We limit numbers on each workshop and pride ourselves on being able to guide anyone of any ability through our courses. In fact, we often find those with less experience make better listeners.
We’ll provide all the tools and PPE that you’ll need for your making.
You will be on your feet for most of the day and we’ll have aprons to wear for the messy bits, so just wear something you’re comfortable in.
Our one-day workshops for bellyboards and handplanes start at 10am and normally wrap up around 4pm, depending on how much sanding you’d like to do.
Our week long workshops start at 9am on the Monday morning and finish around 5pm on the Friday, so staying somewhere close-by would be good on the Sunday and Friday night.
Many of our previous workshoppers have driven home on the Friday evening, but unless you live close-by, it’s not something we’d recommend as you’ll probably want to unwind for a few hours to fully absorb the week you’ve just had.
Each day starts at 9am at the workshop.
Monday is fairly relaxed and normally finished around 4pm.
Tuesday is rail day and we finish between 5 and 6pm depending on progress.
Big Wednesday is the day we have to get the decks glued down before heading home and typically finish between 7 and 8pm.
Thursday and Friday are for shaping and are more relaxed again, finishing between 5 and 6pm.
We normally go for dinner as a group on Thursday or Friday to celebrate and unwind from the week we’ve all just shared.
On our handplane and bellyboard courses we provide lunch and snacks for the day. Lunch is usually a vegan pie or a locally made pasty, but let us know if you have any specific requirements.
For our longer courses, we visit different eateries throughout the week, so we’ll ask you to pay for your own lunches. Although Wednesday is pasty day, and we’ll provide those.
With our handplane and bellyboard workshops, you’ll head off with your freshly sanded board and a bottle of oil to apply at home. Don’t worry, we’ll give you a guide and some instructions for this so you can look after your board for years to come.
For our surfboards and paddleboards, the resin finish will still need to be applied, so we keep hold of them and take them to Paul, our trusted laminator. He tries to work on a 6 week turnaround for us, but this can vary depending on his schedule. Once we have it back in the workshop, we’ll reach out to you to arrange collection or delivery. So, whilst you won’t walk away with your board, you’ll likely have a broad grin and a good excuse to head back to the workshop in a few weeks time.
Life happens, so we’ll understand.
If your postponement is due to Covid 19 UK guidelines, we will happily reschedule your course at no extra cost.
For other postponements:
If you let us know six or more weeks before the date your course is due to start, we will happily reschedule your space for a more suitable time in the future at no cost to you.
If you have to let us know at short notice (less than six weeks before your course starts), we will need you to pay a 20% postponement fee.
If you decide to cancel your booking at any time, we will retain 30% of any money paid to cover the material cost of your workshop.
We do what we can to ensure our courses are suitable for everybody.
That being said, we do ask that anyone joining us under the age of 18 is accompanied by an adult.
We have had family groups join us with children as young as six, but it often takes a fair bit of extra energy from all participants to make sure we keep to the daily targets.
If you’re unsure of which of our models to make or commission, or you’d like a custom shape, we’re more than happy to line up a phone or zoom chat to discuss your options.
Either give us a call on 01209 700070 or drop us an email
You can book always a surfboard workshop by only selecting the date you’d like and we’ll contact you to run through all your board decisions.
As much as you’d like….custom shapes, custom timbers, custom finishes.
With our bellyboards and handplanes, you walk away with your board before oiling it, so you’re welcome to add any artwork you’d like to your board.
For our surfboards, we can help guide your creativity before your course starts to get you what you’d like. For example, we’ve created custom wood inlays, spray finishes, natural stains, printed artwork and even a little shou sugi ban (burning the wood) before the resin finish is applied. These often require a conversation before your course begins, so reach out as soon as you have any ideas.
During the week itself, you can decorate your board however you’d like and we can help guide this.
We normally stamp and sign the surfboards at the end of the week and this is a great time to include any special messages or sentients to your board.
One of my favourite that a customer once engraved into his board is “By the sea, all worries wash away”
On our bellyboard and handplane making days, we limit our spaces to 8 people, though if it’s all bellyboards, we max out at 6, to ensure everyone has the needed space and support for their making.
For our surfboard courses, we limit the making to three surfboards at once. Some people like to share the experience and make boards together, so techinically we could have up to 6 people in at once.
If you’d like to book a group with us, we may well be able to open up a specific date for you, so drop us an email and we’ll see what we can do.
If you join a surfboard or paddleboard workshop, you’ll be invited to our AGM every year. We love to reconnect with our workshoppers and share stories of where they’ve been with their boards and the memorable moments they have had with them.
For our bellyboard and handplane workshoppers….we’re working on it.
For each surfboard workshop, we make a deck and bottom skin, 20 rail strips, nose and tail block and the internal framework.
This all takes approximately three days for each board and it means that when you come in on Monday morning, we’ll be ready to start gluing everything together.
We often get asked this question as people are just starting their course, or if they are seriously considering joining us. Its a natural fear to have.
The answer is no.
We make sure to limit the amount of surfboards being made at any one time so that we can provide the best support and guidance. We have had people through our course who openly admit to not having confidence in their abilities to use their hands and we have helped them make beautiful and functional surfboards.
Our aim is to help anyone and everyone to enjoy the process of making their own wooden surfboard. So far, so good.
Otter Surfboards 2023
Registered VAT no. 391 7762 58
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