Producing surfboards from locally recycled and renewable materials that
compliment the natural integrity of the sport and contribute to the
protection of the marine environment.
Jack is an industrial designer who loves the outdoors. To Jack,
sustainability means living in a way that allows his children and
grandchildren to enjoy the same outdoor activities that he did growing
up. When he realised the impact his surfboards had on the environment he
set out to develop an alternative.
"Ruben Verdadeiro is a Portuguese Surfer and Designer born in Azores Islands and he has developed this Cork Traction Pad, it is a functional traction pad made out of 100% cork agglomerate and it is the most eco-friendly traction pad on Earth."
Designed and developed as a unique pattern that combines powerful traction and comfort so that you can get the most out of the cork's natural texture. By building this pad in one solid piece, we ensure greater strength and increased durability through an innovative design.
At this point we are introducing two models: a one piece model and a three pieces retro model.
This would be a great addition to the top of your wooden board.
Felipe has been building hollow framed boards for many years and made some beautiful boards along the way. Last year he decided to come out to Australia and check out what we were doing.He spent time with Tom Wegener up in Noosa and me down here on the Gold Coast. I loaned him some boards to ride and showed him what we were up to with vacuum bagging Paulownia over EPS. It didn't take long for him to realise this was a whole different direction with a totally different outcome. Tom was also experimenting with cork to enable the control of flex in his boards.Felipe headed home and after lots of emails and his experimenting he has now been able to apply his knowledge and skills to a whole new way of building boards.
It is always good to see people rewarded for the effort they have put
into their projects and Felipe from Siebert Surfboards in Brasil has
just been awarded for his. "Best Sustainable Solution". at the International Board Trader Show.
The first ever Illawarra Festival of Wood will be throwing open the gates on Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th of October at Bulli Showgrounds.
There will be local craftsmen and craftswomen sharing their stories and spruiking their wares, including timber spear guns, timber surfboards, traditional indigenous carving from Australia and New Zealand, Japanese joinery, fine furniture, cigar box guitars, timber and silver jewellery, handmade woodworking tools, handmade knives, leather goods, cricket bats, marquetry boxes, pyrography, timber and metal bicycles, handmade bodysurfing fins, floristry, carved timber products, turned timber products, tree houses, garden design, green burials and timber coffins, Native American timber flutes, large carving including a dugout canoe and woodworking literature. Yep, it's shaping up to be a big show.
IFOW is a great chance for everyone to get hands-on and experience something new. To see the full range of workshops available at IFOW, visit their site here. If you're not into greenstick stool making, perhaps you'd like to whittle out some crochet hooks? Or if you're already familiar with spoon carving, maybe pyrography will get you fired up?
There is something for everyone, and kids can enjoy face painting, nature play, parkour workshops, make bush critters, and if they can still keep their eyes open after all that, bring them over for some chopstick making.
Tickets will be available at the gate for $15 or can be pre-purchased for a special pre-sale price of $10 here. Under-18s enter free.
Copy care of Japanese Tools who will be there with their great range of quality wood working tools.
UNSUSTAINABLE is a short documentary that gives an insight into the sustainability of the surf industry, starting by the basic element needed, the surfboard. Shapers around Europe give us their point of view about the fact that surfing, an activity originally based on respect and contact with nature, has become an industry of oil-based products.
Alternatives do already exist, it's only a matter of embracing them and detach ourselves from the image and supericiality that the industry has sold us over the past years.
Longer version of the documentary coming soon.
"THE GREAT AND GENTLE BILL WALLACE GONE AT 91"Sunday, 3 September 2017
"From plywood through balsa to foam - longboards
to short and back again - a shaper’s shaper, a fine surfer and a true
waterman, R.I.P Bill Wallace, 1926-2017.
Tall, open, funny,
modest and generous, an old-school gent was Bill and to meet him was to
like him. He moved to Noosa in the early 70s and finally hung up his
tools just a few years ago. At age 86 Bill was still handcrafting
beautiful wooden board similar to those he started on as a teenager in
the early 1940s. He also brewed a pretty smooth bootleg rum throughout
his later years which he’d share with anyone who fancied a drop.
was born in 1926, grew up in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney at Bronte,
joined the surf club and spent all his teenage spare time in the water.
During World War II many older club members shipped off to war, and at
15 Bill got an apprenticeship working in munitions factories building
boats. He made his first surfboard, a 16' toothpick, in 1942 which took a
year to build. “That board wasn't easy to make, no materials and no one
to show me what to do!" He soon sold it though and that was the start
of a life-long career and passion that saw him at the forefront of
Australian board manufacturing and design.
Billy moved to
Sydney’s Northern Beaches and became one of the Brookvale Six (check out
the doco “Men of Wood and Foam for the full fascinating story), was
among the first to blow foam in Australia, and rode the 60s boom through
the first golden era of the longboard right on through the shortboard
The list of great surfer/shapers who worked for and
were mentored by Bill includes Bob McTavish, Rooster Dell, Frank Latta
and Dick Van Straalen, and through the 60s the Wallace label was
renowned for super quality boards. Said Bill: "At that stage in summer
we would make 120 boards a week. We made D-fin pigs in the early '60s
and by 1967 we were making shorter boards which Bob McTavish and Nat
Young where riding".
Bill was inducted into the Surfboard Shapers Hall of Fame in California in 2011 alongside names like Tom Blake and Greg Noll.
A much-loved man, a life well lived – rest in peace Bill Wallace."
- Author John Brasen - Pacific Longboarder Magazine
I never met Bill Wallace but he was a great friend and mentor to Tom Wegener and passed on his knowledge to be forever a part of Australian surfing history.
A big thanks to Sergi from Flama Surfboards for organising the first European Wooden Board Day. Here is his account of the day ...
What an amazing Wooden Day we had! I would have never expected such an amazing attendance. I had had some confirmations but also in the last days I had some last minute cancellations, so I was really intrigued.
Last night I arrived to the beach park and planted a big poster of the meet, still no one around. But as soon as I put up the signal wooden boards started to show up like ants comming from underground. Surrealistic! There where plenty of boards displayed and we shared some beers until late."
"Today in the morning we met at 10am in the park. As a resume: people from 11 countries, 28 different board builders and I lost count on how many boards were displayed (watching the videos I can count at least 70 or more!). "
" The most asked question through the day was "are we going to do it again next year?". Off course! Why not? Everyone was so happy, so many conversations and debates going at the same time on every corner of the park. "
"I just send you a few pictures so you get an idea of how it was. But I'll prepare a little review with pictures and a list of all the builders. We even got a crew who came from Portugal to make a video of the event, drone footage included! "
"Mate, I hope you can make it next year. I'm tottally commited to repeat it again, what a wonderful day it was."
This is a great little clip made by Keita Ikawa of his friend Jun Kurahashi of Surfers Country building his first Paulownia skinned EPS board. Andy from Wooden Anchor milled a tree for him that had been blown down in a storm. He hand shaped the blank and I walked him through the vacuum bagging process in my garage and he is now on his way. Check it out.
" Hi Grant. Hows things. Back on the tools after nearly a year since my last board. Micheal Conner was kind enough to send me a set of " Bush Pig " plans . Had them laser cut . Made up a rocker table and here we go . Following on from a method Geoff Moase used where you laminate the skins onto the frame . Glues and water tight in same process and allows you to keep deck skins natural with just the lanolin oil . Haven't done it this way before . What could go wrong.
All cleaned up and ready to get some rail bands happening
Adding the rail bands
All the rail bands on and time to start cleaning up.
Pioneer, innovator, beach inspector, surfer, board manufacturer, master craftsman, larger than life character, larrikin, legend, all of these titles describe Joe.
Born in Freshwater, Sydney in 1933 Joe had been around the ocean all his life. Taught to body surf at a very early age by his father and an islander called Beau Sullivan, Joe graduated to surf boards at age nine when he was given a board by a Freshwater SLSC member who had been conscripted into the army and posted overseas. Joe recalled “It was this old solid wooden board and it took me and my mate half a day to drag it to the beach and half a day to drag it back”.
Apprenticed as a carpenter Joe started making his own 16ft hollow ply boards at age fifteen because he said “to buy one they cost about a pound ($2) a foot which was about three weeks wages at the time”. Regarded as one of the best surfers on the 16ft paddle boards in the early 1950s Joe was fortunate to be on the beach at Avalon in 1956 when the visiting American team staged a display of board riding on their 9/10 ft balsa boards. Joe said “It was as if someone had turned on the light and we realised what we had been missing. After we returned from the International carnival at Torquay I couldn’t make one quick enough”.
As balsa was unavailable at the time he commenced making hollow ply versions of the American boards under his parents house. “We called them Okanui boards, don’t ask me why, it’s a Hawaiian name but I’ve no idea what it means”. Later in the 50s he worked for both Gordon Woods and Barry Bennett, shaping both balsa and foam boards.
In 1958 American film maker Bud Browne introduced surf movies to Sydney audiences. This prompted Joe to trade an 8mm movie camera that he had purchased for his time in New Guinea on a 16mm Bolex and telephoto lens, making him a pioneer of surf film making in the country. Along with his mate Bob Evans they would shoot film, edit it on a little manual editing machine and show it in surf clubs with a recording of Wagners ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ blasting in the background and charge 2 shillings a head. Some of the footage was sold to the ABC and used in the documentary ‘Bombora’ 40 years later.
In 1962 Joe moved to Coolangatta and opened a factory in Miles Street Kirra leaving his movie equipment with Bob Evans who became famous for his surf movies and was founder of Surfing World magazine. Joe’s factory in Miles Street became the epicentre of surfing on the southern end of the coast in the 60s and 70s and the list of notable surfers who worked for and were mentored by Joe in that era reads like a who’s who of surfing.
In January of 1964 at the instigation of Bob Evans and the ASA, Joe along with 8 others formed the ASAQ with the sole purpose of holding a Queensland Championship to have state representatives at the Ampol sponsored World Titles in Sydney. Joe was elected Queensland team manager and was appointed as one of the judges for the contest.
After closing his business Joe moved to Cabarita and managed the Hastings Point caravan park for 20 years. On retirement he could be found in his workshed making those fabulous 10ft hollow ply Okanui boards which were unique to Australia.
A great supporter of Surf World Gold Coast since its inception, Joe was elected Patron and has served in that position since its opening.
In 2004 Joe was inducted into the Surfing Hall of Fame in two categories for his contribution to Surfing and in 2012 was inducted into the Board Manufacturers Hall of Fame (USA). He will be sadly missed -- RIP Joe
This years Wooden Surfboard Day will be Sunday 7th August
Poster for 2012
Poster for 2011
Poster for 2010
Poster for 2009
The joy of wood and water...
Wooden surfboards have been around for a long time and it was probably on a simple piece of wood that man first enjoyed surfing waves somewhere in the world. It may have only been a crude piece of driftwood found on the beach that served as a way of catching that first wave, but the joy and connection felt with the sea then is no different from what we feel today. As someone who has crafted a surfboard from wood, taken it out and caught a wave on it, I can tell you that the first time you paddle in and get to your feet, is truly a timeless feeling of joy and achievement. I hope that in assembling this list of talented people will inspire you to have a go at building your dream board and also experience that feeling for yourself.