From The Smallest Seeds: Harry and Chris’s Wooden Surfboard Workshop Experience

05 . 01 . 21

In the last week of October, we were joined in the workshop by Harry and Chris. Both had travelled from the other side of the UK, to join us, but Cornwall definitely holds a special place in both of their hearts.

Harry kicked things off the way he wanted things to continue; rising with the sun from his van to jump in the sea before joining us in the workshop with dripping hair. Amazingly, given the time of year and the changing surf conditions, he actually managed to get in the sea each day to boost his energy levels and wash the sawdust off, which given we only managed two dips through the week had us all amazed at his dedication. There’s something to be said for the freedom of living in a van!

Chris was staying in a little more luxury down the road at Gwel an Mor in Portreath with his wife and son, and was happy to get as much rest and relaxation as he could outside of workshop hours.

As the week developed and we got talking about how these two found us, they each had quite amazing stories to tell.


When we were in London on our Workshop on Wheels Handplane tour with Finisterre last year, we stayed with a good friend of ours in Peckham. When we woke up on the day of the workshop, there was something stuffed under the windscreen wiper of the van. At first glance, my heart sank, thinking it was a parking ticket, but as I got closer it became apparent it was something a little more unique. A hand-written note asking if we had any spaces left on the workshop that day, with a phone number and a name; Harry.

He knew why the van was in London, but probably didn’t expect to see it in his neighbourhood given the Finisterre store is in Covent Garden, so took his chance. Sadly, we were already booked up, but we had a nice chat on the phone and I vowed to let him know next time we would be running a course near by. 

But he had bigger plans, so joined us in Cornwall for five days of submersion in the workshop to make himself a 7’2″ Coaster, rather than the few hours he would have had in the hustle and bustle of central London. Stoked to finally put a face to a name! Thanks for joining us brother.

Chris’ story was a little different. He and his wife, Liz, enjoy staying at the Scarlet hotel, in Mawgan Porth, and just happened to be there nine years ago when James and Mat’s Storyboard was on display. They both fell in love with the board and the idea of having a wooden surfboard that they could trace back to where the tree once stood. The journey of a wooden surfboard is very different to that of a foam one and it’s something that really connected to the couple.

It was so magical to learn of this and I got so giddy reliving those early years of Otter Surfboards with them. It’s true, you never know what impact your creative outputs can have on others and knowing that nine years on, Chris still felt this draw to us was flattering and wonderful. Thanks so much for joining us to make your very own 6’10” Jetty, I can’t wait to share some waves with you on it!

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