Thursday, 23 May 2013

Sunday Sliding

Last Sunday a weak swell trickled its way onto the Kernow coastline, where a northerly wind slashed chop across the faces of the small weak waves this sorry swell produced. Despite the poor looking conditions and since the sun was out, Alexa and I decided to go for a surf as we both had new boards to try. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find some fun waves. They were small and weak but had good shaped peeled nicely across a sandbar for a good distance. Alexa rode her latest board from, a modern 9ft 2” log. It was perfect for the conditions. She caught lots of long waves and had some great nose rides. Alexa was totally stoked on the little waves, the logging feeling, and the performance of the new board. For me it was the second session on the Albacore Alaia, It is not as easy as it looked when I watched Alan Stokes ride one in the Slyder Cup, but a lot easier than a thin wooden alaia! It paddles well and picks up waves like a really fat fish, yet it has so much more glide and instant speed. So, catching waves and standing up is quite straight forward but it is adapting your surfing to a finless board takes a bit of practice. After sliding around and falling off lots of time I started to learn how keep the rail engaged to control the board effectively, and had some good rides. It's a really fun little board and seems to work in even the sloppiest of waves. I am really looking forward to experimenting with it more over the summer.

Mixing up what I ride keeps me motivated when the conditions are marginal and it was good to catch a few waves in the sun. Especially, since the surf and weather is so bad now.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Enjoy Handplanes

Enjoy* "The Beginning of Something Big" from Doug Walker on Vimeo.

It is refreshing to see a business like Enjoy Handplanes doing so well. They use as much recycled materials as possible and the least toxic resin available. Not only is the business model about sustainability but also about fun. When you watch the video, you can tell these guys are really stoked on what they are doing and love passing that stoke onto other people.

I only make handplanes for myself and I have made them from recycled materials. The couple of wooden ones I have created are made from timber off cuts. Trade timber yards always have odds and ends that they sell off cheap. These are end pieces that are less than a metre or timber with imperfections which can be cut up and glued together to make a recycled timber handplane.

I have seen quite a few plywood handplanes around and as a carpenter; I don’t really understand this, unless it is recycled ply. Plywood is made with glue that contains highly toxic formaldehyde and the whole production process of ply is not that green. Basically, plywood is the chicken nugget of the timber world. You are also limited to how thick you can have the handplane and you can’t put much vee or concaves in it. It just seems the easiest way to make the most handplanes for the least cost, irrespective of quality.