Otter Wooden Surfboards in – ‘The Art of Making’

15 . 02 . 23

Time flies doesn’t it?! In an ever changing, fast paced, crazy world, the reasons why we do what we do, remain the same…

Our values are something that inform our day to day here at Otter Surfboards, and are a huge part of what we hope to share with everyone who wonders through our big blue doors, especially during our surfboard, paddleboard, bellyboard and handplane workshops.

After all the ups and downs of the past few years, looking back at this 2016 film, by our friend Al at Tiny Dog Creative; helped us to see that we are still very much in the surfboard business for the right reasons. The film profiles James, (Otter Surfboards founder), Nick (forestry), Chris (maker) and Mat (photographer), as they talk about their relationships with making, wood, nature, surfing, creativity and friendship.


“I started Otter Surfboards because I was passionate about working with wood, so a life for me without making things out of wood is completely incomprehensible. A huge part of why we pick the wood we do is because we want the woodlands all around us to remain healthy and outlast us.”


“I’ve aways been interested in wood since I was a kid, a lot of forestry timber goes into fairly unglamorous things. When you actually see it going into products that people look at and think, ‘wow look at that’, thats a very pleasing thing to see.”


“I’ve always really enjoyed making things and being in the sea, it combines two things that I really enjoy, and we get to work in a flexible way. I feel lucky to be able to work with wood because it’s one of the most beautiful materials. So it doesn’t matter whether you are on a wooden surfboard, bellyboard, handplane or foam board, or swimming. What matters is people get in the sea and enjoy it, and connect to something that is better than what we are.”


“I love taking photos for Otter, it gives me such a rich subject matter. Everything has a story to it, everything is really beautiful – the boards, the beaches where we surf. But its still a group of friends getting up early, meeting at the beach, theres still that excitement of what the waves are going to do. You couldn’t tell those stories with normal surfboards, those stories wouldn’t really exist.”


“For me all of the things that I do, they put me in a place where i’m living of the moment. So whether it be when you’re in the woodland and you are surrounded by the noise, the smells and the feel of the woodland under your feet. Or whether you are making something in the workshop and you are focused on that one thing, you don’t have capacity to think outside of what happens beyond that one moment, that is what I am in constant pursuit of, and that is why I do what I do.”

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