Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Festival of Wood

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.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Unsustainable

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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The great Bill Wallace gone at 91

"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.

Bill 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 revolution.

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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The first European Wooden Board Day

A big thanks to Sergi from Flama Surfboards for organising the first European Wooden Board Day. Here is his account of the day ...

"Hi Grant,
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."

Take care!

Sergi


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jun from Surfers Country

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.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Alan Copelin starts a new project

" 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.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beautiful wood skills - @wood_base

This Japanese board builder and surfer shows some great skills worth sharing, see more on : www.instagram.com/wood_base









 

Friday, July 21, 2017

RIP Joe Larkin

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

These kind words are from Surf World Gold Coast

Monday, July 17, 2017

Flextail woody fish by Nathan Grey

Nathan Grey from Sydney is a great wood craftsman and experimenter and this is his latest project.
Vitals are : 5ft 10" x  20 1/4"  x 2 1/2", It has a subtle side cut in the tail out-line.
Build is Balsa-wood for the bottom and rails, and recycled western red cedar for the deck.
He used Carbon fibre and EVA foam for the flex-tail, and he made the fins from silky oak and birch-ply.
The bottom contours are a panel of V though the nose then it blends into a double barrel concave through the rest of the board.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Andy, the "Wood Sniffer".


You can spot a "wood sniffer” by the way their eyes light up when they spot a piece of timber. Their rough hands run tenderly along the fibres and you can see the satisfaction when they take a big ol’ whiff. They have a grounded passion and appreciation in the potential of transforming a lump of local wood into something special...
As a part of The Way It Should Be series, our latest film follows fifth generation wood sniffer, Andy Ceglinski from sawmill to surf.
Profiling people who've gravitated to the Northern Rivers for a more conscious lifestyle, the series tells the stories of locals and their connection to our community, the environment and their craft...
"It seemed like such a rewarding idea to be able to mill the wood and handcraft this board then surf it...It’s a combination of all the things I love."
Andy's sustainable approach is not to make a heap of surfboards to sell and pocket millions of dollars. He'd rather enjoy the experience of making a quality product, and he'd be stoked if he could after it all, make a humble living from it.
For us, Andy's story reminds us of our own. Many of our team, have chosen to move to the Northern Rivers for the life it offers, to work with purpose and be a part of this special community. This area has helped us bring to life our philosophies around what was great about village breweries, and what a conscious business should be.
“Like any good honourable business, we're trying to do good things for the community and for the environment."
Watch Andy's humbling story through his approach to doing business and how he sees his responsibility as a leader in the community.

www.woodenanchor.com.au

And our great supporters of Wooden Surfboards www.stoneandwood.com.au

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Corky Demo report from James

"Inspired by the legend himself!
Whilst on a quick trip down the coast with my beautiful wife, we stopped in at Noosa Longboards.
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the one and only Tom Wegener. He is an absolute legend and amazing shaper. He is such a humble and genuine bloke."
"Tom lent me one of his new "Corky" Alaias. This one was one of the early prototypes and had been rebuilt several times. The flex in this board was incredible! According to Tom this flex is what allows the board to really hold into the wave. I have built dozens of alaias and alia hybrids but surfing a truly finless board backside has been really challenging.

It just so happened that Granite's was pumping this day. There were probably 40 surfers out there and getting a wave was a bit of challenge.

I couldn't believe how easy these boards are to paddle!  After a long wait on the inside, I realised I'd have to take off right out at the heavier peak if I wanted to get a wave. Hesitantly I took off on my first wave and not surprisingly got worked. Determined to snag one of these near perfect waves, I paddled back out and took the next wave that came my way. I took off a little earlier, I set my line with my right hand dragging and I was blown away by the how well this board held in the pocket. The board flew down the line and I struggled to pull it back in as we raced out onto the shoulder."
"Three waves later I was totally hooked. I'm totally sold on the cork alaia concept. I'm also super excited to get back into building some more boards. Massive thanks to Tom! What a genius!"

James - Kiri Surf Craft






Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Last wooden surfboard building class in Brisbane for 2017

Be a part of Brisbane’s last Hollow Wooden Surfboard Making Workshop for 2017!
In four days you will go home with your very own timber surfboard that you have made yourself!

September 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th 2017

 
Stuart will have all you need ready to build your own board.
You will be with other very passionate surfers

Learn new skills and an appreciation of what goes into building a board.


Doing a course could be a great gift for a friend or partner.

The satisfaction of building your own board will be something you will never forget and set you up to build your own designs at home if you want down the track.

Contact Stuart to get all the details: stuart@bywaterdesign.com.au

 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A special board built by Sergi from Flama Surfboards for the " Save Posidonia Project " in Spain.

This Flama Cork Evolve alaia is built entirely with natural and recycled materials, and will be showcased and auctioned at the Save Posidonia Festival (Formentera, 12th-15th October), an event to protect the lungs of our battered Mediterranean Sea. Save Posidonia Project is a pioneering project in the western Mediterranean Sea, in the Island of Formentera (Balearic Islands), to promote sustainable tourism and launch a plan of action to raise funds which will go exclusively to the conservation Oceanic Posidonia marine plant.


Oceanic Posidonia is a marine plant, and not an alga, which has root, stem, leaves, fruits and flowers. It forms meadows between the surface and the 40 meters of depth in waters of great quality like those of Formentera. Posidonia represents one of the most important natural values in the Mediterranean, since it exerts an important function in sediments filtration thus giving a unique transparency, contributes to maintain the quality and oxygenation of the submarine ecosystem where more than 400 species of marine plants and 1,000 species of marine animals are fed and breed; many of them used in the Balearic gastronomy and, finally, the Posidonia berms on the sand avoid beaches erosion.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Hollow wooden surfboard building workshop

Be apart of Brisbanes only hollow wooden surfboard building workshop. In four days you will go home with your very own timber surfboard that you have made yourself.

Classes available:

September 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th

November 29th, 30th, 1st and 2nd December

For more info or to make a booking contact Stuart : enquiries@bywaterdesign.com.au