The first day of our May board-building class began Monday 6 May at Imhoff Farm Village in Kommetjie, Cape Town. Four guys, surrounded by paddocks of bleating goats, neighing horses and cool-looking camels got to grips with their chosen shapes – an 11′ longboard, a 6’4″ fish and two 6′.4″ eggs. Wood surfboard decks and bottoms where laminated, profiles cut and frames built and laminated to the wood. The consensus was that four very beautiful boards are going to come out of the workshop by Saturday when the course ends. The guys were stoked.
Tomorrow is a rail building day and it looks like there will be time for course participants to surf in between the glue drying. Yup, apart from building boards in a rural spot surrounded by mountains, we’re also close enough to cooking waves to allow for a surf in between the work.
Good news is that we have another course in June. Read about it here and sign up before it fills up.
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Here’s a head’s up: there’s a new hang out in the village and the locals love it! Yup, Ours Cafe in Kalk Bay has been open for the last few months and has quickly established itself as the place to get scrumptious pastries, wholesome food and award-winning coffee.
The guys behind it are wonderfully committed – last year they opened up in a converted garage next to the old Dutch Reformed Church (now the Kalk Bay Theatre) and earned a reputation for pastries (I was especially partial to the bacon and sweet chilli sauce croissant) and coffee. Now they’re above the garage in bigger premises renovated with passion and innovation to create a stylish and relaxed feel. The indoor premises open up into a garden-style outside area with trees and views of the sea. Ours is open all day and also for dinner. When I saw Mr Chef himself swimming at Dalebrook the other day he got my mouth watering with the menu for the evening, which included fresh tuna just off the boat. Going home to baked potato and salad just wasn’t the same.
You’ll find them a short way up Rosmead Avenue’s cobbled street, next to Prince Edward Mansions. It’s a stone’s throw away from Kalk Bay Reef, which is fitting because it’s a surfer run establishment. I’m sure I’ve spotted some of the stoke that comes from being spat out of a deep reef pit in the passion of the place.
Of course, in the interests of full disclosure, there is a Groundswell Wood Surfboard hanging on the wall, pictured here. It’s close to my heart to have a board displayed at Ours because I grew up, also a stone’s throw away, in the rectory opposite the reef and still spend a lot of time in Kalk Bay.
This is a 6′.0″ egg shape with a multi-fin set-up – it’s meant to be surfed as a quad or a single fin, but could be set up as a thruster or twin-fin too. Really enjoyed making this one: there was something very pleasing about the shape and curves of the board and so it was satisfying to see it emerge out of the wood shavings. Redwood and poplar.
Here’s an update to a December post about a quad fish being made for The Empire Cafe in Muizenberg: The board has been finished for about a month and is looking splendid hanging on the upstairs wall of The Empire. Feel free to go and have a look and enjoy a drink and/or a meal while you watch lazy lines roll into the bay. Here are some pictures provided by owner Dave Jones (pictured left).
Soon we’ll be posting some extraordinary footage of the 5.6 eggy quad made out of wood (pictured here) shooting down the line popping floaters and then showing that it can also take a hang five just for fun. In this picture, the pocket rocket is being surfed as a twin-fin and being put through its turns with a grab rail carve.