The Way It Makes You Feel

08 . 03 . 15

​One of the really special things about sharing what we do through our workshop courses is the fact that we almost inevitably form new friendships.  It’s really lovely when, several weeks or months after helping somebody to build their own surfboard, bellyboard or handplane, we get a postcard through the letterbox or an e-mail with some photos attached, with stories of where friends are riding their new surfboards and how much they’re enjoying them; it gives us an enormous sense of fulfilment.

Last Saturday we ran a bellyboard and handplane shaping workshop, and it was so nice to receive an e-mail on Monday from one of the attendees, SAS raffle prize winner Hero Selwood, telling us how much she had enjoyed her day.  We’ve received complimentary reviews and testimonials in the past, but we felt that this one really encapsulated the joy of making and appreciating the results of your own handiwork beyond the end result.

Hello James,

I want to thank you again for the wonderful course on Saturday. I can’t believe how lucky I was to win the Surfers Against Sewage raffle prize to make one of your boards. I have lusted after one for years and the chance to make one of my own was a real treat.  Since

hearing that I had won the prize and arranging the date, I have been so excited by the anticipation. The reality not only lived up to my expectations, but exceeded them.

I have not done any woodwork since school (which was a while ago now) but you gave me the confidence to give it a go. I was so impressed by your balancing act of leaving me to do everything myself, and yet being there to help me when I made mistakes. I have been on courses in the past where the teacher leaps in and fixes your mistakes so that in the end you don’t feel that the end product is your own work. You managed to arrange it so that the board is all mine.  The end product is perhaps not perfect, but it is all my own work, and every imperfection has its personal story showing my own efforts.  I particularly enjoyed using the hand tools and the texture and scent of the beautiful woods on the board.

Your patient cheerfulness is infectious. I have really enjoyed the whole process – I’m loving the process of sanding and oiling the board at home now and I am not sure I will ever want to finish it…  but I can’t wait to have a go in the water and to show off my board at the next Bellyboard Champs.

Thank you again!


To find out more about our “Build-Your-Own” wooden surfboard courses that run over five days, or our one-day bellyboard or handplane courses, click on “Make” in the menu bar at the top of this web page.

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