Oct 312013

Picture: Byron Loker

Sometimes boards get sent so quickly after they’re finished that, after long hours of getting to know each other, there’s barely time for a goodbye.The board pictured here nearly didn’t get a mention, but it’s worthy of a post.  The wood on the deck is a single piece of South African grown redwood. On the bottom is Japanese Cedar, also grown in South Africa, making it an all South African wood product.

The South African ‘roots’ don’t stop there. The shape was modeled from  a 9′.6″ foam gun made by well-respected Kommetjie shaper Dave van Ginkel of DVG Shapes, who kindly gave permission for me to have a go at making a hollow wood version for the owner. It’s a classic gun shape and Dave’s made plenty of them over the years for the big wave crew.

The hollow wood version was made in Kommetjie, Cape Town, in my workshop at Imhoff Farm Village. Although I was very happy with the finishing, my main criticism of the wood version is that the rails were a little boxy compared to Dave’s original. With the thickness of the rails through the middle I had underestimated the amount of wood I needed to ’embed’ to get an accurate fall-off from deck to rail on the hollow wood version. But even with this I thought the outcome was really good. Just to learn my lessons though, I’m making another one to make sure I get it right, or as right as I possibly can.

The 11′ hollow wood gun I made and blogged about a few months ago was extremely useful in making this one. On that board I used additional strengthening over and above what I usually do on shorter boards so that it could withstand the conditions it was meant to be exposed to. About six weeks ago, I got caught inside by a beastly 12’+ set that could have broken anything before it. The board survived intact. Me, I was slightly shaken. But I was pleased that my structural efforts had passed something of a test. The point is, it was great to be able to draw on the strengthening that I had previously done, while working on the 9′.6″.

Rock on hollow wood guns!





  to “Gunning it! Hollow wood surfboard style”

  1. Aaah, what a beauty this rhino chaser is, now hanging in my house waiting for a cracking day to test ride it on the KZN coast. Thanks, Patrick, John and Sue, for this awesome Christmas present!

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