Jun 162010
 

So, five days into a month-long road trip along South Africa’s East Coast with the family and three hollow wooden surfboards, temperatures plummeted, winds howled and the swell moved in. I should have known it was going to be a big winter cold front when we woke up at our campsite half way to J-Bay and found a layer of white frost covering everything. That was on Monday morning and a fun evening session at three to four foot Supertubes followed.

That night was weather mayhem. Already chilly, the temperature plummeted further and a gale force south-westerly moved in, along with driving rain. Being in a tent at the municipal caravan park in J-Bay was no joke. The noise of the storm made sleep difficult and I was relieved when we made it through the night without being blown or washed away.

The Tuesday dawnie was beautiful. Thick grey clouds threatened further rain, but the rising sun also turned clouds on the horizon a blazing orange. At one point a full rainbow arced over the line-up. I think everyone expected the waves to be a bit bigger. The period seemed a bit down and many of the waves weren’t running all the way through, but there were still some great rides on offer at about four to five foot. Supers is a freak of nature – one good ride from the point through into Impossibles can leave you stoked out of your mind.

Being able to surf the 6.4 hollow wooden board I’ve made at Supertubes was brilliant. It paddles in beautifully, was fast down the line and felt very responsive. I would have liked to have caught a few more waves, but this is Supers remember. Fighting it out with the practicing pros isn’t exactly easy. Hence the video below is only a few seconds long!

The swell dropped on Wednesday and we’ve moved on to Yellowsands near East London. Hoping for waves here over the next couple of days.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/12620905[/vimeo]

Oct 012009
 

The latest board on the table in the workshop is a 6.0 single fin, thick in the top third, narrowing to a pin tail. It’s coming together quickly because I’ve had a lot of time the last week and I’m hoping to have it ready for sanding by the weekend.

The board pictured here is the second board I made, dating back to early 2008. The one I’m making now is based on similar dimensions, but represents the fourth generation of the model.

There’s an interesting variation on this one, which is an experiment using recycled foam to build the inside framework. So far it’s going okay, but it is a bit of an experiment and I’m making it up as I go along. What I have noticed is that foam isn’t that strong under clamping so you have to be careful not to crush it.

For the rest of it, I’m using recycled pieces of Oregon pine mixed with some old planks of locally-grown South African Saligna gum. I wasn’t sure how the two varieties would match up, but seeing them together I think the board is going to look stunning. Can’t wait to get it in the water, although this one is going to a friend. It’s going to be hard to give away, but hopefully he’ll let me surf it.

Photo: Byron Loker

The latest board on the table in the workshop is a 6.0 single fin, thick in the top third, narrowing to a pin tail. It’s coming together quickly because I’ve had a lot of time the last week and I’m hoping to have it ready for sanding by the weekend. Gonna call this one Ndawu Yama Phupa, which is Xhosa for Place of Dreaming and is a lesser known name for Supertubes at Jeffrey’s Bay. Reckon the shape of this board is made for Supers.The board pictured here is the second board I made, dating back to early 2008. The one I’m making now is based on similar dimensions, but represents the fourth generation of the model.There’s an interesting variation on this one, which is an experiment using recycled foam to build the inside framework. So far it’s going okay, but it is a bit of an experiment and I’m making it up as I go along. What I have noticed is that foam isn’t that strong under clamping so you have to be careful not to crush it.

For the rest of it, I’m using recycled pieces of Oregon pine mixed with some old planks of locally-grown South African Saligna gum. I wasn’t sure how the two varieties would match up, but seeing them together I think the board is going to look stunning. Can’t wait to get it in the water, although this one is going to a friend. It’s going to be hard to give away, but hopefully he’ll let me surf it.

Photo: Byron LokerPlace of