Saturday, June 30, 2012

The green surfboard factory

Alaia wins Living Smart Solutions award for Tom Wegener Surfboards green factory.

"Tom’s Creation Plantation green surfboard factory has been formally recognised by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s 2012 Living Smart Awards, The Glossies. It was a real buzz to hop on stage and accept the Living Smart Solutions Award for a green surfboard factory producing the magical Alaia!
Ten years ago we said there must be a better, or at least alternative, way to make surfboards other than from foam and toxic resins. Our pursuit led to the discovery of paulownia’s astounding application for making surfboards, “It is like God made this wood specifically for surfboards,” says Tom. This discovery and consequent research and development fuelled the re-emergence of wood surfboard popularity. Our factory slowly morphed from one that produced numerous bins full of foam surfboard waste to essentially producing no waste at all, with the wood shavings and end by-products going into mulch for the gardens and trees. The green surfboard factory has been an important part of the evolution of surfing with the development of the Ancient Hawaiian alaia surfboard as well as the hollow wood surfboard. For example, there is now an alaia division in the Australian National Surfing Titles and hundreds  of surfboard manufacturers and aspirants have been inspired by Tom’s Creation Plantation.
It has been a great honour to be recognised by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and local community and equally humbling and inspiring to meet the other winners and nominees, who make up an astounding list of individuals all driven to pursue better outcomes across industry and business, for our future and the future of our planet!"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peter Walker will be a guest speaker at this years wooden board night at the Gold Coast Surf Museum.

It is a great honour to have Peter be part of this years Wooden Board Day on the first weekend of August this year and tell us about his boards and experiences. He has taken them to another level with art playing a large part in his execution and the final outcome. Stay posted for further details. Peter will talk Saturday night 4th of August at the Gold Surf Museum, followed by the day in the park on Sunday 5th of August. If you build boards or would like to know more about them this is a great opportunity to be surounded by many like minded people with the chance to ask all the questions you have been wanting to. Below are some of the great boards he has built and will talk about. Please enjoy...

The Singapore Simmons

I have just been sent this email and it is great to see that people all over the place  and the most unlikely of places decide to have a go at building wooden boards from scratch by themselves.

" My name is Dhiya Muhammad from the tiny Island of Singapore. Don't get me wrong when I say Island, practically its a concrete island, we don't get waves here, we need to travel out or wait for the monsoon season for the swell to hit in the neighboring country Malaysia. I am a Graphic Designer by education and trade but making things by hand has always been in me since young."

 " A couple of months ago myself and partner along with some friends planned on a vacation to Bali. Constantly on the net and a frequent visitor of your site I had the utmost craziest idea to build a wooden hollow board."

 The pictures tell the story and in the end the result looks great fun. I am sure Dhiya would say it is a great experience and a very rewarding . He is probably planning his next board already.

For more details here's his blog: click on the pics for the descriptions.

New 5' 9" Jelly Bean from Grown

 Starting with CNC cut paulownia frame

 It is all paulownia with cedar feature strips. The cedar came out of some old skirting boards that a mate of Andrew's rescued from a rubbish bin from a house renovation down on the northern beaches of Sydney.

Andrew Wells at Grown Surfboards

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Japanese belly board surfing history

Little has been known of the history of surfing in Japan until now when good friend Nobihito Ohkawa started collecting pictures and information from many sources to compile their history.

The oldest written document is a diary of one haiku poet who lived in Sakata. He visited Yunohama beach, north eastern Japan in 1821 and saw children riding on the waves with 'Itago' The Itago is a wooden plank from a fishing boat. But it was not as popular as in Hawaii where kings enjoyed surfing. That’s because the sea was the place fisherman worked and was not considered a place for amusement.
In the 1880's, bathing beaches were opened for medical purposes. However this changed as public beaches soon came to be used for pleasure. Then, common people came to beaches for leisure. From this period, the 'Itako' wave riding tool began to be widely made.

For more information and some great pictures of early surfing visit Nobby's site.

Fish scales wooden rails

 Mike Grobelny from New Zealand has built this 4ft 10” x 22” x 2 3/4” foam core simmons as a summer project. I hope he gets to bring it to this years wooden board day on the first weekend of August.

 Bamboo top and bottom , Paulownia rails, Cedar and Rimu tail detail finished with varnish only.

       Port hole to check out inside as you surf.

Biofoam core routed out to lessen the weight.