Monday, April 10, 2017

7'6" Bluegill Style Board

7' 6" x 20" x 2.5" more or less.  EPS free blank from a friend with 4/6 top and bottom epoxy glass job, mahogany fins, cedar rails salvaged from my 1950's garage door frame.  I'm saving the clear western red cedar panels for use as skins for a future hollow board.

Friday, October 14, 2016

New 5'6" alaia for belly riding

I really love riding prone.  I do it more than regular standup surfing.  Its a whole different world when you are on your belly, your nose just inches above the water.  And every day is big!
 This board has a built up nose and rails, which give it some nose rocker that helps with a steep drop in.  The rolled rail and the tail board give the board a bit of stiffness, so they don't break as easily as a flat alaia.  

When the glue is set, the side rails get chamfered on the inside and the thickness will be zero at the tail.  The nose block gets lots of shaping on the inside, so that there is a smooth transition from the deck to the nose and tops of the rail.  Because of the thicker rail, I'll put two tiny half moon fins just to give the rails a bit more bit in a steep face.  
This is the original model which got reshaped 4 or 5 times until i was happy with the rails.  I ended up with some pretty wide chined rails in the nose section. You can see the nice curves that the nose and rail have where they meet the deck.  This board developed stress cracks where the top rail has a joint.  The new board has a one piece rail to eliminate the joint.  

Sunday, April 24, 2016

7-6 Alaia

I made this for a friend last year, based off of published information from the Bishop's Museum website.

Phil looks pretty stoked!

New Log

My son came home one day with a really nice long board and immediately told me he was going to trade it in for something sportier.  So of course, I buy the long board.  I have only ever purposefully sought out and bought a long board one time.  All my other long boards seem to find their way to me, as either gifts, or whatever.  This board is 10' 2", 3 5/8" thick and 23" wide.  It was shaped by Scott Raymond Henry.  Total beast, but fun!


We had a fantastic week in Reykjavik Iceland in March of this year.  We weren't sure what to expect, but nearly all of our experiences were great.  We stayed downtown in a wonderful old hotel near the harbor, which is very scenic and functional .


The town is colorful and with endless geothermal energy and greenhouses, Iceland grows veggies, greens, fruit and beautiful flowers year round.  Imagine eating fresh strawberries for breakfast when it is snowing and 20 degrees outside!

The city has several wonderful thermal pools that are only a few dollars to use for the day.  A typical facility has 2-3 large indoor and outdoor pools and numerous hot tubs of varying temperature in both salt and fresh water.  Nice.

Reykjavik is full of great cafes and restaurants, all with great food and of course alcohol.  I quickly found a favorite local toasted porter.  Yum.  Lots of live music too, that is if you can start your evening out around midnight!  You may have heard of the famous hotdog stand downtown.  We had a late night hotdog here....i'm not sure why they are so famous but they serve about 200,000 a year! They are good, but, for me, not worth eating again! Oh, try the Minke whale.  Pretty dang good.

We spent a couple of days out in the interior, riding horses, visiting glaciers, water falls and the great rift zone.  Iceland sits on top of the mid-Atlantic ridge spreading zone, and thus is growing yearly by several inches.  The rift zone is characterized by a several mile wide area of down dropped blocks, with a very large lake in the middle of the low spot. Essentially a massive sag pond.  Each side of the zone is characterized by tensional faulting in the basaltic lava flows, and submarine lava flow are visible (below). Very cool!

Gulfoss waterfall

All of Reykjaviks water is glacially derived (no surprise).  The glacier is located more that 80 km from the city, and it takes the water about 400 year to travel underground to where the production wells are located. Needless to say, Iceland tap water is really good!

We did splurge and spend a night out at a very remotely located hotel by the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.  What the internet pictures and the sales ads don't tell you is that the spa is co-located with a geothermal power generation facility!  It is clear on Google Earth if you know what you are looking for.  With the power plant, hotel and spa at your back the landscape was pretty rugged and eerie.

Really nice, private hot pools at the hotel.  The pools are all natural and the bottom is coated with 6-8 inches thick of a white silica ooze.  The lava is rich in silica.  As the naturally 135 degree hot water is produced in the wells and transported to the pools, the silica comes out of solution and ends up on the bottom.  Most everyone just scoops up gobs of it and spreads it on their body!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 10 Simms finally done

I've had this out for two sessions now in 3-4' surf.  It paddles well and is definitely fast.  I'm still working on finding the sweet spot, but that will come with time.  Too far forward, the fins release and it gets squirrley, and too far back it does not want to turn. Ray Meek aka Stingray did a nice epoxy glass job and did  cool old school leash loop.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

5-10 Mini Simms Part 3, off to the glasser

Here is a bit of construction history:

2012.  Here is the start of my new simms style board.  The bigger simms is really fun, but it has so much rocker that it needs bigger/jucier waves to really work.  This smaller one will be flatter so that it will work better in smaller, crappy summer surf. 

Ingredients: (1) sheet of 1/4" sandeply, ripped in half, (1) 2x4x8 clear redwood ripped into strips and two nice keel fins. 

Nose blocking going on.  I added a nice strip of hardwood to contrast with the soft wood ply.

 Bottom skin with the first rail strips in and the rough-cut ribs ready to shape.


 The ribs are in and the rocker table is set up so next the rail strips go on.

Blocking for the fins. At this point, I lay a batten across the top of the ribs and check for fairness of the deck line, especially near the nose. I'll make minor adjustments to the rib now before the rails go on. 

Finally got a bit of time to work on the board.  Here's the progress:

 Ready for the top skin.  The top of the rail wood is all planed down to accept the deck.

I built a center truss beam in-place after the ribs are installed, while the assembly is still in the rocker table.  This little stick beam replaces the conventional solid keel.  It is very stiff and very light.  I've also started adding left over bits of 1/4x1/4" stock to the ribs for additional gluing area for the top skin.

 This is the rear with the blocking for the fins.

 I'll glue on a solid tail block once the top skin is on.

 You can never have too many clamps when the top skin goes on.  When I test fitted and clamped the skin on, the right half of the ply skin broke away from the hardwood decorative stringer I had glued into the skin.  So I glued on the left half, and the other half will go on in a few days.

Gluey, gluey, clampy, clampy.

September 2015:

Finally, all sealed and ready for the glasser.  Hey, it only took like 3 years to get to this point!

As always, this will get a single layer of 4 ounce cloth and epoxy resin.  Fin set up is twin with a tiny trailer near the tail.  The fins will be epoxied into the grooves after the lamination coat.  This is a nice clean method, and in case the fin breaks, the skin or glass job is not damaged.  I would just rout out the groove again and install a new fin.

Here are the fins.  I had made a small set (bottom) for the board, but a shaper friend convinced me to use the full sized fins on the top.  I tend to underfin a lot of my boards so I agreed to try it.

They are single foiled and only about 3/8" thick.  I thought this was way too thin, but my friend John Cherry guaranteed they would perform, and yes they do!  The trailer is in the middle.  It is only about an inch high and 3" long, but it makes a huge difference in performance, giving significant hold and drive on a bottom turn and taking out any tail wiggle that is typical in a twin fin set up.

Deck and side

Ok, more pictures to follow after she's all glassed up and shiny!