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.