some crochet hooks? Or if you're already familiar with spoon carving, maybe pyrography will get you fired up?

There is something for everyone, and kids can enjoy face painting, nature play, parkour workshops, make bush critters, and if they can still keep their eyes open after all that, bring them over for some chopstick making.

Tickets will be available at the gate for $15 or can be pre-purchased for a special pre-sale price of $10 here. Under-18s enter free.

Copy care of Japanese Tools who will be there with their great range of quality wood working tools.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


UNSUSTAINABLE is a short documentary that gives an insight into the sustainability of the surf industry, starting by the basic element needed, the surfboard. Shapers around Europe give us their point of view about the fact that surfing, an activity originally based on respect and contact with nature, has become an industry of oil-based products. Alternatives do already exist, it's only a matter of embracing them and detach ourselves from the image and supericiality that the industry has sold us over the past years. Longer version of the documentary coming soon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The great Bill Wallace gone at 91


"From plywood through balsa to foam - longboards to short and back again - a shaper’s shaper, a fine surfer and a true waterman, R.I.P Bill Wallace, 1926-2017.

Tall, open, funny, modest and generous, an old-school gent was Bill and to meet him was to like him. He moved to Noosa in the early 70s and finally hung up his tools just a few years ago. At age 86 Bill was still handcrafting beautiful wooden board similar to those he started on as a teenager in the early 1940s. He also brewed a pretty smooth bootleg rum throughout his later years which he’d share with anyone who fancied a drop.

Bill was born in 1926, grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney at Bronte, joined the surf club and spent all his teenage spare time in the water. During World War II many older club members shipped off to war, and at 15 Bill got an apprenticeship working in munitions factories building boats. He made his first surfboard, a 16' toothpick, in 1942 which took a year to build. “That board wasn't easy to make, no materials and no one to show me what to do!" He soon sold it though and that was the start of a life-long career and passion that saw him at the forefront of Australian board manufacturing and design.

Billy moved to Sydney’s Northern Beaches and became one of the Brookvale Six (check out the doco “Men of Wood and Foam for the full fascinating story), was among the first to blow foam in Australia, and rode the 60s boom through the first golden era of the longboard right on through the shortboard revolution.

The list of great surfer/shapers who worked for and were mentored by Bill includes Bob McTavish, Rooster Dell, Frank Latta and Dick Van Straalen, and through the 60s the Wallace label was renowned for super quality boards. Said Bill: "At that stage in summer we would make 120 boards a week. We made D-fin pigs in the early '60s and by 1967 we were making shorter boards which Bob McTavish and Nat Young where riding".

Bill was inducted into the Surfboard Shapers Hall of Fame in California in 2011 alongside names like Tom Blake and Greg Noll.

A much-loved man, a life well lived – rest in peace Bill Wallace."

  -    Author John Brasen - Pacific Longboarder Magazine

I never met Bill Wallace but he was a great friend and mentor to Tom Wegener and passed on his knowledge to be forever a part of Australian surfing history.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The first European Wooden Board Day

A big thanks to Sergi from Flama Surfboards for organising the first European Wooden Board Day. Here is his account of the day ...

"Hi Grant,
What an amazing Wooden Day we had! I would have never expected such an amazing attendance. I had had some confirmations but also in the last days I had some last minute cancellations, so I was really intrigued.

Last night I arrived to the beach park and planted a big poster of the meet, still no one around. But as soon as I put up the signal wooden boards started to show up like ants comming from underground. Surrealistic! There where plenty of boards displayed and we shared some beers until late."
"Today in the morning we met at 10am in the park. As a resume: people from 11 countries, 28 different board builders and I lost count on how many boards were displayed (watching the videos I can count at least 70 or more!). "
" The most asked question through the day was "are we going to do it again next year?". Off course! Why not? Everyone was so happy, so many conversations and debates going at the same time on every corner of the park. "
"I just send you a few pictures so you get an idea of how it was. But I'll prepare a little review with pictures and a list of all the builders. We even got a crew who came from Portugal to make a video of the event, drone footage included! "
"Mate, I hope you can make it next year. I'm tottally commited to repeat it again, what a wonderful day it was."

Take care!


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jun from Surfers Country

This is a great little clip made by Keita Ikawa of his friend Jun Kurahashi of Surfers Country building his first Paulownia skinned EPS board. Andy from Wooden Anchor milled a tree for him that had been blown down in a storm. He hand shaped the blank and I walked him through the vacuum bagging process in my garage and he is now on his way.  Check it out.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alan Copelin starts a new project

" Hi Grant. Hows things. Back on the tools after nearly a year since my last board. Micheal Conner was kind enough to send me a set of " Bush Pig " plans . Had them laser cut . Made up a rocker table and here we go . Following on from a method Geoff Moase used where you laminate the skins onto the frame . Glues and water tight in same process and allows you to keep deck skins natural with just the lanolin oil . Haven't done it this way before . What could go wrong.


All cleaned up and ready to get some rail bands happening
Adding the rail bands
All the rail bands on and time to start cleaning up.