04 . 08 . 18
Allow us to introduce Ally. Ally is one of James’ best friends, and the latest member of the team here at Otter Surfboards. For his 30th birthday, Ally’s family gave him the gift of making a wooden surfboard here knowing that they were giving him the multi-faceted present of a new surfboard, a making experience, and a week in Cornwall with his friend James. The workshop’s date was open ended, and we waited for Ally to book a week off from his job as a youth social worker in East London. In the end he took an open-ended sabbatical, packed his things and moved to Cornwall. The depths of winter isn’t the time when most people make a big move to the coast – these sea changes usually happen in the summer when Cornwall looks like it does now (or like it does on the tourist board posters) – but Ally jumped in feet first. He started working on his surfboard with James, taking a hand in the entire process (selecting and milling the timber and making rail strips, which are the long, dusty processes that we normally do before a workshop starts) and crafting his surfboard in stages over the course of several weeks instead of in a one-week-hit.