Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grain Wooden Surfboards

While surfing around on the internet I come across some very interesting things, some of which are appropriate to share with you. This is such a find, http://www.grainsurfboards.com/, Grain Surfboards based in Maine, builds hollow core wooden surfboards.
These babies are all wood, not a foam blank veneered with wood
and called a woodie. These boards are built with an internal structure much like an airplane wing, then covered with wood strips and then fiberglass. They make production and custom boards and they make kits. These pics are from one such adventurous person on the Grain Surfboard Flickr site. They say in the instructions that no woodworking experience is needed... yeah, right. They also list a limited number of tools that are needed.
From their FAQ page here's what comes in a kit:
Each kit comes with all the material you need to build your
own board including: board frame, cedar planks and rail strips, wood scraps
(sized for tail blocks, and minor structural blocking), fin box, leash plug,
waterproof glue, fiberglass, and more. Epoxy, squeegee, mixing buckets and
rubber gloves are sent directly from MAS Epoxy to save shipping costs. A
detailed 40-page instruction manual tells you how to assemble it all. Our kits
are put together by hand in Maine from locally grown, sustainably harvested
northern white cedar and a small amount of red cedar for color variation. You
will find planks numbered in a suggested pattern and marked “top”, “bottom”,
“nose” and “tail”. The rail strips are already milled with a nose and cove that
allows them to work around the rails (see the manual).
This idea is interesting, I really would love to make one, I'll put it on the list along with strip built Kayak and Canoe.

From their website on why wood:

Wood Is Good
Wooden surfboards are not a new idea! For hundreds of years, surfboards were solid pieces of wood, hand-hewn from logs. These boards were very heavy and this weight often hindered their performance. We think of our boards as a natural blend of traditional craftsmanship with modern day, more performance oriented designs.
We craft our boards one at a time using predominantely Northern White Cedar, with some Western Red Cedar thrown in for color. The Northern White Cedar comes from sustainable forestry professionals, which means there will be plenty of wood for our boards in the future. These tree length logs are sawn using age-old proven equipment, producing the highest quality boards. The wood is then dried, planed, quality inspected and stored on site. By choosing this wood, we’re supporting small, family owned sawmills right here in Maine. White Cedar is super light, extremely rot-resistant and beautiful to look at. What else could you ask for when building a surfboard? The natural qualities of these tight-grained woods ensure durability, strength, and lightweight rideability for many years.
Many big name surfboard manufacturers are now producing foam boards with a thin veneer to replicate wooden boards. While foam boards have earned a place in the surfing world, you need to remember that foam was not introduced to the sport because of its benefits to the surfer, but because of it’s benefits to the manufacturer.
Once you try a wooden board, you may never go back to foam. You’ll discover that wooden surfboards ride with more energy and carry more momentum down the wave. And while they may seem slightly heavier on land, in water, they feel much lighter due to the inherent buoyancy of wood. A well-constructed wooden board will feel solid underfoot but also transmits a pleasing softness like nothing you’ve ever experienced on a foam board. Wave after wave you’ll find new ways to praise its qualities. Wood is just good.

If you like this and decide to build one, please share pictures with me.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see. Henry David Thoreau

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post you got here. It would be great to read something more concerning that topic. Thanks for sharing this material.
Joan Stepsen
Pharmaceutical tech