Thursday, March 29, 2018

Layne Beachley surfboard raffle - raising funds to save our reefs!

You have the chance to win a unique, handcrafted, wooden ‘Tree to Sea’ surfboard, autographed by 7-time surfing world champion, Layne Beachley.

The story starts with Tania Kenyon, who was awarded a Layne Beachley Foundation 'Aim for the Stars' scholarship in 2017. Aim for the Stars offers ambitious and dedicated women an opportunity to receive financial scholarships and mentoring support to help them achieve their dreams. Tania received this scholarship for her PhD research in coral reef research at UQ and for her volunteer work and aspirations with Reef Check Australia, an environmental charity empowering Australians to protect their reefs and oceans. Wanting to raise money to ‘pay it forward’, Tania sought a surfboard for Layne to sign, combining Tania’s love of the ocean with Layne’s love of surfing.

From their workshop in Melbourne, Rob, Gary & Darren from ‘Tree to Sea’ were kind enough to make & donate one of their beautiful, super light-weight, wooden eco surfboards. The surfboard is a 6' 4" Striper 'fish' design with unique artwork by Darren’s daughter, Morgan, featuring blue ocean swirls, Reef Check Australia banner fish and Aim for the Stars ‘sea’ stars. This type of surfboard is accessible for all levels of riders and the artwork is incredibly eye-catching, whether you're catching waves or choose to display the board as a statement piece in your home. And of course to top it off, Layne Beachley has autographed the board and, luckily, decided not to take it home with her (she loves it!)

Funds from the surfboard raffle will go towards Reef Check Australia’s reef health monitoring, education & awareness programs, & back into The Layne Beachley Foundation, to support future scholarship winners.

See the video here: & enter for your chance to WIN here: (Raffle tickets $10

Tree to Sea Australia
Rob Ph.0409 211 751
Gary Ph.0423 804 975
Darren Ph.0417 055 094

Monday, March 26, 2018

Wooden surfboard masterclass reconnects riders with surfing's sustainable history

After four long days, the class celebrates with their finished boards.
The first men and women to ride froth-tipped waves off the coast of Hawaii and other Polynesian Islands did so on planks of wood.
They were heavy and difficult to handle, but these early surfers laid the foundations for a sport now embraced worldwide and dominated on the professional circuit by Australians.
Modern advancements have seen wood phased out in favour of plastic and foam surfboards, valued for their light weight and flexibility.
However, a growing body of surfers still pine for boards reminiscent of those from decades ago.
In a small sunbathed workshop in suburban Brisbane, a group gathers to lovingly handcraft their own wooden boards.
"I thought wooden boards were something that left the planet in the '60s and didn't belong in this era or this time," Stuart Bywater, a woodworker and furniture restorer, said.
"They just ride differently."
Stuart Bywater (right) has turned a passion into a career.
Mr Bywater was 13 when he rode his first wave.
More than 30 years later he has turned that passion into a career and teaches others to make boards.
"A lot of people don't make things in their day-to-day or in their life," he said.
"They'll sit at a computer and write things or make documents but actually have nothing physical and substantial after that."

Stuart's students share a laugh during his course.
The first challenge of his four-day intensive class is getting his students to forget about their mobile phones and focus on the task at hand.
"As soon as they get in the habit of just putting the phone away and focusing on what we're doing, they tend to enjoy it a lot more," Mr Bywater said.
"I encourage people that they do actually have the skill if they go slowly.
"People who rush in tend to miss some of those finer points."

Art of shaping organic lines

But even for his students with woodworking experience, shaping the organic lines of a surfboard can pose a challenge.
"The first board I glued up was an absolute nightmare," Mr Bywater said.
"It was the worst glue up in my life and I've been doing woodwork for over 30 years."

Student Glenn Cameron concentrates on smoothing his rails.
The first step building a surfboard is assembling its internal ribs.
Brisbane design and technology teacher Glenn Cameron said making his first board was a real test of his skills.
"Everything we do is square and straight," Mr Cameron said, during a break from sanding his board.
"That real organic shape that comes through surfboards is something that's quite challenging, particularly curves turning into other curves.
"That's why Stuart's trained eye is a really good thing to learn from."
The class starts out with thin paulownia "ribs and rails" — the names given to the skeleton of wood pieces that form the inner structures of the board.
"It's very much like a fish skeleton or an aeroplane wing," Mr Bywater said.
Actually, the man who designed the first hollow surfboard is said to have picked up a few ideas from an aeronautical engineer during the process.
Wooden ribs and rails form the skeleton of the surfboard.
Each skin is as unique as its maker.
The pieces are then carefully nailed and glued together to form the board's shape and large panels of wood are glued together and left to dry to form the skins.
Some have pinstripes of western red cedar in hues of red or dark brown; others break up large sections of creamy paulownia with a pink-tinged wood.
Each board design is named after famous Australian Olympic swimmers — Rose, Dawn, Gould and Perkins.
"I'm a bit of a sucker for our summer Olympics and very proud of being Australian," Mr Bywater said.

Hard work and hand tools

Michael Wheelaghan travelled from Sydney to make his own surfboard, a nine-foot Dawn.
He said he had a passion for surfing but almost no woodworking experience.
"I'm an IT worker by trade so all I do all day is work in an office," he said.
"It's been a few days of sore joints and sore arms but nothing too bad."

It takes eight hours to shape the board by hand.
Even coffee is ignored as the class painstakingly planes the ribs and rails of their boards.
Dawn is a broad long board which, according to Mr Wheelaghan, would be easier to surf.
He said the board would take pride of place next to his other foam boards because he was the one who made it.
"I think there's something about the materials that you use that connects you back to the early history of surfing," he said.
Many of the students make their boards with a particular break in mind.
Mr Bywater said he expected most of them would be ridden often once completed, but a few of his students would consider them too precious to use.
Freshly glued skins are put in a vacuum bag to draw out all of the air
The boards sleep in their vacuum bags overnight before they're shaped and sanded some more.

Pride in the hand-crafted

Like meat at the supermarket, the boards reach their final form by being put into a plastic sleeve and having the air sucked out.
It makes the fibreglass-lined skins stick to the glue-coated edges of the frame.
Miles of packing tape is then strapped around the board to keep the joins tight before it's bagged and sealed overnight.
The surfers spend their final day shaping the smooth curved lines and sanding any rough edges in anticipation of the final glassing and addition of fins to help steer on the waves.
To wax or not to wax is something each participant contemplates during the course.
Once glassed, the natural, muted colours of boards take on a new appearance.
They look slick, like the veneer on an acoustic guitar, and the pink, red and brown tones become rich and dark.

Sanding is the final step before the boards are glassed.
Frames get sandwiched between fibreglassed skins.
Mr Bywater said the first surf was often the most difficult.
"The biggest problem while going to the beach with one of the boards is that you get stopped quite regularly," he said.
"Everyone's going, 'Where did you get that from? That's really nice'."
At different times surfers have attempted to reignite interest in wooden surfboards.
Today, Mr Bywater suspects their sustainability credentials — he only uses plantation-grown timber — is what draws people in to workshops like his.
"In the last 15 years there's been a bigger revival with our environmental issues," he said.
"If we have lots of storms, you tend to see rubbish out in the water which is pretty disappointing.
"It's nice to make something, ride it and know it's timber."
These surfboards are almost ready to ride.
 This article is from : ABC Radio Brisbane     By Hailey Renault

 Stuart has put in a huge effort to make these classes the success that they are. There are many ways to build a wooden surfboard and Stuart has made this his own through testing and experimenting over the last eight years. His background as a fine furniture designer, maker and restorer has given him a great insight into teaching this fine craft.

If you would like to build a board yourself, no experience is necessary in these Wooden Surfboard Making Workshops, where you can learn new skills and challenge yourself. You will walk away with  a stunning board that you have designed and made yourself. It sis a very rewarding experience. You will be taught by Stuart who is a master craftsman and furniture designer.

Make the Surfboard of your dreams this year !

Our 4 Day Board Making Workshop enables you to custom make YOUR own board

April 26, 27, 28 and 29
May 24, 25 26, and 27
June 28, 29, 30 & July 1

Spaces are limited so pleasae be quick :

Remember this is also a great gift for a mate or someone special.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wooden board building classes in Italy

Vuoi costruire la tua tavola da surf in legno?
Vieni a Milano Luiss Hub, in Via Massimo D’Azeglio n. 3, per trascorrere tre giorni polverosi insieme a noi e ai ragazzi di TheFabLab!

10-11-12 Aprile potrai costruire la tua tavola da surf in legno.
Noi ti seguiremo passo passo in questa esperienza e ti forniremo tutto il materiale e gli utensili necessari.

Puoi scegliere tra tre modelli disponibili che trovi a questo link:
- MACACO: 6'6''
- FISH 5'9''
- AVOCADO 5'6''

Durante i tre giorni di workshop apprenderai le tecniche per costruire una tavola da surf in legno con metodologia “hollow” e porterai a casa la tua tavola pronta per essere resinata.

N.B. L'evento รจ riservato ai partecipanti del workshop. Puoi prenotarti sul nostro sito web al seguente link:


No-Made Boards
Zona Industriale Zampitto c.da Salara n.1
64030 Basciano (TE)
T. +39 0861659528