Sunday, 5 December 2010
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Friday, 24 September 2010
Recently embarked on alaia project and was lucky enough to have our good friend and talented shaper Steve Croft of http://www.empiresurfboards.com/ to come around to shape it. Decided to build it from Obeche timber due to it's similarity to paulownias and it ease of availability in the UK, you can read a little article I wrote for Drift about the timber here http://www.driftmagazine.co.uk/index.php/archives/6392#more-6392. The finished board looks great but it seems we fell into the trap many have fallen into and made it too thick, so it is not flexing enough.
At the moment, Alexa and I are in France on three week trip. We have so far scored some fun waves whilst exploring Crozon in Brittany, checked the beautiful and chic wine producing town of St Emillion, surfed Hossegor with Dave Rastavich and lucked into scoring perfect point surf in the Basque Country. The weather has been perfect as the waves but now we are sitting out a little storm.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
My mate Chris the Ginger Carpentry Ninja, has already stealthily finished his cedar hand plane complete with rocker, concave and modern rails, whilst I was at work. His is now in the process of being oiled and is just awaiting the fitting of an adjustable velcro hand strap.
Mine still has a bit to go but hopefully will be ready for some testing this weekend.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
In the mean time here is some vintage footage of Malcolm on a Bonzer and if you have ever watched much surfing from the seventies then you will know this is cutting edge surfing for that period of innovation.
Not forgetting a bit of Taylor as well.
Monday, 5 July 2010
See the latest TSP and Andy’s webpage for more.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Friday, 14 May 2010
So, here are a dozen delights you might hear on the night:
Straight to Hell –The Clash
Puff the Magic Dragon – Songs for the Young at Heart, featuring bonnie prince Billy plus Red
Let's Go Surfing – The Drums
Memphis Soul Stew – king Curtis
Close to Me – The Cure
Bumblebee – Stereoscope Jerk Explosion
The Broomstick – Sly Players
Yes Sir' I Can Boogie – Baccarat
New morning – Todd Terje
Misdemeanour – The CB's
Conspiracy – The Higsons
Maybelline – Chuck Berry
The rest of this summers dates are 12th June, 17th July and 28th August.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
This Spring Malcolm will be heading to Europe for an extensive shaping tour.
- Portugal :: May 13 – 22
- France :: May 24 – June 3
- England :: late June through mid July
- UK contact Guy Penwarden at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Portugal and Spain contact Manila Surfboard Design at email@example.com
- France contact UWL Surfboards at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more info check http://bonzer5.com/topic/news/ or have look at my interview with Malcolm from last Autumn on Drift @ http://www.driftsurfing.eu/surf_article.asp?ID=1843.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
Our misguided wisdom allowed us to think that flying to Panama on Christmas day, Heathrow airport would be quiet, as nobody would want to travel then. How wrong we were as when we arrived at the airport the KLM check in area was totally ram jammed full with a throng of people. However, it started going wrong before that. The hotel near Heathrow we stayed at gives free transfers to the airport when you stay there, but I forgot to tell reception we had surfboards. So we arrived in the hotel car park at 6.00 am Christmas day armed with an oversized bag of boards only to be informed that there was not enough room in the mini bus. Therefore, we had to wait for a taxi, making us on the last minute for our flight.
KLM had decided to implement a new check in system, which blatantly was not working so after combining queuing with a bit of defensive pushing we managed to get to the check in counter. The guy, that was checking us in was to be honest in the slow boat and decided to tell us we could not check in our boards in. Eventually we managed to check in the boards and all of the luggage. After more queuing to pay for our boards and waiting for the slow boat guy again, we just about made our flight.
When we got on the flight and settled into our seats a thickly accented voice came from behind us, "Hey, you are the guys who had the surfboards at the airport." He then went on to introduce himself as Ricardo and explained he was a surfer from Panama City. We chatted on the flight about how he had ended up living in England for a year and he gave us the low down on a whole heap of Panama's lesser-known surf spots. Once outside Panama City airport he and his father (Ricardo Senior, who was picking him up) invited us to their house for a Christmas Day party and gave us with there address. At first, we were keen to go but after the jet lag kicked in and the reality, that going to a party in a strange country where you do not know anybody or anything about the place is not possibly the best idea. Therefore, we opted to relax at the backpackers and prepare for the three weeks of adventure ahead.
During our time in Panama, we found the country to have an array of fantastic waves, an amazing culture and history; it was safe and beautiful with amazing wildlife and most of all the people to be very friendly. Disappointed to be leaving we left everything to the last minute and almost missed our flight again.
Entering Panama City, we soon realised that our map was rubbish to say the least and there was a distinct lack of road signage. We eventually found ourselves on a toll road going the wrong way so after paying the toll fee and getting some directions we were able to wave to the same toll women fifteen minutes later coming the other way still not knowing which way to go. Eventually we overcame the lack of orientation, negotiated the traffic jams whilst avoiding the gaudy former US school buses seemingly hell bent on destruction, to thankfully arrived in time and one piece at the airport. Not last to check in, but almost.
Joined to Colombia by the Darien Gap Panama has become a gateway for smuggling cocaine out of South America, so the airport has an army sniffer dogs and soldiers. Queuing up we obviously looked bedraggled from arriving late and unwashed after a six-hour drive from down the coast. Therefore, the dog handlers decided we warranted not just one inspection by the sniffer dogs but several. They came by so many times, that in my stressed out state I became paranoid they were going to find something we did not even have.
Glancing over my should expecting to see another sniffer dog smelling my sullied feet, instead there was the big friendly face of Ricardo Senior who by coincidence was on the same flight heading to Europe on business. Ricardo Junior was there also. By now we were very comfortable in Panama and regretting not visiting the Ricardo's' for Christmas or finding the time to go surfing with Ricardo Jnr. However, we shared our regret with them and swapped details for the future.
Then on the flight, we began to regret our mistake further as we ended up sat next to Ricardo Senior who entertained us all the way through the flight with his flamboyant Latin character. He chatted up the airline hostess and told us tales from his amazing life. It turns out he had been an airline lawyer then started Air Panama before selling it to become a politician and ambassador to the US. Apparently, he is very famous in Panama and a personnel friend of the president. He regaled one story of how he got so drunk on a flight to the US that when he arrived he accidently insulted a senior senator and had given himself alcohol poisoning. At the end of our flight, he gave us his business card and told us to stay in touch.
If everything had gone to plan before on the way to our flights and we had been on time, then we would never have met the two Ricardo's by such amazing coincidence.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Wood and EPS have been gaining popularity over the last few years. When combined correctly they can result in eco friendly, durable, flexible and lightweight performance-orientated boards, such has Dan Hess Surfboards. Here in Cornwall Mark Roberts has been beavering away creating his technique for this type of equipment and his boards tick all the right boxes - you can read more @ http://www.driftsurfing.eu/surf_article.asp?ID=1862.
Friday, 19 February 2010
Even though this winter has been very cold, there have been some good days of surf. I managed to snag a good weekend of surf a couple of weeks ago – scoring a south coast reef on a chilly but sunny Saturday and a few fun ones at my local rivermouth here on the north coast on the Sunday. It proved the perfect chance to put my now Rhino wetsuit through its paces and there is an entry on the drift blog about it; http://www.driftsurfing.eu/index.php/archives/4276
Then following on from the article I wrote about the effects of polyurethane on the environment http://www.driftsurfing.eu/surf_article.asp?ID=1838, I have been looking into wood and polystyrene as materials for surfboards. I interviewed Mark Roberts from Glass Tiger about his EPS/wood hybrid construction before Christmas. I also interviewed Mark Dickenson of Planck Surfboards/Fluid Concept Surf shop in Scarborough and Rob Lions of Royal Surfboards in Newcastle. Originally, the three interviews were intended to provide the background to an article called 'Reusable's and Recyclables' about EPS and wood. But Rob's and Mark Dickenson's feedback about the experiences riding and making EPS/Epoxy surfboards were so in depth and provided so much food for thought that they merited there own article. Coffee Cups and Surfboards can be read on Drift @ http://driftsurfing.eu/surf_article.asp?ID=1858 and the innovative Glass Tiger Surfboards will feature in an article I hope to finish next week.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
It is already over two weeks since I returned from the serenity of the tropics to my frost bitten home of Cornwall and finally I am getting back into the swing of the things. Although not quite as bad as the apocalyptic scenes of 28 days later, recently I do feel a bit like a zombie as I am going through the daily grind of the 9 to 5.
This morning I felt I was finally home as whilst walking the dog on Crantock beach the sun was shining through a clear blue sky, showing what a great place Cornwall is, and there was some reasonable surf. Even though I gave it a miss today due to the strengthening cross-shore wind, the banks looked good so definitely some good waves to look forward to when the right conditions transpire.
I also opted for some retail therapy of the practical kind this week by buying myself a new winter wetsuit as my dilapidated one from last winter was not doing much for my surfing enthusiasm during the cold snap we had and to go one better than that I decided to order a new board next week! In terms of getting around to doing things I have been more confused and disorganised than usual. A problem only compounded by my ambition to do more than I can, which has stacked up due to my holiday. I finally got around to finishing something this week and it is now on drift at http://www.driftsurfing.eu/index.php/archives/4047. Hopefully I'll finish the kitchen I just plastered next week.
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Baler is something else all together though. Four hours from the nearest town, you arrive in Baler after an arduous trip through the Sierra Madre Mountains that sandwich Baler between the Pacific Ocean. The mountains covered in lush jungle and rainforest still today is a hide out for the Communist rebels of the NPA. The land around Baler is a series of waterways, rice paddies, jungle and coconut groves where the people live a simple life. Sat in a wide bay, which stretches so far you cannot even see the end on days of low cloud. Throughout the bay, there is a fine selection of waves but many of which take some determination to get too. Some working under different conditions there are slabbing reefs, a barrelling yet remote left point and some point like peeling rivermouth waves. Whilst we were there we had two head high swells where we had the opportunity to surf some of the reefs where you find you way out to the reef through a series of mangroves. When the reefs and river mouth were not working there always seemed like there was something small to catch at the beach on a longboard, except the locals all have tiny yellow beaten up old shortboards, which they manage to launch through a series of big turns and airs on the sloppiest of waves. It seems to me the Philippines are not as fickle as people say there was a big swell in Baler a few days before we arrived, two while we were there, another big swell this weekend and one next week. You just need to know where to be, at what time of year and find the waves for yourself. It is not like other places with a surf camp out front or a queue of locals waiting to take you to the waves.
Talking of the locals, I was a bit concerned about security issues in the Philippines as they have a reputation for crime but the Philippines is as safe as anywhere, once you have left Manila. The local people everywhere we went were kind, welcoming and friendly which is the embodiment of the Filipino spirit, Mabuhay. This is a lot like the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii and we made many friends. The Filipino people's generosity and the beauty of their country overwhelmed us.
Now I am home I have an article to write for Huck about Baler. Another environmental surfboard article for Drift as well a couple of other things I have in mind for them. There is also a Paipo Glide story in the pipeline and I am just awaiting the photos. I am also looking into doing an article about the strange weather patterns of the last two years. In addition, I hope to have time finish my journalism course and write about more non-surfing topics.