Big Wave Ben

10 . 05 . 13

We were delighted to welcome 10xEuropean Longboard Champion Ben Skinner into the workshop this week to get started designing a wooden big wave gun for him.  Ben is himself a surfboard shaper as well as being the most successful British competitive surfer to date, and is collaborating with us and Surfers Against Sewage to design and build a surfboard for him to paddle into a wave of significant size off the British coast this coming Autumn/Winter.  The project aims to highlight the unsustainable nature of the materials currently used by the surfboard industry, and to showcase alternatives such as wood, through the national-press friendly medium of big wave paddle surfing.

Ben has visited us a couple of times now and we have been working together on a design for a 9’8″ skin and frame wooden gun, designed specifically for paddling into waves in the 15-foot plus range.  Having designed the board together it is now James’ task to build it and then the waiting game will begin, with all eyes on the charts for the first massive swell of winter.  Ben will then be paddling the board (rather than being towed behind a jet-ski) into a wave of significant size and hopefully surfing his way into the pages of the national press.  The project is being funded by Artists Project Earth (APE) through Surfers Against Sewage who are looking to make more surfers aware of the negative environmental impacts of their boards, and the alternative options available to them.  Ben has ridden one of our surfboards before in his role as a National Trust ambassador and it’s really nice to be working with him again and collaborating on a surfboard design.  The process will be fully documented and we hope to be able to bring you more updates throughout the build process and then when an appropriately deep low sends the next major swell towards our shores.  Watch this space!

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