“SURPRISE ME”: A Custom Longboard Like No Other
18 . 10 . 19
“Surprise me” is a great challenge to receive from a customer ordering a custom surfboard, and it’s also brave! But that’s exactly what Tom asked us to try and do when he ordered a wooden surfboard earlier this year. He specified the dimensions but when asked if there was anything else that we could do to make the surfboard extra special for him – a bespoke wood lay-up on the bottom for example – his response was “surprise me” and he gave us free reign to do so. Through the course of the commissioning process we’d got to know a little bit about Tom and learned that this board was to be a gift for his wife, so we set to thinking.
We decided on the concept of inlaying a map of a place important to Tom and his wife, the Philippines (the place where she was born and raised and where they first met and surfed together), onto the bottom of the surfboard, using a laser cutter to create the marquetry elements of the map. We’re no strangers to using laser cutters; the internal ribs of our wooden surfboards are cut using a laser for absolute accuracy, and we have often etched detailed designs onto special handplanes and bellyboards. Cutting and inlaying a map into the bottom of a 9’1” wooden surfboard was the largest and most high-stakes application of a laser cutter for us yet, though, because there’s a lot of hours and hard work involved to get to the stage before we even start using the laser cutter. We were excited to rise to the challenge.