A Week of Firsts

05 . 08 . 20

We haven’t run a surfboard workshop for a few months, so when we knew Ben was going to join us for our first surfboard workshop since February, we were initially nervous and a little apprehensive, but had an underlying feeling of giddy excitement.

We were having the same feelings we had leading into our first surfboard workshop nine years ago and were going take Ben along the journey, with all the emotions, of creating his first wooden surfboard. 

It was going to be a week of firsts.

Ben works in the world of events, so his professional life has taken a huge shift in focus over the past few months. As a way to keep himself in a positive mindset, he has been spending the rest of his time doing the things he truly loves; windsurfing, paddleboarding, surfing and cycling. Joining us on our first workshop back was a real extension of his passion for the outdoors and an opportunity to move out of his comfort zone.

He came to us having never made anything in his life, but he settled into the tasks easily and soon seemed really comfortable. Ally was with him during the first few days working on a custom 7’2”, so although he was technically on his own for the workshop, it felt like they were on a course together and it gave an excited and productive energy to the week. 

Growing up windsurfing, Ben finds comfort in having a big board on the water with him, so he chose to make our all-rounder longboard model, the 9’4” Seesaw. The extra work involved in our longboards is noticeable, especially during the rail building and the shaping days, but each day, Ben came in with a spring in his step as he was keen to enjoy every moment of the process. Who said things worth doing were supposed to be easy, right?!

Through the week, we connected on our love for the ocean, for its ability to re-energise and reawaken your soul. We each have our own personal story for what has drawn us to the ocean, or the outdoors, but it is a pull that unites us all. As humans, we have an innate connection to the natural world and it’s lovely to hear how that manifests in the lives of our workshoppers.

For Ben, his passion for the outdoors began with his father, but the phrase that has stuck with him, and kept him coming back, is:

“The place to be happy is here, the time to be happy is now.”

We imagine he won’t find it too difficult to remind himself of this as he paddles his board out for the first time and strokes into his first wave on it in a few week's time! 

After heading home for the weekend, Ben took a little time to reflect on last week and just left these lovely words over on our Facebook Page

“I had a great experience with Otter last week building my 9’ 4’’ longboard. It was an amazing feeling to build it up from start to finish and something I won’t forget. The team do such a great job in creating such a special environment and setup - it was so easy to feel relaxed and enjoy it right from the beginning, even with all the new skills and instructions to take on.”

Thanks my man! We loved having you with us and can’t wait to see you again to share some waves!

If you'd like to join us to make your own board like Ben did, hit the link to our workshops page and you can browse through our range of boards here.

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