In short: glue rails, a top and bottom deck either side of a wooden frame. In between, add fibers to strengthen the board, and perhaps a foam core so you don't stomp it to pieces. Finally, treat it with a coating that can handle salty seawater.
Sounds easy? Building a wooden board by hand is actually quite a challenge. The process starts with computer-aided design that allows us to play with shape and volume before actual production starts. Our hollow wooden boards come with a core frame of plywood and an outside layer of low-density wood, primarily balsa. We use other types of wood for decoration and additional strengthening.
Every element of the core frame, decks and rails, including double curved 3D shapes, are cut, bent and shaped by hand, assembled piece by piece and glued into a blank form, before actual board shaping, glassing and plug placement takes place. The result of this hard work, which takes 6-8 weeks, is a beautiful, durable and more ecofriendly board.
We love plans and grand visions and would feel lost without them. Every board that we build is made to achieve high Quality, but what does that really mean?
To us it means high levels of:
We use wood for our hollow boards - a natural product that is renewable and fully recyclable. Balsa wood is the base material for our boards, as it is light and has the highest tensile strength per kg. We use paulownia wood, cedar or ayous which are heavier and harder than balsa to create a bombproof deckarea which prevents knee and heel dents so common to foam boards. Wenge, ekki, olive, cherry, wallnut and oak are used to protect surfboard tips, and multiplex for the internal frame that gives the boards its main shape.
The boards are laminated with E-type fibreglass and epoxy glue both on the in- and outside. One reason for four layers of glassing is to waterproof the wood, particularly balsa wood which does not deal well with seawater. A second reason is to significantly strengthen the board - although the board would be strong enough without. Both waterproofing and additional strength increase the boards durability greatly. The epoxy used for lamination is an ecofriendlier type in the sense that it is made from raw materials with a high level of plantbased content.
As for finboxes we prefer to work with Futures as they are stronger due to their T-shape, but obviously will install FCS if requested. Finboxes are the only real plastic that we use to make your board. On the note of wanting to stay away from plastics we typical install drill throughs and glass-on leashloops for you to attach a leash. We do however use some recycled, old packaging foam around the base of finboxes; the advantage for balance, i.e. surfability trumps ecofriendliness in this case.
Creating, learning and improving are what gives us pleasure and fun - we hold an engineering degree after all. We therefore build a few test-boards every year to try new ideas, and get intermediate and advanced surfers to surf them during try-out sessions. It is great to see them enjoy our boards, and even better to get feedback about how they surf. In paralel we cooperate with material researchers, and discuss the maddest ideas with an array of shaper buddies.
This approach and drive for innovation allowed us to improve the weight-strength ratio of our boards over the years, improve balance and user-friendliness. It gave us the bombproof deck that prevents knee and heel dents and the supaflex construction which allows you to choose between a stiffer or a more flexible surfboard.
Our boards come with a vent. Although the need for them is debatable, we opt to play it safe and install a simple screw in our boards. Nicely in the back of the tail so you won't worry about hurting your feet and you can drain the board easily if it leaks. Just remember to close the vent when entering the water, and open it when you get back out.
As with all boards the air trapped inside will increase or decrease in volume with changing temperatures. These volume changes may result in rupture or delamination, particularly when (air)travelling or having stark temperature contrasts between in- and outside the water.