Monday, May 25, 2015

Very sad but "No Byron Bay Surf Festival this year"

"Organisers of the Byron Bay Surf Festival (BBSF) say this year’s fifth annual event will not go ahead, blaming lack of major sponsorship as well as council and government red tape for the decision.
Festival director Mike Jahn and co-founders Vanessa Thompson and James McMillan said in a media statement that after four years of successful events and winning the recent Surf Culture Award from Surfing Australia, ‘the decision was neither taken lightly nor easy to come by’.
The festival had become a regular part of Byron Shire’s community event calendar, and was widely known for its fun, creativity and innovative flair.
‘It both reflected and inspired the unique Byron Bay surfing community and its vast global reaches. BBSF always intended to be a free community festival to encourage, support and inspire handcraft, the arts, sustainability, beauty and goodness amongst fellow ocean-minded people. To this end, it has proved itself year in year out,’ organisers said.
But they added that ‘regulatory hurdles’ imposed by Byron Shire Council and the NSW Government, alongside the lack of major sponsor support for the 2015 event were impossible to overcome, ‘rendering the festival logistically and financially unviable this year.’
Despite being ‘stifled’, BBSF organisers have not given up just yet but are focusing on keeping their unique surf culture festival alive.
Festival director Mike Jahn said, ‘Arts and culture needs to be supported and encouraged rather than suppressed, as [this is what] leads to a stimulated and colourful society, which in turn creates participant citizens.
‘We encourage the community to come forward with any major funding contacts and investors who may see the benefit of sustaining this event for many years to come,’ Mr. Jahn added.
The BBSF has thanked everyone who supported it over the last few years.
‘Previous festivals were a great achievement and even though BBSF will not be celebrated this year, the trust to regain momentum and continue in 2016 is unbroken,’ organiser said."

Investors or anyone wishing to support BBSF can contact the festival at

Keep an eye out for 2016 festival dates on

It is a shame that this has had to happen as the team behind this event have put so much effort into making it what it is. I have been to them all and it has just about doubled in size each year, which just goes to show that it is greatly supported buy the local community and surfing community at large. It is a shame that the local Council don't reflect the feelings of the local community and why they all live where they do. Surely it is the surf, the beaches and the natural beauty that drew them all to Byron. This is a festival that reflected all those things and there was a feeling that the local community now owned the event , but sadly not the council.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An update from Paul at Arbo Surfboards in the UK


March and April have been great surf wise. nearly constantly some sort of swell here in Cornwall, offshore or little wind most of the time with warming sunshine... and the booties and gloves are stowed away until next winter. #coldwatersurf may be the momentary 'soulsurfer' marketing phrase but i don't really miss the cold winter sessions with grey rainy drizzle that much to be honest... yeah to sun and mild weather! we are #allwatersurfers!!
in between swells I've been busy all over the place taking my mobile workshop to London, Bristol, Cologne and Hamburg. some of the results below...
Thank you underfall yard in Bristol, Mark Edwards in London, Jackinthebox in Cologne and Andrea Moog in Hamburg for letting me be their guest for those weekends.
The workshop in Hamburg in April had the first solidarity-board, built by Tim who cycled from Berlin to take part. All proceeds from that board will go to the Ngo Phnx and will be used for medical training in Rojava in Northern Syria. Maybe that democracy movement over there turns in to a positive model for the region.
My offcuts pile was getting a bit high again and the leftover stuff from all those surfboards had to be turned into something. Get in touch if you want any of those toys! I will have handplanes, handplane shaping kits and little skate decks with me on all my future workshops as well...
The next build-your-own weekend workshops will be:

5-7 June in Berlin / Germany at FIT Freie Internationale Tankstelle

12-14 june in Frankfurt a.m. / Germany at Blaues Haus,

24-26 July or the 31 July-2 August London / UK

In between I do a few individually arranged sessions here at my workshop in Cornwall
maybe in your backyard as well?
Contact me soon if you are interested to take part and want more information.
I'm too busy to do any custom orders until July but could build a few boards in July / August / September.

All the best from sunny Cornwall, UK


Timber and working with wood show in Brisbane

This years Brisbane Timber and Working with Wood Show is on this coming weekend 15/16/17 May from 10-4 each day

This is a great place to see skilled craftsmen demonstrate a great aray of tools and techniques that you may not be aware of , that may be of great benefit to building your own wooden boards.

Stuart Bywater from Brisbane will be on hand.
"I will be demonstrating  shaping some hollow wooden blanks , explaining how I make them selling paulownia and talking woodworking techniques and tools
I will also have a stack of my boards on display with me
In association with Carbatec ( home of woodworking ) woodworking tools
we have also released a short video ."

Stuart Bywater   0414283818

Friday, May 8, 2015

International Surfing Day 2015

Surfrider Foundation would like to invite you to participate at International Surfing Day which is a family friendly, sustainable, community, surfing lifestyle fundraising event on 
Saturday 20th of June
 2015, 12pm – 16:30 at Dune Café, Palm Beach Parklands.

Activities on the day we will be:
Roots of Surfing Wooden Surfboard Teams Challenge
Dune Care planting, weeding, watering
Beach Clean Up
Sand Wars - the movie

12:00 – 13:30 Roots of Surfing Wooden Surfboard Teams Challenge
Hi Boardriders, would you and three mates like to ride wooden Alaia's at Surfrider Foundation International Surfing Day "Roots of Surfing Wooden Surfboard Teams Challenge" which is a family friendly, sustainable, community, surfing lifestyle fundraising event on Saturday 20th of June 2015, 12pm at Dune Café, Palm Beach Parklands.

6 Teams only but plenty of spots for Expression Session.

Surfers will be asked to surf 2 waves in groups of 6 in a tag team format. All surfers will ride a wooden surfboard (Alaia) which will be provided, along with all other necessary equipment. The judging format is under standard surfing competition criteria, but the emphasis will be very much on having fun & enjoying yourselves while helping promote sustainable surfing.

After the Teams Challenge - wooden surfboard event, we will be holding an expression session made up of experienced wooden surfboard enthusiasts who will show their prowess riding original style surfboards like Alaia's, Paipo's & Itako's. These ancient wooden crafts date back to the Roots of Surfing which are thousands of years old.

So if you're an enthusiast, sustainable surfing advocate or complete novice who'd like to watch professionals or even try out one of these original surf crafts bring your family down to the beach for a fun day.


·         $1000 off any full charter booking made with Soul Safaris Surf Travel in 2015/16

·         Burleigh Brewing Co. voucher for 4 people entry to a “Tanks, Tales and Tastings Session”

·         Patagonia $100 vouchers

·         Surf Organic wax

13:30 – 14:00 BBQ & Preso

14:00 – 15:00 Dune Care planting, weeding, watering will take place just along the path from the Dune Café. All plants and equipment will be supplied, just bring a hat, water bottle & wear shoes.

Beach Clean Up, at the same time as dune care we will be keeping an eye out and cleaning up any waste that is found. This rubbish will be audited and records kept adding to our data collection program in partnership with Tangaroa Blue.

15:00 – 16:30 Sand Wars – the movie is an epic eco-thriller that predicts by the end of the 21st century, beaches will be a thing of the past. That is the alarming forecast of a growing number of scientists and environmental NGOs. Sand has become a vital commodity for our modern economies: we use it in our toothpaste, detergents, and cosmetics, and computers and mobile phones couldn’t exist without it. Our houses, skyscrapers, bridges and airports are all basically made with sand: it has become the most widely consumed natural resource on the planet after fresh water. The worldwide construction boom fuelled by emerging economies and increasing urbanization has led to intensive sand extraction on land and in the oceans, with damaging environmental impacts. Sand Wars takes us around the world as it tracks the contractors, sand smugglers and unscrupulous property developers involved in the new gold rush, and meet the environmentalists and local populations struggling to reverse the threat to the future of this resource that we all take for granted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

James and the Agave board

" This is my latest board. Its been a long time coming. I harvested the Agave over 18 months ago, but a new job and a new baby have left me with very little board building time!

Anyway its still awaiting a few little tweaks (including a leggy), but its a blast to ride. So fast and fun. The twinzer set up works so well on boards like this (and some of yours I'd imagine).

I'm struggling to come up with a name for the board... Any suggestions, please shot em through."

Monday, May 4, 2015

The family project

 Mac sent me these pics to share of his project that started out as an attempt to keep his son Manoa off his phone on the couch over the school holidays.
" I had never made a board before and typically don't ride mal's but thought we would go back and do the timber board thing. Worked out ok for a first effort thanks largely to the creative surfing fraternity on YouTube. Might expand our existing quiver in different directions now as a result of enjoying this process. "
A great experience for you and the boys to built your own board. Not something that many people do. Looking forward to future projects and thanks for sharing this one.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shadow boxing

Charles Loiselle form Hawaii was asked a while ago to make a retirement shadowbox, a traditional Navy gift that is usually kind of like a picture frame-box which one can display all their goodies from their service.

"I don't really do shadowboxes, but let me see what I can think up".

So...this is a wooden surfboard, made basically the same way I'd make the real thing, but with a box built into it and a nice hinged frame around the box part. Redwood and fir, with mahogany frame around the box part.

A nice idea for a special person.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kiwi Hydro Simmons

 Good mate Justin Tilly in New Zealand made this board for his uncle Roddy Carter who I grew up with and went through school with. Justin is a skilled carpenter and cabinet maker turned farmer. I designed the board and sent him the files to get it cut in NZ. It took a while to happen but the outcome is great. Japanese Cedar he milled from a tree on the farm and Paulownia rails over EPS.

 Roddy was presented with the board at this years Cove Fish Fry at Waipu Cove where Roddy and I surfed when we were kids at school. Great story and nice to be a part of it.
The Japanes Cedar is a nice wood and seems pretty light weight

Catch some waves on International Surfing Day! 21 June 2015

International Surfing Day takes place on 21 June 2015 – time to grab your boards and start riding those waves!
This annual, global event is held around the world to mark the beginning of the summer and let everyone know surf’s up!
This special day has been a great way for people young and old to go to free events and learn more about surfing, whether you’re trying it for the first time or you're an old pro!
Organising the events are the EuroSIMA (European Boardsports Industry Manufacturers Association), Surfrider Foundation and SAS (Surfers Against Sewage).
Working worldwide the groups will hold events to help everyone discover surfing and find out the difference it can make to you and your community as both a sport and a culture.
Throughout the day there will be a whole host of events held in hundred of counties.   From surf lessons to beach clean-ups and surf contests, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy, with beach BBQs as a reward for all the hard work!
Look out for something in your area or just go for a surf and enjoy the day.