May 7, 2011

Back To The Roots

A long time ago a sport of Kings was crafted in the warm waters of the hawaiian islands and it was called he'e nalu or surfing.
These were the days when a surfboard was made from just a plank of wood.
Well after my trip to Indo and watching first hand my friend Rasta surf one of these, and then giving it a try myself. I was hooked and needed one myself.
When I got back to the mainland I started looking into them. I was not happy with what I found. These planks of wood run about $200 to $300. I was like hell no I can pay that much thats what a modern day board cost. Then I said to myself well Troy you always wanted to shape your own board, here is a perfect opportunity. So with that I was set to do it and here is a little story of my journey of the making of my
First thing was to get my hands on the wood. After research and talking to some people that I know who also make them I went with some pine. $20 was about the cost of the three pieces of wood.
Next was to prepare the wood. I used a jointer to get the side nice and flat. After that I put a grove in the sides so I could make a tongue and groove joint. This would help make the wood more strong. Next was to glue it all together. I let it sit for 3 days to make sure the glue was all the way dry.
Next was to draw my shape. I decided since this was my first one I was going to go simple and true to form or the original ones.
After I had the shape I cut it out using a band saw. Then it was off to shaping it. I used a router to get a nice round rail start. Then I used a hand grinder to shape the concave in the bottom and the curve of the nose. After all that I took to it with a sander (electric and hand powered) to get it all smooth and do the more fine tuning elements.
Last was to sign and seal it so I wont take on water and swell and break. You may ask why sign. Well a surfboard is a piece of art if you think about it. They are all 100% hand made and artist always sign their art. So that why we shapers sign our boards. When I look back I wish I would have numbered it also.
So here is the finished product $30 and two weeks later. I took it out today at newport. Its always funny when you bring something new to the beach. People want to see it and talk to you about it. Today was not the greatest day to use it mainly because it was mainly lefts and with alaia's it always easier to ride them front side or facing the wave so that would mean I go right. But I still had fun, noticed some things I would change on my next one. And yes there will be another one or two or three.
I would like to last add this little insight about me.
"It has been said that we are living asleep, only dreaming we are awake. With surfing I get the feeling of being awake. Surfing is my great escape from the world and into the world. It helps keep me balanced and in-tuned with my body and mind. I will never stop surfing"

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