Monday, December 28, 2009

Still Recovering...

Happy holidays!  Back in early December my knee was feeling pretty normal...a little weak from inactivity, but it bent and there was no pain!  So I went surfing and took it easy.  Got a few days in the week of the 14 and even got a few overhead set waves from the swell that was coming through.  Awesome...I thought  I was back!  But no, too much activity for the old knee and it swelled up like a grapefruit and refused to bend much the following day.  Nice.  So after a week of inactivity and some PT sessions,  the swelling is  abating and I have most of  the movement back.   So I'm looking at probably a couple of months with no surfing and super light activity.  I guess I'll have time to do some more shaping.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friends Doin' It


Mitch on  a 6-0 channel bottom alaia

Bobby loggin it

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recent Swell...

photo by Bill

Go Mitch!

Ventucky rollers


Two six footers with the same width, but the one on the right has the wide point moved back to nearly the mid point.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Recovery Mode

Not much has been happening lately.  Built a few boards, but mostly I've been in recovery mode.  No the post Thanksgiving food-coma recovery, but post arthoscopic knee surgery for a torn lateral mensicus.  This was an old injury and I can't even remember how it happened.  Finally decided enough was enough and went to see an orthopaedic surgeon.  I had surgery at the end of October and am still not back to 100 percent.  It is amazing how fast the muscles atrophy.  I did  a some surfing about 5 weeks after the surgery and I felt like a stiff old man, confident enough to take off on only the smallest ankle-biters!  It's getting better back in the water, but still a long way to go to get back to my pre-surgery level. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


After seeing some alaia boards a few years back I thought they looked like a fun building project.  So I bought some fence boards or scavenged old cedar house siding and glued up  a few blanks, and copied some shapes I had seen.  I make a bunch in the 4 to 5 foot range and started riding them as belly boards.  The funny thing is, these little boards have become my favorite type of alaia!  I grab my 4 footer and fins and head out into either a nice clean day or mushy high tide small surf - it does not matter.  I always find some sweet peelers either inside or outside in the lineup and usually get a couple nice little barrels.  They are so much fun and super simple.  They are much faster than a thick foam boogie board and way easier to paddle out and under bigger breaking waves.  I almost always carry one or two in the car. 

Fun tools for shaping

Alaia for Mitch

Heres a 6-0 alaia with a channel bottom and chined rails for Mitch up in Ventura.  Have fun with it!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Redwood Swallowtail

Here are a few pics of a recent board, an 8-0 swallowtail in redwood.
The finished board:

And the rails:

The blank in 2x material:

All finished:

  Note the precision cutting tool.

Roughed out:

The rails will be pinched 50/50:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Tool

I've been using my 4" rotary sander to make my channels lately, but it is noisy and dusty, so I though I'd make a hollowing plane.  I found some white oak in the rafters and roughed out the plane in about an hour.  I had an old orphaned iron i'd been using as a scraper, so I reshaped it with a slight radius and put an edge on it. 

After some finishing, it looked like this:


Nice!  Even better, it works quietly and  makes no dust.

Little Visitor

This little guy was hanging out with the iguana.  Iggy did not seem to mind and the cats strangely ingored him.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

6-0 Thin Alaia

Here is the latest 6 foot, 5/8-inch thick alaia.  For  me, this is  the most succesful shape, as it paddles well and does not feel like you are trying to ride a 2x6. 

A deep single channel in the last 1/3 of  the board along with hard chined rails and some flat bottom sections work really well.  You almost forget that there is no fin! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Channel Bottom

7" 11"
Nice little bottom channel

9-6 Big Boy

Here are some pictures of a redwood 9-6 alaia that I made for myself. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

7-2 Tear Drop Alaia

Here is the latest redwood alaia, 7'2", 17.5" wide and 1" thick.  Enjoy it Stu!

Monday, August 31, 2009

8-0 Swallowtail

Here is the latest alaia.  8-0 swallow tail in redwood, 1" thick, 17.5 wide.  (Sorry about the date...the camera is broken!)

Two New Shapes

Redwood, 8-0 swallow tail destined for a wall and a 7-0 tear drop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Top Skins

I ended up planking the top in sections.  This has the advantage of being able to reglue edges that originally did not stick, but the eccentric clamping can also induce some twist into the board.  Yeah, I got a little twist in the tail, but fortunately, the bottom plank is thick enought to thin and balance things. out.  Stoked!