May 282012
 

driftwoood_hungThis 9’6″ hollow wooden longboard with a centre stringer made from pieces of driftwood recently sold from the Corner Surf Shop in Muizenberg and is now hanging in a seaside flat in Mouille Point, where its new owner has given it pride of place on the lounge wall. It’s a beauty; a real collector’s item. Thanks to Byron Loker for the pictures.

 

Mar 142012
 

This 9′.6″ longboard with driftwood insets is nearly done and reluctantly gave permission to have some pictures taken this morning before going back into the glassing room for a little more clothing. I’ll try and persuade her to let me shoot a full profile, but for the moment here are a few hints at what she looks like.

Jan 042012
 

Okay, I drove past cooking surf today to pick up this 9′.6″ single fin longboard from its finishing sand and take it on to the person who ordered it as a birthday gift for her son.

I admit, even though I’d never do it, it did occur to me more than once to cancel the order, return the deposit and take this beauty for a paddle at Muizenberg. (As I drove over Boyes Drive I saw a guy on a red longboard catch a left that rolled for ever – when I dropped down the mountain and he disappeared from sight over my right shoulder he was still gunning it.)

Anyway, I had a birthday deadline to meet on this board and I didn’t really get a chance to take a proper photograph, which is a shame because I reckon this is one of the most beautiful boards I’ve made. The centre strip of wood is camphor and has an interesting knot with tinges of orange, green, brown and yellow that made for a great centre piece. This middle strip is framed by Western Red Cedar followed by wide planks of Redwood that fade from yellow into flaming red. I used matching planks for the bottom and the top. It’s no exaggeration to say that there simply isn’t a surfboard like it in the world. If I made the exact same shape, it would be almost impossible to replicate the look – even using the same varieties of wood.

Even though I don’t know you, happy birthday pal! Hope you catch one of those lefts!

Dec 142011
 

A lot of people ask me how our boards are made and how long it takes. My answer is usually that the surfboard is built around a frame and that it takes a fair bit of time and effort. Knowing what goes into each board, this always feels like an inadequate response. Pictures would be the best way to convey the process, but somehow I’ve always struggled to systematically fit photographs into the building of a board. Until now.

The board being built in this gallery is a 9’6″ longboard, ordered by the customer as a birthday gift. I started this board a week ago and I’ve been taking pictures and posting them to the gallery every day. It’s early days yet and I’ll continue to post pictures to this photo gallery page until the board is finished.

board-build

 

 

Dec 012011
 

Sometimes you get really interesting effects with distinctive pieces of wood, like this black knot in a piece of Obeche. Look at how the lines of black spray out from the centre creating a very unusual effect.

The variations in each piece of wood – even of the same type – is one of the things I find really appealing about wood because each board ends up with it’s own particular quirks.

As for the nose lay-up using three different types of cedar , I think it’s looking good. The joins are nice and tight and they all line up with each other on the centre line, which is about as much as one can wish for really.

Sep 082011
 

Here’s a selection of hollow wooden surfboard shapes, from a 5.6 egg shape that is just about finished right through to a 9.6 gun. It’s a good time to post a picture showing all the boards together because this website was two years old in August and my journey in wood surfboard making is now four years old.

It seemed crazy to start making and riding wood surfboards and four years later it still seems crazy, but maybe a little less so. The greatest thing about making hollow wooden surfboards has been the people that I have come into contact with. From the countless people who have stopped and asked about the boards at the beach and taken the time to chat about surfing waves and life in general, to those who know more than me and have offered advice and encouragement along the way (Annabel, Milan, Byron, Ralph, Wade, Robin, Patricia, Cees, Anja, Cath, Fred, John, Mark, Mike, Ray, Kev, Steve, Spike, Adrian, Chris, Andy, Lee, Justin, Kelly, Peggy , Stefan and many more) to those that have taken a leap of faith and actually bought one, I’m really, really grateful. Thank-you!

Jul 302010
 

In between one day of blissful and glassy surf and three days of a snorting south easterly wind blowing into a solid swell, work began this week on the next batch of hollow wooden boards. There’s two fish models and a 9.0 longboard coming up in this batch, although I haven’t started on the longboard and am still toying with the idea of making an 8.6 gun instead. Pictured here is the cut wood for the first fish.  It’s hard to imagine, but in a few week’s time this is going to be a very beautiful surfboard.

The first day of building did not go smoothly. I neglected that golden rule of woodworking – measure twice and cut once. The result sent me back the drawing room.Then I bust a router bit, then a bandsaw blade and finally the belt that drives the bandsaw motor. And to top it off, the fruit smoothie machine refused to work. Sometimes it’s like that, but everything is still on track.