Sep 182009

Wood is such a beautiful medium to work with. So far I’ve experimented with Saligna gum, Meranti, Obeche and Jelutong, but this 5.9 fish made out of Oregon pine is in my opinion by far the most beautiful. Part of the reason why its been so satisfying to make this board is that it is 100% recycled wood – all the Oregon on this board came from old pieces of floorboard and in parts you can still see the holes were the nails were. I think its awesome to take something old and turn it into something beautiful – and the bonus is that the board really surfs well.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the best type of wood to use in making surfboards. It seems to me the two main factors that you want to consider is weight, although the technique you use for building the boards can allow you to experiment with different varieties; flexibility in that this has performance implications and you don’t want to be working with wood that is too brittle in nature; and the natural beauty and contrasts obtained by mixing different woods.

Aug 182009

Jelutong is a beautiful wood, deep yellow in colour with a fine grain. When I got the chance to pick up some pieces for free from the scrapheap of a timber mill, I wasn’t going to turn down the chance. I was a bit short on wood so I bought some Meranti from the local hardware store to make up the difference. So most of this board is made out of wood that was on the scrapheap. It took me about four months to make the board, mainly because the wood was rough and needed to be planed or sanded to specification, but when it finally came to paddling it out at my favourite reef, it was worth the effort. As I got to the backline, a wave came through and I snatched it in the perfect spot. The board paddled in sweetly and before I knew it I was bottom-turning and getting slung out onto the shoulder. Surfed for about two hours in solid surf and made the drop on every single wave. Picture courtesy of Byron Loker.