Thursday, November 26, 2015

Naval camo Alaia

Good mate John Tesoriero has always been fascinated by US Navy dazzle camouflage and how he could interpret it into a project.
"Widely used by the allies in the First World War and then again sparing in the Second, it's distinct erratic line work was designed to confuse the enemy as to the size, speed, direction and angle of the travelling vessel, thus making it difficult to get an accurate bearing to launch an attack."
"Inspired by the work of Carrie Schneider 2008 Dazzle Canoe, I had the idea of applying the pattern to a surfboard, but then realised that there would not be a 'glasser' anywhere in the world who would touch a project like this and so the idea got shelved."
"A couple of months back on Instagram Jon of @mosquito_boat posted a photo of a chest of drawers that he had Dazzled and that photo made me think of wood instead of fibreglass and this revelation drew me to the Alaia, a finless wooden surfboard favoured by the Ancient Hawaiians. Choosing this medium made the whole concept possible and so I contacted Jon and and we worked on several ideas to arrive at a pattern to suit the profile of the Alaia board.

From here I teamed up with life-long friend @Charcoal_Smith, a talented sign writer, artist, ladder climber and hero and got down to the business end of applying paint and loads of masking tape. The final touches was the marking of the 'ships numbers', 44, the numerals of the Papa Nui Combat Beach Battalion."

 Cole 'Charcoal' Smith, artist and sign writer.

"Having finally finished this project and seeing the ideas come to life, it reminds me of the importance of inspiration and that adage that says, 'It's not where you take things from, it's where you take them to'.
All of us need to be inspired but we need to interpret things in our own way, we need to find a connection and draw our own parallels, we need to personalise and individualise and ultimately take ownship of an idea because this is what gives substance and authenticity. There is only one true way and that is in the words of Chris Issacs, "Be yourself because everyone else is already taken".

With Christmas just round the corner it is a good time to plan a project for your self or with the kids and make something special.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nordic wooden board builder

”The Smell of Popsicle Sticks” is a short film about one man’s passion for building wooden surfboards and riding them in the frigid waters of Sweden.
The video is a portrait of Peter Jarl and his fondness for wood and surfing, which he combines by building beautiful wooden surfboards in his small garage.
The film focuses on his love for the craft, his authentic woodworking and the creation of his first 100% pure wood surfboard, free of fibreglass and epoxy. With a humble and enthusiastic attitude, Peter is not afraid of literally working against the grain, far away from the mainstream surf locations and industry standards. His goal is to build well-crafted wooden surfboards that last longer and are more sustainable than their factory produced counterparts.
In the video Peter shares his thoughts about surfing in Sweden and takes his board out for a test ride in the cold winter waves of southern Sweden.
“The Smell of Popsicle Sticks” is the first episode of a series of surf videos that tell intimate stories about people who pursue surfing in a different way and with non-standard wave riding tools.
The short documentary videos are filmed and produced with special attention to the interplay of sound and image, and seek to capture the beauty and poetry of these unique surfing practices existing on the fringe of the larger surfing community.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Four day wooden board building class.


Wooden surfboards make for a wonderful ride and by making your own you'll have produced a work of art uniquely yours. These classes are run in Southern Queensland by master-craftsman, surfboard builder/designer, and fine furniture maker Stuart Bywater.

How the most recent four-day class went down:

Day 1
Looking inside a Bywater hollow wooden board you’d think there is nothing to it and in many ways this is very close to the truth, Western Red Cedar ribs at every 150 mm and 2 rails each made from three 6 mm thick paulownia strips and a Paulownia Nose and tail block

In the first day all students have assembled the internal frame whether it is a 5'10" fish, 8' pig shape Mal or 10' nose rider, all 9 students are in the workshop to help each other and learn as much as possible. The stoke is high and no one has even been for a surf, gluing techniques, timber species, how to use a hand plane, and the end goal that prize of riding something you made yourself.
After lunch that day we glue the external skins into panels, that is 18 panels for 9 boards, what a great day.

Day 2
On the next day it is all about hand planning rails and practically working inside out, preparing the rails with a hand plane following the contours of the ribs and preparing the frame to glue the external skin over the top.

There isn't much time to rest as we go hard from 8am-4pm working together and getting to know new friends, hearing of surf spots we haven't been to and being told about the one last week. At the end of day 2 the rails are shaped and skins are glued together and now sanded.

Day 3
First thing Saturday and it looks like some of the guys got together and tied one on, they had hit new milestones in their life, they were making their own board and they thought it worth celebrating, so a quick Coffee and we were all into it.
I call everyone together, ok it’s a big day today we are going to glue the skins onto the boards and we will get all glued today, the excitement rises

As we start to cut the skins to shape with the jigsaw, apply glue to the inner frame and the skins and the first board goes in the vacuum bag , excitement overcomes everyone as they can now see it all happening , with 9 students Michael, David and myself the boards start to move very fast and by the end of day 3 all 9 boards are glued and ready to shape tomorrow .

Day 4
The blank is ready to shape.
Cleaning the tape and glue from the board is quick and it is all shaping from here, the rails are cleaned up and start taking shape.
The fin boxes are marked out and routed into the bases, 50/50, 60/40, boxy, round nose everyone has their own reason and theory on why they like certain details as we all surf differently.

By lunch the sandpaper comes out and the boards are being fine-tuned and some lovely boards are created, if only my first board was this refined.

At the end of four days we had made nine boards and each of us had made nine new surf buddys.

If you are interested in making a hollow wooden surfboard our next classes are in February 2016

4 Day Wooden Surfboard Class
February 11 to 14
Each day from 8am-4pm

Full assembly and gluing of frame, gluing the top and bottom skins, vacuum bagging your board, shaping your rails, fin placement, and sanding (ready to glass).

Our last class was filled to capacity so if you are interested please let us know and I will send you an information pack.
   - Cheers, Stuart B

This is reposted from Pacific Longboarder Magazine.
A Wooden Board building class would be a great Christams gift for a friend or family member. Stuart is a very talented wood craftsman and a main supplier of Paulownia to those of us building wooden boards, alaia and handplanes.      or

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A happy 10 years for Grain

"Ten years ago, Mike was diligently dabbling in the dark basement of his rental on a cliff above the beach... and months later - with the help of some friends - wooden surfboards began to emerge. Grain Surfboards itself took shape soon after, and as Mike and Brad refined their techniques and figured out how to make surfboards into kits, they were lucky enough to attract the great group of people that have become Grain Surfboards today.  During that time, we've been consistently amazed at the superb commitment of our staff, all the friends we make year after year, the sheer awesomeness of the people to whom we've become connected, and the thousand-plus surfboards Grain's helped others to build.  For us, sharing this experience with all of you has been the best part (tasty waves aside).  Thank you all for a great decade."
"Those who know our roots aren't surprised that our construction is inspired by boat-building techniques - even the parts of our boards have distinctly nautical names: keels, frames, planking, lands, chines... But few know that one of the earliest boards that came from Mike's basement was so nautical-natured that it had tarry black deck seams and bronze fastenings.  That board carried some serious tonnage - and though heavy, it was still inspiring." 

"Today, having developed ideal methods to craft super-strong but lightweight wooden boards, we're ready to roll back the years to produce a modern version of that original boat-board.  So over the next few months, we'll produce four premium boards loaded with seafaring stuff similar to the original.  If this is the sort of thing that fills your canvas, give us a call to get in an advance order.  Stay tuned over the coming weeks for more news and images of the Grain Ten-Year Anniversary Board Series."

60 Brixham Rd. York Maine 03909

Happy birthday guys you have helped bring wooden boards back to main sream surf curlture for lots of people. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jordan - Slides hollow Alia

Alaia's are hard enogh to ride at the best of times and that sinking feeling is an ever present reality with such a little amount of float from such a thin piece of wood. Jordan has set about fixing this by chambering out the inside of a slightly thicker version to get you going with some float.
 Lots of time on the router to take out the unwanted wood and trap some air in there, as well as gets the weight down.
It makes a great piece of art
A 3mm veneer seals it all up
A couple of coats of marine epoxy to seal it all and toughen up the surface.If you have good joints you could save weight and use lanolin.
Even better if you have made this for a mate.

These shots are taken from jordan_slides