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Wood Fish Sessions. Pt. 3. Visit from the mothership

November 10 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

If you've read this blog for a few months you may remember the Wood Fish project. Here's the last post.

The gist of this project is for members of our staff to build a surfboard made out of wood.

Ryan Johnson has really been the only staffer to date to really put some time and effort into this. My sense is that is about to change... as we were visited by the crew from Grain Surfboards a few weeks back and they showed us a few versions of the end product.

They were in town for the Sacred Craft board forum and decided to pop by our office.

This first photo is the top layer for our board. That's Mike LaVecchia, founder and principal owner of Grain. He's showing us some shortcuts, suggesting a few things and... in the end just encouraging us to stay the course and move the project to the next level.

This next photo is Brad Anderson holding what, at least to me, seems like the hardest part of this project... getting the tail on our fish right. You can see in his left hand the template for the fishtail template.

This template goes in between the bottom and top layer (the sheet Mike's looking at in the first photo). I know my way around handtools and I've built more than my fair share of wood projects... but this tail is something new to me... I think it's new to all of us.

If you've built a cabinet or even a house you're used to straight lines and 90 degree angles. Those make sense. The tail of a fish reminds me of the inner structure for Frank Gehry's buildings.

One of the coolest things about this visit, aside from teh pointers and stoke shared by Mike and Brad, was how our staff reacted. It went from Ryan and me oogling about this project to them to pretty much most of our staff stopping what they were doing and checking out this in-process Wood Fish project.

But it reached a new level when they brought in three boards. They shared a 6' fish with woodwork and grains that had people drooling, a narrow egg built for Lane Beachley and a third board which captured my attention.

In this post-Sprout era it seems like it's ok to ride anything from an Olo to an Alaia. This third board was niether of these yet it shared some DNA with that historic perspective. I believe it's a bellyboard, a Paipo.

For some reason I'm really taken by these boards. I think it's that it's the simultaneous nod to history alongside an appreciation for making something out of natural materials.

Thanks for swinging by guys. We look forward to finishing this fish up and getting it in the water.

Check out the kits. Build our own board... out of wood.
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