Tonight the clock will tick over past twelve o-clock and we’ll all be entering a brand new year. It’s a time to be looking forward and making plans but also, amidst all of the party-poppers and auld lang synes, a time to reflect on twelve months well spent. We’ve had a fantastic 2014 here at Otter Surfboards; it’s been busier than ever before and we’ve hardly had a chance to pause and reflect upon it until presented with an opportunity to do so such as New Years Eve.
So, before we embark upon 2015 and try to build upon what we achieved this year, here is a recap of the best parts of the past twelve months. If you joined us to build your own surfboard, bellyboard or handplane, ordered a custom surfboard from us, chatted with us at an event or simply found out about what we do and started following what we do here at our workshop in Cornwall, then thank you: it’s all of you guys and girls who make Otter Surfboards what it is. Have a very Happy New Year, and we look forward to seeing you and sharing some waves in 2015.
February: We moved into our new workshop at Mount Pleasant Eco Park – a wonderful space in the largest rammed earth building in Europe, with a woodburner to keep us warm through the winter and all of our power generated by a wind turbine.
March: We teamed up with our friends at Finisterre to run one of our “build-your-own” handplane workshop courses for a group of competition winners in one of their ex-army tents outside their HQ in St Agnes.
May: In a non-surfing related adventure, James headed off with some old friends to Svalbard (in the arctic circle) to celebrate an upcoming marriage and spend 72 hours in constant daylight.
June: As the summer began in earnest the frequency of our workshop courses started to increase. We love sharing what we do with people and it was great to have so many of you join us this year to build your own surfboards.
July: The long days of summer allowed us to make the most of every day, particularly when there were waves. There was a great run of back-to-back swells in July and we managed to get in the sea most mornings, sharing waves with friends and getting some nice photographs of our wooden surfboards in action.
August: We kept busy through the height of summer and worked with the doors wide open to let in the summer sun. The workshop was busy and we enjoyed sharing stories with all of our workshoppers whilst watching their surfboards grow on the trestles.
September: The World Bellyboard Championships is one of our favourite events, and this year it was great to see so many Otter bellyboards taking to the water at Chapel Porth. We think it must only be a matter of time now before somebody rides one to overall victory, surely?
October: Our “AGM” in October is a wonderful excuse to invite all of you who have joined us to build your own wooden surfboard over the past few years back to the farm where it all began for us for a bit of a celebration. This year we were really made up that so many of you could join us for some waves by day and some great food and drink by night, and we’re looking forward to seeing even more of you at our 2015 AGM.
November: James had the honour of being invited to talk at the TEDxBrighton event in the autumn, and shared with the audience his experiences of helping people to reconnect with the act of making through running wooden surfboard courses. You can see the video here.
December: Winter arrived and brought with it some great waves. It was great to see so many surfers forgo their regular surfboards to attend the 2014 Slyder Cup and spend a day bodysurfing and riding paipos, mats and alaias in solid (and cold) overhead surf. The increased frequency and popularity of these alternative surf events has us really excited about the future of British surfing, and we’re looking forward to attending more next year.
We hope that all of you had a similarly enjoyable 2014 and enjoyed looking back over our highlights of the past twelve months. Here’s hoping that 2015 brings more of the same – we’ll see you there!