Wooden surfboards typically finish about 25% heavier than a foam equivalent, but are much stronger.
The added weight means glide and momentum, but it takes and extra paddle or two to get up to speed to catch waves. You can duck dive a bigger board because they aren’t as ‘corky’ as a foam board and their momentum means they naturally flow and find smooth curves along the face of a wave.
Pro surfer, Alan Stokes, rode a replica of one of his foam surfboards we made for him. You can read his ride report and see him surfing it here.
Wooden surfboards aren’t as ‘corky’ and have more momentum to them than a typical foam surfboard, so always feel very different when compared like-for-like.
We often nudge people to go for some extra length and some extra volume with their wooden surfboard, simply because most people benefit from it anyway.
We’re also thinking about a board that will last a decade or more of solid use, so a good question to sometimes think about is “Where will my surfing be in ten years time?”
We have a number of shapes that a suitable for beginners. You’ll be looking for the mid-length range we have and any surfboard design is typically a compromise.
The larger the board, the easier it’ll be to catch waves and paddle, but the more difficult it will be to manoeuvre.
If you’re unsure though, please reach out and we’ll help guide your decision to get the best surfboard for you.
Once we’ve finished the woodwork, we take it to our trusted laminator to work his magic on the finish.
When we have it back in the workshop, we’ll check it all over and give you a call to arrange collection or delivery.
As soon as you have the board in your hands, it’ll be ready to surf.
Our surfboards are finished with a bio epoxy resin and fibreglass by an expert laminator. This provides a robust, water-tight finish for years of use.
If you ding your board and chip or crack the finish, you’ll be best to repair it like any other ding repair. Take off any fibreglass or resin that is damaged or cracked, sand the surface smooth and then apply another layer of fibreglass and resin. This is best done by a ding repair specialist.
If you chip the finish and damage the wood underneath, you’ll need to remove the cracked fibrelglass and damaged wood first. Then you need to replace the section of damaged wood and replace the fibreglass finish as above. We would recommend bringing it to us to do this if you can.
If you manage to puncture through the fibreglass and wood and actually make a hole into the hollow centre of your board, you’ll need to remove the cracked/broken fibreglass and damaged wood first. Then you need to replace the section of damaged wood, which may require actually taking more wood out to give yourself something to fix to. Then replace the fibreglass finish as above. We would recommend bringing it to us to do this if you can.
If you ding your board and take water onboard, we advise you drill a 10-20mm hole towards the nose of you board through into the hollow of the board, then leave the board stood up on it’s nose with the vent screw left out so that as much water as possible can drain from the board. We would then recommend bringing it to us to repair it.
We believe that anything is possible.
So whilst there may be challenges to particular shapes and ideas for surfboard design, we’re more than happy to experiment and find a solution to make any surfboard shape you’d like.
Probably the most challenging that we’ve achieved with great success, would be our version of the Form ADPT that we made for a project with Alan Stokes. It has quite a few intricacies to the design that make it more complicated to make than our other shapes.
Another challenging project was a 9’8″ big wave gun for Ben Skinner. This board was going to be taken into critical large waves, so we needed to know it would perform, so we got very particular about every element of the deigning and making of it.
You’ll find more details of our shapes on our Boardrack Briefing series on Youtube.
The process is exactly the same when we make a board as it is for a workshop course, so we can’t do it any quicker than you can on a 5 day course.
Each surfboard made on a course has three days of preparation before hand, so each board averages about 70 hours total of woodwork.
This is then taken to our finisher, who works for another 6-8 hours on each board over a period of about 2 weeks.
Sometimes we have a board or two that we have made speculatively for a show, but more often than not, if you’d like a board made by us, you’ll need to commission one.
If you do this, we’ll need to schedule the making of it into our schedule and then allow time for the finishing. We try to work on a 6 month turn around, but this can fluctuate depending on our workload and our finishers workload.
We charge a premium on our commissioned boards because we can only make one at once, whereas we can have up the three boards being made at the same time on a workshop course.
We may be able to save ourselves some time on a few of the making processes, but we find we tend to fuss over the finish shaping for longer.
So if you want James’ name signed on the bottom of your surfboard it’ll cost a little extra.
Otter Surfboards 2023
Registered VAT no. 391 7762 58
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