Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A board called Suzie

This is the latest boards from Duncan FitzGerald who I helped into wooden boards a few years ago. 
 "This board was the 4th I've shaped (3rd wooden one / 2nd hollow design) and I'm still learning heaps about what works for me and what doesn't. The deck, base and internal stringer are all paulownia. The ribs are 3 ply and the rails are balsa."

" As with my 1st board, I've inlayed into the deck 3 little strips of wood from the old Wilderness Surf Factory house in Yamba (featured in Morning of the Earth). I guess I get a kick out of having a little piece of history placed into a board like this."

  "Both the hollow boards I have made have been while my wife has been pregnant with each of our children so each board is for each child (our latest child is due this week). My daughter insists we call our new child Suzie (be it a boy or girl) so I figured that can be the name of this board."

" Building boards is a lot like surfing itself, a lesson in patience and persistence. Each build becomes that little bit more efficient and the results improve with practise. Can't wait to surf this one."
 "Will try to bring all the boards down to the Fish Fry this weekend if not, definitely the wooden board day later this year."


Wooden board workshops and custon boards.

Stephen Halpin has moved to Pomona onto 5 acres and has set himself up to offer workshops to anyone interested in building their own wood surfboard. He can be contacted through his website woodensurfboardsshapesbysteveo.com.au
Or direct email woodensurfboardsshapesbysteveo@gmail.com
Or on Mobile 0421522503

The cut away twinnie

This cutaway Paulownia twin made by Nick Brauer, 5'4'' x 20'' And poker work by Gerry Wedd for an exhibition of craftspeople working with makers of wooden vessels (Boats and boards)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grain Surfboards Releases First Look at Hurricane Sandy Relief Raffle Board

Grain Surfboards is excited to release the first look at their community built 7' Pandan Surfboard being raffled to support Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts.

Inspired by outpouring of volunteers that have put their own lives aside to help their neighbors, Grain decided to join in the best way they knew how.

Mike LaVecchia states, "All of this has inspired us to bring our community together to do something good. We have been building the board at our store, The Wood Shop in Portsmouth, and giving visitors to the store a chance to lend a hand."

Once glassed, the board was painted by NJ native and artist Joe Hodnicki. Hodnicki traveled to Grain's HQ in York, Maine last week to create a one-of-a-kind mural on the board. "Being born and raised in NJ, I pulled from inspiration: the beaches we all love.   Myself and many others from around the world have put forth amazing efforts in fundraising, awareness, and volunteering, so when GRAIN approached me about a painting on a custom hand-built board, I was honored and stoked." Hodnicki explains while in Maine.

The winner will be taking home this community built Pandan 7' model. A low-rocker board designed with the help of seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, the Pandan has the full outline fun-shape surfers want, but with performance elements that pros look for.

Tickets will continue to be on sale through March 1st.  The winner will be announced at Grain's Woodshop in Portsmouth, NH with 100% of the the proceeds being donated to Waves4Water.

To Purchase Tickets: grainsurfboards.com/SandyRaffle
Click here to view a short film on the creation of the board

The " Slimmons"

 This is the Slimmons , one of my simmons designs thinned out and slimmed down to 5ft x 19" x 2" and set up as my first ever thruster.

 A full length of the board concave that enters through the nose between the rolled entry to the outside. Full with concave in the middle of the board that then tapers to a chine that runs down the sides where the fins sit as seen below. The centre fin is 5mm lower the the tapering concave out through the tail.
 Paulownia vacuum bagged over EPS and lanolin finish
 The concave through the nose , contained by the hull entry.
Continuous rocker the whole length of the board

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fire Wire Techno Grain boards

Fire wire have picked up my Paulownia skin approach to building boards and blended it with their building method to come up with a range of boards they will market under the Techno Grain range. It gives them a far greener product to their range of high tech and high performance boards. It has been great to be a part of this step forward in their surfboards.

This is a piece from the Surf Rider Foundation by Jim Moriarty

This is what innovation looks like.  

"I wrote a blog post a few months back about glassing a surfboard in the middle of a party (to drive home a message of sustainability). What I didn't share in that post was far from the glassing process a board captured the attention of, literally, everyone who saw it. It was a Paulownia-encased Firewire.

It looked like one of the boards to the left and I'm not exagerating to say that it stopped everyone in their tracks.
Let me set this up a bit... we've all seen our fair share of plastic and foam floating in the ocean. I've written a few blogs on the simple idea that EPS blanks can be made from recycled tv-packing trash and the fact that the use of non-toxic Super Sap resin for surfboard glassing is "ready for prime time."
Still, the Pawlonia-encased board I saw that evening seemed to nod to all of those concepts and take the dialog a few steps further. It seemed to be a logical extension of what my blogs have been saying... surfers should seek ways to minimize their impact on the environment that that includes the equipment under their feet.
It was heartening to see another entrant in this space, complementing Danny Hess's boards and the hands-on aesthetic connected to Grain surfboards.
Rather than try and encapsulate this innovation I thought I'd reach out to Firewire's CEO Mark Price and have him explain this innovation via a quick interview.
Jim: Your new boards look and feel radically different than pretty much anything I've seen. My experience is that literally every person that sees them stops and walks over to check them out. In a few words can you tell us about the construction?

Mark: Perhaps the biggest difference aside from the overall wood-look, is the fact that, except for very narrow strips of cloth to cover the seams on the rails, there is NO external lamination, just a hotcoat to seal the wood. In addition, by using Entropy Super Sap bio resin for the hot coats and in the sandwich, we've dramatically reduced the toxicity of the small amount of resin we actually use.

J: The second question I found myself asking (after being drawn in visually) is how do they ride? Firewire is known for being perhaps the first company with an alternative/modern construction board used by pros on Tour. Are these wood boards a niche Firewire product or will we see pros on these?

M: That is the best part. They still incorporate sandwich construction and parabolic rail technology so the flex is there, and by removing the external lamination cloth and resin, they are even lighter than our regular boards. Chuy Reyna believes Technograin performance is on par with any tech we offer, and Timmy Reyes just re-ordered his entire quiver in Technograin after riding one. We've also built Filipe Toledo and Michel Bourez boards as well which they'll receive shortly, so we'll see how they like them.

J: Nice. Tell us more about the construction, I found myself wondering how thick that wood is. Also, are these a part of the Sustainable Surf's Ecoboard Project?

M: Yes, they are and we're big fans of what Sustainable Surf is doing. The wood deck skin is actually 3mm thick, so it's is not a thin veneer. As a result it has tremendous structural integrity, and you also do away with all those minor dings and shatters because these is no cloth. Repairing them is a breeze as you can use any epoxy resin and cloth if needed, or even wood putty if its a small ding.

J: Ok, let me ask you a question about the eco-side of this equation. Everything I've heard is wild… from the foam to the paulownia wood deck to the distinctly different approach to glassing. Tell us how that all works together? Was it your goal to have such an emphasis on environmental footprint or did you arrive at that endpoint via another path?

M: We're always trying to make as green a surfboard as possible and still maintain a commercially viable product that also does not sacrifice performance, and costs the same at retail. We believe that for an Eco surfboard to succeeded beyond a cool niche, those parameters must to be met. We actually exceeded our expectations with Technograin and these are only the Version 1.0 recipes. The Paulownia wood is sustainably grown and we're reviewed the suppliers certificates to verify that.  And by removing the exterior cloth and lamination resin while using bio resin hot coats, the toxicity is a fraction of a traditional surfboard. Version 2.0 will have recycled EPS cores, but we're not quite there yet.

J: Great, any last comments or thoughts?

M: I do want to mention Grant Newby, a talented Australian craftsman who first turned us on to the potential of this construction, and our internal R&D and production crew who worked tirelessly to make this tech possible in a production setting. Building one-offs or small quantities is one thing (and not to be discounted), but it also took a tremendous effort to overcome all the issues that arose as we tweaked the original recipe to increase performance and build reasonable quantities. Of course having our own vertical factory was a huge help."

J: Thanks Mark. For more info check out their site here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Miguel Aragao is a passionate wooden board builder

 " Hello "wooden" surf dreamers
An old friend came to me demanding a wooden surfboard for a Christmas present to his lady. He would like to start her on this activitys of surf."
" And after an "abracadabra"(should be a Santa Claus hohoho) a malibu, 7`1`` singlefin came to live. The "ForFun"(course it has a name!) is a beginers good padler & easy takeoff, but at the same time it has all the features to ride with performance in a big range of wave conditions and sizes. "
 "All my friends were like... "A singlefin for starting to surf?!".  Yes, a singlefin! And why the hell not?! In my idea is the simplest and easier configuration for gaining speed and power, in a turn, just by leaning on rail. No need of a pivotal body moves around like on "thrusters" or with "stabilisers"(am I right?)."

" The fin is made of oak, a very well dried oak I got from some old drawers. The rail go from roundfat in the front midle to well balanced downsmooth edgy in the tail. On the bottomside you can find a rollvee going softly from the front third to more foreshadowed(???) in the back(tail)."

" This `board is a "step up" on size and on the finishing quality of my agave projects, I think I`m getting the hand of the fiberglass job in such wood cores.
Ok,ok... Enough talk!
Have fun!"
                                Miguel  (miguelaragao@live.com.pt)