Wooden Surfboards.. Wood is alive! Foam is dead!

Posted by on Dec 30, 2008 in News, Reviews |

We’ve all heard the claim ‘He could ride an ironing board or a door he’s such a good surfer’.
In Taj Burrow’s Video from a few years ago called ‘Fair Bits’. Taj, Kelly and a few others surf an assortment of wooden crafts such as doors and even a coffee table!
It seems that in the last 1-2 years there has been resurgence in riding these old style wooden planks. (Not so much the coffee tables! Ha ha ) They look just like the old Hawaiian wooden boards from centuries ago. Basically these boards look like a plank of wood with a rounded nose and rails.
And incredibly, there are guys out there ripping on them!!!

Heres an amazing  shot of a guy in Barbados in the ’80s riding a piece of ply

It’s a different style of surfing that’s needed, especially with the boards that have no fin. But it really seems to be catching on with surfers all over the world getting into it. Of course there are subtleties in the design that aren’t obvious to the average punter.

You have to admit there is something so aesthetically pleasing about a wooden surfboard.
Balsa, Hollow ply, or solid wood of any variety, It doesn’t matter………when you pick up a wooden surfboard it feels …as Tom Wegener says “Alive!!”
Tom Wegener is a surfboard manufacturer from the Sunshine Coast who has been experimenting with wood in surfboard construction for several years and seems to be having a lot of success with a type of wood called Paulownias . Which is readily available in Australia, does not absorb water and is recyclable.
Tom uses any sawdust and woodchip waste that comes from the construction of these surf craft as mulch in his veggie garden. The leaves of the tree are edible and are being used to feed to cattle.
Yes, Tom is an environmentalist.
Patagonia Surf put together this 4 part video series, which is amazing to watch. It’s all about his involvement with wooden surfboard shaping.
The surfing in these videos is incredible, especially the surfing and style of one Dave Rastovich and Tom doesn’t do too bad himself, with a few long nose rides
In particular he talks about the different styles of wooden boards, single fin longboards, hollow boards and the traditional Alaia design.
Part 4 is my favourite
Check it out below.. Enjoy.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four