Resin on wood: I love seeing the grain stand out when the first brush of resin goes on a new hollow wood surfboard. Beautiful and a really rewarding part of building a wood surfboard.
“Just wanted to say a very big thank you for the amazing surfboard you made & sent up. Its flippen awesome & genuine piece of art!” That’s a quote from one happy customer about a board we made recently. Feedback like this obviously makes us happy and is further motivation to strive to make the most beautiful, finely-crafted and functional hollow wood surfboards that can possibly be made. It’s a life’s journey and we’re always learning. Every day.
Other news from Groundswell Wood Surfboards is that we’re hard at work preparing for the course being held at the beginning of May. Four guys are going to be building some awesome boards in the space of a week – an 11′ longboard, two 6′.4″ eggs and a 6’4″ fish. Stand by for further pictures, either on this website or keep up to date through our Facebook profile.
And I’m really excited about an artist/artisan collaboration with fine artist Kelly John Gough. The board is nearly done and then I’ll be handing it over to Kelly to work some magic. Stand by for pictures soon.
Below are pictures of some of the amazing boards that have been made in the last few weeks. Have a look and if you want to order one, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Groundswell Wood Surfboards, makers of finely crafted hollow wooden surfboards since 2007, will be running a six-day course on wooden surfboard building in May 2013. Those participating will walk away from the course with their own handcrafted and very beautiful hollow wooden surfboard.
The course will take builders through all the theoretical and practical aspects of building a wood surfboard. We’ll look at the different types of timber, the environmental aspects and the design dynamics underpinning wood surfboards. This will be combined with the practical process of crafting a surfboard from a pile of planks into a one-of-a-kind work of art that can be surfed.
Participants can choose from any of the hollow wooden surfboard models we’ve developed and tested at Groundswell Wood Surfboards, which can be viewed here. We can also accommodate custom requirements*.
It’s not essential that you have DIY or woodworking experience as we’ve devised a programme that everyone can follow. Both ladies and gents are welcome. Participants will build their own board (it won’t be done for you), under expert assistance, so you must be prepared to do a degree of work. The course is inclusive of all tools and materials. Lunch will be supplied.
Dates: 6-11 May 2013, 8.30am – 5pm.
Venue: Cape Town. Details of the exact venue will be forthcoming.
Places are limited so if you are interested, please write to email@example.com or call Patrick on 073 232 3043 to register your interest. Questions welcome.
- Tuition: R4,000
- Cost of materials: R2,500-4,000, depending on the length of board ordered
* Custom orders cost R1,000 extra.
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Wood is wood, right? Nope. Just take a look at the grain on this 9’7″ hollow wooden longboard and you’ll understand. Even looking at the rough timber it was possible to see there was going to be a beautiful grain in the piece of Western Red Cedar used for this board, but it wasn’t until glassing that it really started to shine. The lighter colour wood strips are poplar and the contrast works well. Sold at the The Corner Surf Shop, Cape Town’s oldest surf shop.
It’s finally under glass. Sometimes it really has seemed like it was never going to get there and now that it is I feel a great sense of relief. That’s because once the first layer of resin goes on, it seals the hours and hours of woodwork – the measuring, the eyeballing, the planing, the scraping, the sanding, the constant attempt to strike a balance between getting it just right or pushing it over the edge and blowing it. Once the glass is on, there’s no going back. At times, I’ve felt like I’ve blown it; now that the glassing is on, I know it’s good.
This board has been some months in the making. It has a rolled bottom going into a V on the tail, and is made out of striking Western Red Cedar with poplar accent strips. It’s a special one and I’ll be posting the full story soon. In the meantime, here are some pictures that give a hint of what to expect.
Pakalolo restaurant and bar in Hout Bay have an excellent promotion going, in association with Jack Black beer. Visit the bar and buy a pint of Jack Black and you could be in line to win the surfboard pictured here – a beautiful, handcrafted hollow wood twin-keel fish made by Groundswell Wood Surfboards.
Jack Black, a Cape Town based craft beer company inspired by traditional recipes from America to England, have their distinctive logo glassed into the board, which is made from some striking pieces of South African redwood, perfectly bookmarked with character-filled knots and a swirling grain.
All you have to do for your grab at this collector’s item board is to visit Pakalolo – situated at the bottom of Chappies in Hout Bay – and order a pint of delicious and distinctive Jack Black.
The draw takes place at a party on 27 November, so Christmas is definitely coming early for one lucky beer drinker. The more Jack Black you order the more tickets you get.
It’s always interested me how many people are keen to build their own hollow wooden surfboard, but it’s not really surprising. We all built model aeroplanes and boats with kits bought from toy or hobby shops when we were kids and there’s always been a mystique to building something bigger like a boat or kayak. So why not a wood surfboard?
Which brings me neatly to Board in a Box. Groundswell Wood Surfboards has taken five years of experience in building surfboards out of wood and put together a kit that will make it easy for anyone to build their own wood surfboard. The kit comes in a single box (size varies according to the board model you order) and it has all the pre-cut wood and other materials needed to take your board building experience from start to finish. There’s a detailed instruction booklet to guide you through the process and we offer email support throughout the build process. The whole kit is designed so that anyone can build their own hollow wooden surfboard and experience the joy of working with wood and then surfing it.
Click here for more information or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Orders take 2-3 weeks to process. We ship anywhere in South Africa.
This 9’6″ Groundswell hollow wooden longboard with a centre stringer made from pieces of driftwood recently sold from the Corner Surf Shop in Muizenberg and is now hanging in a seaside flat in Mouille Point, where its new owner has given it pride of place on the lounge wall. It’s a beauty; a real collector’s item. Thanks to Byron Loker for the pictures.
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.