Mark’s Wooden Surfboard Making Journey

08 . 03 . 22

We love the process of making a surfboard and then surfing it, such a simple pleasure, but sharing the experience and watching it come full circle is even more rewarding. Here’s Mark’s story…

Mark is a good friend of the Otter family who moved to Cornwall from Sheffield in 2019. Fairly new to surfing, he was keen to embrace the outdoors and the Cornish lifestyle, and making a wooden surfboard had been a goal of his since meeting James at the Do Lectures some years back.

The time came soon enough and in December 2020, Mark joined us to make a 9’1″ Wicket. Having never before documented the entire surfboard workshop process in much detail, we jumped at the chance for Mark to film his experience, and get a first person perspective of what it’s like for people when they come to make their own wooden surfboard with us. You can watch his video below.

As a follow up, it was planned that we would complete the story by joining Mark for his first surf, on the board he had made himself. The timing was perfect as a small run of swell was rolling in around the same time Mark received his board back from being glassed. We picked a beautiful sunny evening with light offshore winds, grooming the tiny peeling waves at the bottom of the hill from the Otter workshop; ideal longboarding conditions and an awesome setting for the big occasion.

Here are some words from Mark about his first surf:

“It was surreal taking my board out for the first time. The ceremony of its first wax up… It was one of those dreamy calm summer evenings where the sun is just setting and only a handful of us left in the water. No battling the white water – just a merry paddle out and wait for the next set to roll in.

I’d not had much experience of riding a longboard so it took a few attempts to figure out my positioning. But then a set began to move in from the horizon and I began to paddle. It was such a surreal sensation feeling the board gathering momentum with the pulse of the wave. I felt the tail start to lift. It was time to jump up. I remember how stable it felt gliding through the water… I attempted a cross-step. Splosh. Now I just need to learn how to ride this beauty properly.

Having such a beautiful board which I’ve made with my own two hands definitely adds to the anticipation of heading for a surf. My forever board.”


If you would like to find out more about making your own wooden surfboard with us click here.

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