radish empire
exploring the roots of wave and sk8


(posted on 18 Jun 2013)

Today i started to get one side of the block flat and smooth. To save wear and tear on my neck i am using an electric plane. It is a small Makita and man does it ever blast through cedar. I can't believe the pile of shavings i generated after only 20 minutes. While making my first couple of boards i used only hand tools (non-electric). I inherited a small collection of my father's and grandfather's tools and use them whenever possible. Using these simple tools fills me with a joy that gives my boards a little something special. It is not anything that i can see but i definitely feel a strong connection to my dad and grand-dad while working on and especially riding my finished boards. It is at this stage that i get my first real sense of the colours of the wood. This board is a combination of red and yellow cedar. I get the wood directly from the sawmill so i can go through the stacks and find the real nice stuff. When i told the guy in the mill yard what i was making he smiled and said "come with me , i have something to show you." He took me to a room where they keep the best of the best. It was like being shown a room full of treasure. He told me this is the wood they hold aside for boatbuilders and that surfboards would now qualify . "Take your time" he said and left me to poke around. Well needless to say i definitely scored a few armloads of "treasure." Enough to make two boards at least. I buy 4" x 4" boards and rip them into "bookmatched" 2" x4"s. This will also be my first completely bookmatched board. When i was a kid my oldest brother had a water ski made by 'Maharaja' and it was made of bookmatched strips of mahogany. It is still i think one of the most beautiful objects i have ever seen. Hopefully this paipo will also be something that is beautiful as well as fun.