Sunday, September 23, 2012

If I build it, I will surf.

Flipping through one of my wife's magazines led me on a tangent that lasted all summer. I read a one-liner about Jack Johnson's brother making traditional Hawaiian surf boards from reclaimed wood. This turned into a few online articles, followed by one misleadingly simple youtube video, which turned into a garage full of sawdust and polyurethane crusted fingernails. (I was a bit stubborn about doing most things by hand, initially. That made it a much slower, albeit enjoyable, process).

Finally, it has led to a day on the water learning how to surf. Having never done so before, I think I am blessed to not know how easy a foam board would be. Somehow, it makes the goal of standing on my heavy, wooden board seem more attainable.

Here are the photos from the summer.
Wood: Bass planks. Initially 1" x 6-8" x 8', Cedar strips also 8'
Bought from Yukon Lumber Company.
All tools provided by B. Murray, cousin of The Man in the Striped Pajamas
My board's final dimensions: 7'8" in length, 1" deep, 21.5" wide, finless
Anthony's board is more conventional with his last name spelled in Hieroglyphs. He added a fin and a leash. It is very nice.

On my first outing surfing, I crouched on one wave for about 3 seconds. I body boarded a bunch in, but then the waves became a "kiddy pool," so I was told.  I'll have to go back when there is enough power to lift me.
Picking it up.
bring it home.

ready for wood glue

sanded and shaped with the design burned in


anthony playing catchup

looking pretty nifty
dead man walking

waxed and ready

I learned that shirts aren't just to protect from the sun and cold water,
but also from serious chafing... my nippys hurt.

It was so awesome. Can't wait to go back.
Maybe someday soon I'll talk like this guy...... and get soooo pitted.


  1. I love a good woodworking project. I don't think this one is for me though, my nearest beach is on the Gulf and the "waves" there don't lend themselves to surfing.
    Great job!

    1. This was my first real experience with woodworking. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed my time sanding and staining. I think I know what I'd like to do next :)

  2. Dang. Wooden surfboard. Hardcore! Love it.

    1. we'll see if I can actually surf it. I'm motivated enough, but motivation and buoyancy are not the same things :)

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