Our Process

Wood has been a principal material in the construction of surfboards since ancient Hawaiians started to shape wave-riding tools thousand of years ago.

We look back for inspiration to the construction techniques first pioneered by legendary waterman and surfboard designer Tom Blake in the 1930’s, who took those solid wooden boards and began working out ways to make them hollow to reduce their weight. He was the first to make boards using a skin and frame technique and it’s this process that we look back to for inspiration, while using modern refinements, tools and techniques to make boards that are far more intricately shaped than those of the early twentieth century.

Our making process begins when we have collected the western red cedar and poplar and have stacked it outside the workshop to air dry for a number of months.

From the rough sawn timber, we create two skins, twenty rail strips, and two nose and tail blocks for each board. Once we’ve laser cut a framework from FSC certified poplar plywood, we’re ready to begin.

The first thing we do is measure and mark where the framework needs to go onto our bottom skin, before assembling the frame and getting the glue out to fix it down.

Once the glue has cured, we take the thin rail strips, which nest together using a bead and cove technique and bend and glue them along the rails of the board one at a time. Most of these strips are steam bent to allow us to easily bend and twist them to the desired shape, but we like to leave the first couple unheated so the natural tension in the wood sets a really consistent curve down the side of the board.

Once the rails are complete we fit the nose and tail blocks, put any material in that we might need for fin boxes and get the deck skin glued down. Once the glue has cured overnight, we have our hollow wooden surfboard blank.

We then begin the process of planing, rasping and sanding the blank until we achieve our desired finished shape. This is likely to be the part that is easiest to visualise; long thin curls of wood dropping to the floor as you work up and down the board. There is something just so pleasing about shaping wood with a sharp blade, we’re not sure if its the feel, sound, smell or sight, but it’s pretty magical.

Once we have the woodwork finished, it is ready to be laminated with bio-epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth. This is the part of our process with the largest environmental impact, so we’ve settled on using the minimal amount needed of the lowest impact materials that will last the longest time possible, to make sure we keep our material usage to a minimum, but at the same time have surfboards that will last for generations.

We take our surfboards to the best surfboard laminator in the country for this process, Paul Fluin.

When we get the surfboard back from Paul, we check everything over and give you a call to let you know your board is ready to be splashed in the sea. If things line up for us, we might even be able to join you for your first few waves on it at one of our local beaches.

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