Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Three more pix by Shem

Shem and I hooked up one afternoon last winter and shot some photos near Bolton and Camel's hump. Basically all the images I have to use right now are from those five hours, although we should be getting some new ones soon, as long as el nino doesn't spank us too badly. We found some insanely fun spots that day, and we'll be heading back there as soon as there's adequate cover. This was a super fun day, and Shem is a really good friend and photographer.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cold rain and snow

We had a snow/wind/sleet/rain day yesterday, and the boys felt the need to brave the weather to get in some shredding. We plodded out across the field into stinging sleet, and Oscar weaved himself through 500 waiting burdocks for a first ever run on his PowderJet. Grabbing the board came onto his radar recently, but he's not trying to hear my explanations on what constitutes acceptable grab locations. Good for him!
We're looking at two to three inches of snow and ice, sleet driven by 45 MPH winds, and a 9 year old on a wooden snowboard built by his old man. That's some country punk.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I know this is a snowboard jam we're working on here, but I get a lot of inspiration from surfing. I'm kind of a surfer in the earth surfer out there Surfing the Earf. The surfing world is going through some major identity crisis right now, with companies like Abercrombie&Fitch (Hollister) totally hijacking the image of the sport, and dudes are just turning their back on the whole gig. This New York Times article talks about people making their own backyard wooden surfboards, and guys like Tom Wegener in Australia who are producing kits for building your own Alaia.
There are a couple of things I love about this. First, I love the notion of building your own board, based on your own ideas, and then taking it out and learning to surf all over again. It doesn't matter if it isn't perfect. Perfection is an impossible ideal. The point is to experience the sport in a new way, one where the surfer is able to experience the future, present, and long history of surfing all in one ride.
I also love this quote from the editor of the Surfer's Journal: “They’re essentially swimming surf culture into deep water and saying, ‘Let’s see if you can handle this.’ ” Basically taking the poseurs and money men to task. While the soul of the sport is at risk, core surfers are taking refuge in the benevolence of the Polynesian surf Gods of Yesteryear, or something.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Constant Inspiration

Some of the best people we know build wooden surfboards in Maine.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Test day

When I hook up the air to these things, they're supposed to inflate the fire hose, which creates the pressure against the mold, which shapes the snowboard. I'm assuming everything's going to go really great. That said, if you hear an explosion later on, in about an hour from right now, say, and you feel the windows shaking and plaster is cracking and falling from your ceiling, it probably means there's an exploded fire hose somewhere in Rupert. Call OSHA.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting more Jiggly

The press is coming along smoothly. Got a lot of work done on it over the last week. The frame is made from 2X6 framing lumber lagged into 11 7/8" MicroLaminate joists. Very strong. I also picked up the fire hose and fittings to make the clamping process work, so I'll be busy with putting the mechanics of that together this week. If I had gone with the simpler vacuum mold process, I would be building boards right now, but I'm sure that this is the right way to go. The boards will be way stronger, the process simpler and MUCH less wasteful. Admittedly, the press is super ugly but I think it's going to work well. A few more modifications and I'll be testing her out. Hoping to build a few rides for X-Mas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Check out this brand new board jig we just finished roughing out. Trevor over at Dorset Custom Furniture in Dorset, VT sat down at the computing machine with me, and we hashed out the design I wanted. This is an exact replica of the sweetest board I made last winter, the one I ran to on basically every occasion. A camber-less base, deep side cut and convex swallow tail...holy crap, I can't wait for it to finally snow here.

The frame to hold this jig is under construction...should be putting in several hours on it tomorrow. I can't work on it at night because power tools wake the baby. Especially impact drivers. Sleeping babies hate those. Nighttime is for finish work.

Things are ramping up down here, and it's about 45 degrees under a cloudless sky. It feels like September in Vermont, and even the hunters are hating on it (deer stay dormant in warm weather, and hunters can't find them. So they say.) I'm still pretty charged to get this machine built, even if I can't enjoy the fruits of it for another month or so.