James, Nick and Alessandro’s Wooden Surfboard Workshop Experience

18 . 03 . 22

Last week the workshop was filled with sawdust, interesting stories and good coffee as we were joined by James, Nick and Alessandro, who came to make their own wooden surfboards, here’s how they got on…

The mornings here at Otter always start in the same way, a good chat and catch up over a strong coffee, workshop weeks are no exception, so on Monday we stood just inside our big blue doors and introduced everyone to the week’s schedule. First job is to piece together the frame, which provides the shape we would be building and shaping around over the next five days. It’s a great moment to get to know fellow workshoppers as there is time to chat as pieces are glued together.

Occupying the first set of trestles was James, a newcomer to Cornwall, who had moved from Chalfont St Peter to Falmouth at the end of last year, deciding it was finally possible to make his dream a reality. Fully embracing the outdoors and the Cornish lifestyle he bought himself a converted van, complete with woodburner, that he arrived in each day after parking up somewhere along the coast for the night. Working in boatbuilding, James was clearly comfortable with learning each stage of wooden surfboard making, which was handy as he had chosen to make a big one – the 9’4″ Seasaw, which he intended to hang in the roof of his van, surrounded by lights, when he isn’t surfing it.

Nick, in the middle workspace, would be making a 7’10″ Clipper;a semi-gun style board that he intended for big days at nearby beach Gwithian. Used to getting in the sea everyday, Nick splits his time between working as a marine surveyor, being a dad and surfing, foiling or rowing depending on the conditions at the beach. A keen all round surfer, Nick told us some great stories about his travels and relationship with the sea, so it was great to know that surfing a board he made himself would soon be adding to his accomplishments in the water.

Approaching the workshop from the other side of things was Alessandro, a keen hobbyist and craftsman, and by his own admission a beginner surfer. He brought a great knowledge of woodwork with him and applied his own intricate style, using some of his own tools, blending his skills with our making process. An Italian, now living in Stratford, he was passionate about his food and drink, something we all enjoyed as he made us all espresso coffee using his own machine each day. Wanting to improve his surfing, Alessandro had chosen to make a 7’2″ Coaster, a board suited to progression and a range of waves and conditions.

We are so lucky that every few weeks we get to meet and spend time with a new group of people, who’s various circumstances have brought them into our world, to share experiences and bond over the making process, with everyone bringing their own story and approach to life.

Thanks so much to James, Nick and Alessandro for a truly enjoyable week!

If you would like to find out more information about joining one of our workshops click here.

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