Around The World With Wooden Surfboards

08 . 06 . 14

On our May workshop we had the pleasure of spending a week building wooden surfboards with Kim and Shelby.  A truly international couple, they are Canadian but thanks to global work commitments live in Amsterdam and were just in the process of organising moving to Japan – so their new surfboards will be well travelled by the time they eventually take them home to the west coast of British Columbia.  At the end of their week with us we sat down with a few cups of tea and some jaffa cakes (following a conversation earlier in the week where we had to explain the great cake vs. biscuit debate surrounding them), and asked them a few questions about their experience:

“It’s really good to see all of the work that you put into them – it really makes you appreciate them a lot more.  It means something that you’ve made it yourself – I’m going to have to insure it for a million dollars or something!”

“You can buy a board off the shelf, right, you can do that – but to be able to go through each stage and learn as you go along is so great.”

“The only thing that’s been close for us is that in recent years we’ve both been part of the rowing and sailing club in Amsterdam and some of the row boats are wooden ones that are the oldest boats still on the water there.  With those boats there’s a lot of yearly maintenance because they’re oiled so every year we have to sand and prep them and that’s the closest thing to this that we’ve done over the last couple of years.  But in doing that you really get an appreciation for the wood and how the boat is built and you see how a boat that’s 60 or 70 years old can last so well.  And when you take a boat like that on the water it really has nothing to do with how fast you’re skulling or the competitiveness, it’s just the enjoyment and the look you get from people as you go by – as if you’re rowing a classic car.”  

“This was completely new for me, but I like working with my hands and making things.”

“We though that with our job roles being so international and us both travelling for work it’d be such a shame not to take the boards with us, if not just for a wave or two in some of these places.  You could always rent a board there, but it’d be so much nicer surfing these places on a board that you’ve made.  Ultimately we’re looking to take them home to the west coast of British Columbia.”

Thanks so much to Kim and Shelby for being such great company during the week, and well done for producing two great looking surfboards.  We can’t wait to hear stories of where they end up catching waves with them.  To find out more about our “Build-Your-Own” wooden surfboard courses, click here.

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