Shaping Leave

21 . 09 . 14

Two weeks ago, James was sat in his back garden eating breakfast when Ralph called.  “Would it be possible to come and build a surfboard with you the week after next?” he asked, to which James replied “Of course, no problem at all”.  Ralph is a surveyor by profession, and was just coming towards the end of working out a months notice in one job with the strong possibility that he might end up with a spare week before starting his next position with a new company.  Not exactly “gardening leave”, it turned out more like “shaping leave”.

At such short notice he knew that the chances of his girlfriend being able to take a week off work to go away on holiday were pretty slim, so he called James in the hope that we could engineer a “build-your-own” workshop week for him.  Luckily the timing was perfect and so he’s spent this week with us, crafting himself a hollow wooden 9’4″ longboard (a Seasaw in western red cedar with triple walnut stringers) and camping in the field out the back of the workshop with a view down to the sea.

Ralph’s visit coincided with a week of consistent offshore winds and small, long range ground swell.  We managed to make it in for some really fun surfs after our days in the workshop, which is definitely our favourite way to wash off the sawdust.  Below are a few images from Ralph’s week with us.

Perfect longboard waves to accompany a week spent building and shaping a longboard.

Half way through the week a new order of vinyl gloves arrived which cheered Mat up no end, as the new ones are black (the sort that tattoo artists use) rather than bright blue so should look “nicer for photographs”!

Whilst Ralph made wood shavings, James swept them up.  They’ll be used as protective packaging when we ship out handplane orders as none of us have a pet guinea-pig.

Shaping a 9’4″ longboard means a fair bit of footwork walking up and down the length of the surfboard when shaping the rails.  A perfect opportunity to practice cross-stepping!

Spot the surveyor…

If you suddenly find yourself with a week to spare and fancy joining us to build your own wooden surfboard as Ralph did then drop us a line and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

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