Summer Saturdays

30 . 08 . 15

The British summer holidays are bellyboard season; that time of year when old plywood boards are pulled out of the backs of sheds and garages, dusted off and carried out to waist deep water to catch a whitewater wave back to shore on.  These four foot by one foot surfcraft are as quintessentially British as eating an ice-cream behind a wind-break, and have a loyal following that spans generations, demonstrated perfectly by the huge popularity of the annual World Bellyboard Championships that are held at Chapel Porth beach early every September.

Throughout the summer holidays we run regular one-day Saturday workshop courses offering people the chance to spend a day with us crafting their own bellyboard or bodysurfing handplane – both of which we consider to be essential tools for any surfer to allow them to make the most of every opportunity to enjoy the sea in the summer months.  The offcuts rack here in the workshop swells throughout the year until summer rolls around and demand for our weekend workshops causes us to get busy turning all of the lengths of timber left over from making our wooden surfboards into handplane and bellyboard blanks, gluing up our own plywood from thin veneers and forming them to the desired rocker-profile in our specially made presses.

This last weekend we had a very busy workshop, with five friends joining us hot-off-the-back of a day’s bodysurfing tuition at Watergate Bay to each make themselves a handplane, a mother and daughter joining us to make bellyboards as well as Jez from Cornwall Outdoors who we hope we’ll be seeing at the Bellyboard Champs in a fortnight’s time, competing on his new bellyboard.  We love setting up our stand at the event and having so many people stop by throughout the day with the bellyboards that they’ve made with us in the past, and this year we hope to see more than ever.  Maybe 2015 will be the year that an Otter bellyboard carries its rider to victory, and a world title?  We certainly hope so.

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