As the New Year begins, it’s nice to take a moment to reflect upon everything that happened over the past twelve months. We think that applies to every individual; the New Year is a natural point at which to pause and reflect. We like to do it as a company, and so this week we’d like to share with you ten of our high points from 2015:
James and Liz Tied the Knot
In early August, on one of the nicest days of the summer, our workshop was transformed into a commercial kitchen and the fields around the Eco Park were strung with lanterns for James and Liz’s wedding. It was a really special day, and nice for us all to spend the day here surrounded by loving friends and family.
The Surfer’s Journal
The article featuring us that appeared in The Surfers Journal in the middle of this year had actually been in the works for a good few months, fully testing our ability at keeping a secret. It was an honour to be featured in what we believe to be the most prestigious surf publication, and we are proud to now regularly stock the bi-monthly magazine.
The Coaster and Tealing
In the summer we revealed the latest model in our range, a refined 7’2” mid-length that we named The Coaster. We made the first Coaster primarily from poplar as opposed to the Western Red Cedar that we normally use to make our surfboards, and we’ve been really impressed with the results. To showcase the new board we produced a short film starring our friend Marcus Healan riding some fun summer peelers on a nearby sandbank. You can watch the film here.
The Do Lectures
The Do Lectures is a very special weekend in Wales, well away from mobile phone signal and wifi. It is an ideas camp, featuring some inspirational speakers, and this year James was asked to run some handplane workshops there during the extended lunch breaks. The workshops proved really popular and hopefully we’ve now introduced a few more people to the joys of bodysurfing, with the other bonus being that James got to enjoy all of the incredible talks over the weekend.
Some Great Days of Surf
Whilst it perhaps hasn’t been a truly epic year for surf here in Cornwall (when has thee been though, really?), each season has provided us with some great watery memories. We stuck to our mantra “When there are waves, we surf” as best we could (work allowing) and have been fortunate to score some really good waves over the course of 2015.
Claire’s Redwood Wonder
A lot of very special surfboards have been made on our workshop courses this year, and each one of them has had a wonderful story attached to it. Perhaps the most unique surfboard though was made by Claire, who joined us in the summer from California. Before Claire’s arrival we received a package containing several planks of reclaimed old-growth redwood, given to her by a family friend who thought that a local girl ought to have a bit of local lumber in her new surfboard. We were expecting enough wood to produce nose and tail blocks, or perhaps a stringer or accent strip. With some careful machining though, we were able to produce enough planks to produce the majority of Claire’s surfboard and we think that the finished result is stunning. To read the story behind Claire’s surfboard and the history of the redwood used to make it, click here.
Global Wave Conference
In October Cornwall hosted a gathering of the world’s foremost enviro-surf organisations, surf scientists and leading industry figures, not to mention a handful of high profile professional surfers including iconic former 3x World Champion Tom Curren. The conference was organised by our friends at Surfers Against Sewage and featured three days of talks addressing a range of environmental issues including the impacts of climate change, protecting surf zones, marine plastic pollution and how to reduce it, and sustainable surfboard design. James was invited to speak at the conference, and then travelled to London with fellow delegates to present the conclusion of the conference at the Houses of Parliament.
Ben Wood Go
Britain’s premier big wave spot, The Cribbar, broke in November and Ben Skinner was there with the SAS eco-gun that we made for just such an occasion. Ben caught some great waves on the 9’8” wooden surfboard (that Ben and James designed together and which James then made), and we’re looking forward to seeing more photos and a full write-up in a forthcoming issue of Wavelength magazine.
Our Annual Gathering of Makers is always a highlight of any year for us, as we gather together everyone who has ever made their own surfboard with us (either in person or in spirit if they can’t make it) and celebrate their achievements over an evening of good food, drink, and conversation. This year we once again returned to Dunkirk Farm (where James first started making wooden surfboards) and set up a feast table in the new barn, hung an exhibition of art by our friend Ben Cook, and caught a few waves on a glorious autumnal day before heading up the hill to tap the keg. We’re already looking forward to 2016’s AGM, and hope that as many of you workshoppers will be able to join us as possible.
Looking back over a year of workshop weeks is what makes the past twelve months of work worthwhile. We’ve welcomed lots of people into the workshop this year, and all of them have left as friends. No two workshop weeks are ever the same, each one being memorable for different reasons. This year we’ve had an entire family make their own SUP, stamped children’s footprints onto a freshly finished surfboard, had a surfboard made by a non-surfing father as a gift for his surfer son, had somebody drive across Europe in an old fire truck to do a workshop, experimented with gold-leaf logos and had two workshoppers fly across the pond to join us. It’s been another incredibly special year, and we’ve loved sharing these experiences with all of the people who’ve joined us to make their own wooden surfboard. Our 2016 workshop course dates are now online, and spaces are starting to fill up fast.