James arrived in Snowdonia on the Saturday evening, and spent the Sunday before the workshop was due to start setting up a small marquee on the far side of the Surf Snowdonia’s Wavegarden lagoon, next to their wooden glamping pods, and fitting it out as a workshop for the week. In the van he’d taken up trestles, a small bandsaw that we have for mobile workshop events, a fully stocked tool-wall, and of course a couple of our demo boards to surf during the week. The following five days were mostly spent between the canvas workshop, the wave, Surf Snowdonia’s onsite café, and the individual camping pods where James and Ben, who joined him for the week to make his own surfboard, were sleeping.
They woke up each morning and walked around to the other side of the lagoon to get breakfast in the café, then spent the morning working on Ben’s Coaster which gradually grew into a wooden blank that Ben then shaped back into a refined 7’2” rounded pintail. They would walk back over to the café for lunch, sometimes sitting down to eat with Vern Wright-Kotzé, Surf Snowdonia’s retail manager who had organised the week with us and who used to share a house with Mat when they both lived in Jeffreys Bay several years ago. The afternoons were then spent back under canvas working on Ben’s board and happily chatting away about waves and the places that they’d both been lucky enough to visit, before they washed the dust off at 6 o-clock with an hour’s surfing.