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I have been an avid surfer for the last 8 years. I no sooner got involved in this sport than I decided to make my own. My preferred material is, not surprising, wood and because the boards were originally wooden I wanted to maintain my link with this natural material and links to the origins of surfing but with a modern approach.
I use UK grown Cedar and I also use some reclaimed wood which gives an appealing contrast to the finished surfboard. For me using a wooded board is a completely different surfing experience the boards are so smooth in the water and have this lively energy about them that makes them a pleasure to surf!
Courses and kits
If you fancy building your own surfboard please gets in touch I can lay on a course for you. I can be flexible with when suits you even doing it over a weekend if you have limited time off. The course starts from £600 for a 3 day board building course for a six foot board there is an additional charge of £25 per foot over six feet. At the end of the three days you have a board that is ready to be taken away and fiber glassed or oiled depending on your preference. You can also leave the board with me and I can fiber glass it at an additional charge of £300. I have templates ranging from five and a half feet right up to 12 foot paddle boards. If you have any questions or would like to book a course please get in touch.
If you don't have time to do a course you can order a kit from me. The kits start from £350. These include all the timber needed to make your very own board and a full instruction manual with all information on glues and construction. You can also buy templates from me in pdf format just head to the online shop.
Step 1 – Gluing the frame and wood selection
The internal structure of these boards are made from a plywood frame, these are designed using 3d graphics programmes. This frame is what gives the board its rough shape once the deck and rails are glued to it. I use cedar, pine and other woods to create these beautiful book matched boards. The frame is glued down to the bottom deck first on a table set to the board’s rocker and once the glue is set it keeps this shape
Step 2- Building the rails
The rails are constructed using traditional boat building techniques which have been adapted to suit building surfboards. Bead and cove strips are glued up to the internal frame giving the appearance of a piece of solid wood. Using this method is fast, it reduces the amount of wood wasted and also keeps the weight down. Solid nose and tail blocks are added here and the nose for extra strength.
Step 3 – Shaping
Once the top is glued on the board is know at the “blank” stage. You can order boards at this stage if you don’t have time to do a course or space to build your own from a kit. Using this method of building is great as the board doesn’t require huge amount of shaping once it is all glued together as the internal frame dictates most of the shape. Most of the shaping is done using a hand plane, spoke shave and it is finished with a sander.
Step 4 - Glassing
The board is finished with environmentally friendly epoxy with UV protection in it to protect your board from the sun. All the hardware is added in at this stage including fin plugs and fin boxes and also a specially adapted leash plug. The leash plug has a breathable gore tex membrane in the bottom of it, this allows for air to escape from the board equalising the internal pressure but does not allow any water in. The board can be sanded to a medium grit finish or can have a third coat of epoxy and sanded up to a high gloss finish depending on preference.