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smorgasboarder<br />

2022<br />

#54<br />

SURFmagazine<br />

Top of the tree<br />

Wood Boards galore<br />

wayne winchester<br />

The art of restoration<br />

Bricks & mortals<br />

best surf shops guide

Celebrating<br />

45 YEARS<br />

Gerringong | 90mins south of Sydney<br />

Celebrating<br />

45 YEARS<br />

Celebrating<br />

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#54<br />

2022<br />

66<br />

58<br />

22<br />

12 news<br />

20 controversy<br />

22 top of the tree<br />

58 Ocean clean up<br />

62 art<br />

66 wayne’s world<br />

76 gear<br />

80 bricks & mortals<br />

98 aloha barry<br />

80<br />

smorgasboarders<br />

Editorial | Dave Swan<br />

dave@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0401 345 201<br />

Editorial | Amber O’Dell<br />

amber@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0420 615 107<br />

Advertising | Simon Cross<br />

simon@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0413 698 630<br />

Social Media | Phoebe Swan<br />

phoebe@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0459 705 404<br />

New Zealand | Jiff Morris<br />

jeff@smorgasboarder.co.nz<br />

0220 943 913<br />

South Australia | Jimmy Ellis<br />

james@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0410 175 552<br />

Design | Horse & Water Creative<br />

mark, kate, val, helen, taylah,<br />

sarah, carolina<br />

mark@horseandwater.com.au<br />

Accounts | Louise Gough<br />

louise@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

Top of the tree<br />

Wood Boards galore<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

SURFmagazine<br />

wayne winchester<br />

The art of restoration<br />

2022<br />

#54<br />

Bricks & mortals<br />

best surf shops guide<br />

our cover<br />

Photo: Lime Light Creative<br />

Studios - Testing Riley Balsa<br />

Surfboards in PNG.<br />

get involved<br />

Stories, photos, ideas, new and<br />

interesting surf-related stuff you<br />

want to share? drop us a line on<br />

editorial@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

get your fix<br />

1. Subscribe - the mag is still<br />

free - you just pay for delivery. 4<br />

editions per year - $25 annual<br />

subscription (Aus and NZ)<br />

2. Call in to one of the businesses<br />

featured in this mag - they’ll have<br />

some free copies.<br />

3. A full list of stockists are online<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

4. Download or read it online at<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

Smorgasboarder is published by Huge C Media PTY LTD ABN 30944673055. All information is correct at time of going to press. The publication cannot<br />

accept responsibility for errors in articles or advertisements, or unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. The opinions and words of the authors<br />

do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited without prior permission.

see the wood

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Hand-made. High performance.<br />

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Mark Riley in the woods.

Forever forward. It is what my grandad used to say. It’s a saying<br />

I have said more than a thousand times over throughout my life,<br />

from the sporting field to the business world and in my personal<br />

life. I have said it myself, I have said to my kids, to my family, to<br />

my work colleagues and my mates. And it is such a great saying<br />

because it more or less cuts to the chase – accept whatever<br />

b*llshit you are going through, deal with it and get on with it. No<br />

excuses, no reasons why you can’t push on, quite simply because<br />

you must.<br />

I think everyone would probably agree, the last few years have<br />

held their share of challenges but for some reason this year seems<br />

to have proven the hardest. But as the saying goes, there’s no<br />

point revisiting the past. You need to focus on the future, focus on<br />

what is within your power to control and push on… and ensure to<br />

have fun whenever you can while you are doing it.<br />

So, with this in mind, in this edition we hope to bring you some<br />

feel-good vibes. We have some magnificent timber surfboards<br />

to drool over, everything from the cutting-edge of performanceorientated<br />

design through to traditional shapes that will evoke<br />

nostalgia to groups who are healing and bringing people together<br />

through the love of building surfboards and then there’s the aweinspiring<br />

restorative work of Wayne Winchester. If that wasn’t<br />

enough, we introduce you to an incredible young man called<br />

Boyan Slat, whose name, if you are not familiar with yet, we hope<br />

you never forget. If that wasn’t enough, we have the inspiring<br />

story of Laura Feller, artist, surfer and traveller who is “always on<br />

the move”, experiencing all that life has to offer. It’s a story that<br />

just makes you feel warm inside. And finally, we present to you<br />

some of the best surf retailers in the country – now there’s a story<br />

of resilience!<br />

So, there you go, wonderful stories of ingenuity, perseverance,<br />

longevity, renewal, creativity and grit. The kind of stuff to remind<br />

you how and why you must constantly push on. Forever forward.<br />

Stay safe, have a great Christmas and we will see you all in the<br />

new year.<br />

Merry Christmas!<br />

The Smorgasboarders

Specialising in all<br />

fibreglass supplies<br />

and accessories..<br />




Sunshine Coast, QLD<br />

P 07 5493 9974<br />

E sales@acefibreglass.com.au<br />


balsa<br />

NEWS<br />

Beloved<br />

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100% natural and organic sun<br />

care products handcrafted and<br />

hand-poured in Australia.<br />

Naturally tinted Face Zinc, Lip Balm, and<br />

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pure, high quality organic ingredients<br />

to nourish your skin and protect from<br />

the elements. Recyclable non plastic<br />

packaging. Get your SeaZinc on before<br />

your next paddle out!<br />

Purchase from stockists or online:<br />

www.seazinc.com.au<br />

Mark Riley, founder of Riley Balsa has recently secured some<br />

world-class balsa wood that is just asking to be shaped.<br />

Considered to be one of the most sustainable, strongest, and<br />

lightest woods in the world, balsa makes for a very stunning<br />

surfboard. It’s no wonder it is one of the most beloved materials<br />

for surfboards shapers.<br />

Mark informed us the last few years had seen delayed shipments<br />

of the blonde gold but he was pleased to now inform his<br />

customers he has a heap of it ready to move.<br />

Riley Balsa is providing large and small section sizes and lengths<br />

ranging from 1ft to 12ft long, with the balsa wood now being<br />

graded into three types: AAA 100kg/m3, AA and A. The company<br />

can even custom cut and glue the wood to any requirements, with<br />

discounts applying for commercial quantities and delivery available<br />

world-wide.<br />

For more info go to www.balsawoodsurfboardsriley.com.au or<br />

email mark@riley.com.au<br />


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sb / #54 / 12

NEWS<br />

Following the<br />

Australian Surf Movie<br />

Festival national tour<br />

featuring THE BIG WAVE<br />

PROJECT II (about to be<br />

released worldwide Dec<br />

10), you can catch up on<br />

Tim’s latest travels and<br />

cinematographic work<br />

on his YouTube channel:<br />

@surfingvisions<br />

Surfer: Tahlia Hirst<br />





Custom Shortboards, Hybrids, Fishes, Mals and Logs<br />

Factory 3/6 Kerta Rd, Kincumber NSW 2251 | m: 0415 577 085<br />

Hall of famer<br />

Dick Van Straalen, classic Aussie bloke and fine surfboard shaper, has received<br />

the well-deserved honour of being inducted into the International Surfboard<br />

Builders Hall of Fame (I<strong>SB</strong>HOF).<br />

Now in its 23rd year, the I<strong>SB</strong>HOF honoured its new crew of talented surfboard<br />

shapers and makers on 15 October this year. The event took place at the blissful<br />

Huntington Beach in California, the surfing capital of the USA.<br />

Huntington Beach surfers Mike Ester and Bob Bole founded the I<strong>SB</strong>HOF in 2000<br />

and have since inducted 140 expert surfboard builders. The event was created<br />

in order to recognise the brilliant and creative board builders of the world who<br />

have shaped the surfing industry and have scarcely been appreciated for their<br />

innovations.<br />

Australians would be hardly surprised to hear of Dick’s induction to the I<strong>SB</strong>OF.<br />

The 78-year-old master craftsmen from Queensland’s Gold Coast is an expert<br />

in custom-made balsa surfboards that are often beautifully painted with flowing<br />

patterns and vibrant colours.<br />

Raised in the Netherlands, Dick began surfing shortly after moving to Sydney with<br />

his family in 1944 and started shaping boards six years later. He is best known for<br />

the sleek single-fin boards he made throughout the 1970’s that were masterfully<br />

shaped for the high-speed pointbreak waves of Queensland and is well-deserving<br />

of perhaps the highest honour a surfboard shaper can have.<br />

Good on ya Dick!<br />

(08) 8323 0879<br />

168 Olivers Rd,<br />

McLaren Vale SA 5171<br />

Fri – Mon: 11 – 6pm<br />

Extended Christmas<br />

holiday hours: 7-days<br />

swellbeer.com.au<br />

13 / #54 / sb

news<br />

Jeremy Ievins standing<br />

next to the lucky door<br />

prize, the John Hunt<br />

shaped WBS surfboard<br />

John’s joke legend<br />

Held in celebration of the late John<br />

Hunt at a surf break he discovered<br />

some 50 years earlier the John’s<br />

Joke Legend at Port MacDonnell<br />

in South Australia was attended by<br />

many wishing to honour his memory.<br />

The surf sport near Orwell Rocks was initially considered by his friends at<br />

first to be a joke but it became John’s regular and in time affectionately<br />

known as John’s Joke, hence the reason for the name of the contest.<br />

Contest director and Port MacDonnell surf identity Jeremy Ievins was stoked<br />

with the support shown for the inaugural event.<br />

“It is really nice to see the community get behind these sort of things,” he<br />

said.<br />

“The surf wasn’t big, but it was pretty consistent and clean.”<br />

Ievins was a close friend of Hunt’s and it was from him he learnt the craft of<br />

shaping surfboards. He now also crafts the trophies for the event, this year<br />

repurposing used paintbrushes set in resin from Hunt’s workshop.<br />

Max Lockwood<br />

John’s paddle out at Posties<br />

Jan 2018<br />

Barry Bennett<br />

We would also like to acknowledge the passing of Barry Bennett<br />

back in July earlier this year. We can’t confess to knowing him well<br />

but know the high regard in which he was held by his peers. Barry<br />

undeniably had a huge influence on surfboard manufacturing here<br />

in Australia and on the world stage.<br />

RIP<br />

sb / #54 / 14

NEWS<br />

Had a gutful<br />

Oceanfoil Surfboards is quickly eliminating the heartbreak of<br />

retiring from the ocean as Gut Slider orders soar – literally.<br />

Readers may remember the legend of Keith Robinson<br />

from our last edition - the 74-year-old surfer and<br />

shaper based in Nambucca Valley that gifted the<br />

surfboard industry with the Gut Slider.<br />

His innovation was a board for himself and his mates<br />

that stopped aging knees from getting in the way of<br />

surf sessions. Applying his so-called ‘crazy ideas’ and<br />

his extensive shaping experience, Keith developed a<br />

board you lie on that allows the rider to paddle into<br />

waves easily and perform cutbacks just as you would<br />

with a regular surfboard.<br />

Since his story was published in Smorgasboarder, we<br />

would like to not-so-humbly point out that orders for<br />

Oceanfoils Gut Sliders have taken off and are coming<br />

at him from all directions across Australia. Keith said<br />

the response to his boards have been overwhelming,<br />

as he has received over fifty orders and has only been<br />

able to handle four at a time.<br />

“I just did it for a mate of mine who had a hip<br />

operation and that’s all I thought it would be. Then<br />

word kind of got out and it went a bit crazy.<br />

“It turns out there’s a whole range of people out there<br />

that just can’t physically push up to get onto their feet<br />

anymore, or it just takes them so long to get up that<br />

they miss the best part of the wave.<br />

“I’m getting orders from Tasmania, Western Australia,<br />

South Australia, Victoria and even an old mate I used<br />

to work with in New Zealand rang up and asked me<br />

about them.”<br />

To keep up with demand, Oceanfoil has enlisted the<br />

help of their mates at Oke Surfboards in Melbourne.<br />

Keith said he chose Oke as his partner in making the<br />

boards because of their ability to make his boards<br />

as authentic, comfortable and catered towards his<br />

customers as possible.<br />

“I know the people at Oke Surfboards really well,<br />

I picked them because they are like me - very<br />

fastidious. Their quality is amazing, they are all great<br />

people, and I am quite happy to work with them<br />

because I can’t possibly make all of these boards.<br />

“I am still going to be making the local stuff, like<br />

orders from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and as<br />

far down as Sydney. Then I’ll be quite happy to just<br />

sit back and know that the job is done. I’m happy<br />

everyone is getting in the water and everyone’s<br />

stoked about the boards.<br />

One of Keith’s most extraordinary new customers is<br />

Kevin Merifield, an 85-year-old surfer in Perth showing<br />

no signs of giving up on the waves. Keith said Kevin<br />

is quite simply a legend among surfers in Western<br />

Australia and is believed to be the first person to surf<br />

Margaret River.<br />

“He’s as fit as a fiddle and still gets out in 10-foot<br />

surf, but he’s had a little bit of trouble getting up on a<br />

board.<br />

“He asked me to make him a Gut Slider, but I don’t<br />

like doing things if I don’t think it’s right. We already<br />

had one being sent to Western Australia, so I asked<br />

him to try it out first.<br />

“When I know exactly what people need, where they<br />

surf, how they like riding, what size board they<br />

need, I am able to do the best job I can for them.”<br />

The Gut Sliders have not just provided retiring<br />

surfers with an alternative to giving up, but<br />

have also introduced a new, invigorating way<br />

to experience waves. Keith said the board<br />

accumulates instant speed and soars as soon<br />

as you take off.<br />

“When you’re laying down on the board,<br />

you get to see a lot more of the wave then<br />

when you are standing up. You can see all<br />

of the beautiful curves, the kinetic energy,<br />

and you can direct yourself better. You<br />

fly - you actually fly - all these old guys<br />

are going to need hair transplants.<br />

“People see this as an opportunity to<br />

get back into it again because they<br />

are quite miserable on giving up<br />

surfing and giving up something that<br />

they love.”<br />

While he is technically retired, for<br />

Keith the call of the ocean and the<br />

creativity of board shaping will<br />

always drive him. Keith said he<br />

is quite happy to keep surfing,<br />

floating around in his shed and<br />

coming up with even more<br />

crazy ideas.<br />

“All I want to do is go surf,<br />

and it’s always been like that<br />

since day one. The surfboard<br />

industry for some people is<br />

a commercial venture, but<br />

for me it’s always just been<br />

about the lifestyle. The best<br />

surfer in the water is the<br />

guy having the most fun.”<br />

15 / #54 / sb

Surfers rejoice as the Surf Lakes wave<br />

pool in Yeppoon finally confirms it’s<br />

opening to the public in 2024.<br />

news<br />

Surf Lakes Yeppoon<br />

opening soon<br />

The announcement has left the global surfing community<br />

absolutely stoked, as many have been teased for years with<br />

stunning imagery of the crystal blue waves and perfect swells<br />

from the Surf Lakes website.<br />

The awe-inspiring pool in Central Queensland has been a<br />

research site for testing unique wave technology since 2018.<br />

Whether it would ever open to the public has been largely<br />

kept as a secret – until now.<br />

The reveal comes after Global Surf Parks, a wave pool<br />

development and operations company, signed an agreement<br />

with Surf Lakes International to transform the site into a<br />

general surfing experience for the public to enjoy.<br />

The wave pool uses a heavy central plunger-like device which<br />

drops like a rock in water, creating large waves. As the waves<br />

flow towards the outer edge of the lake, they hit differently<br />

shaped ‘reefs’ which create perfect sets for all kinds of<br />

surfers and their skill levels.<br />

In 2021, the site was approved to allow for accommodation,<br />

a food and beverage precinct, camping, an events and<br />

entertainment area and more. The site is also planning on<br />

expending from its existing 15 acres to 100 acres, with<br />

construction is expected to begin in early 2023.<br />

As a gigantic surfing pool paradise in the middle of Central<br />

Queensland surrounded by vast rocky land, Surf Lakes in<br />

Yeppoon is definitely looking to be a stunning and unique<br />

surfing experience.<br />

sb / #54 / 16

17 / #54 / sb

stuff<br />

Known for pushing the<br />

boundaries for sustainable<br />

footwear, Sanük is a global<br />

and unconventional footwear<br />

brand that’s been making<br />

people smile … and passing it<br />

on since 1997.<br />

Sun Zapper Zinc Sticks and Sunscreens are 100% Australian made<br />

and have been tested to meet our harsh conditions.<br />

Zinc oxide is a natural sun blocker that stays on your skin for hours<br />

when in the water and is a prominent ingredient in their range. It<br />

won’t burn your eyes and is great for people with sensitive skin<br />

conditions. Recently, the good folks at Sun Zapper brought out<br />

a new Extreme Zinc Sunscreen Lotion 90mL SPF 50+ and Tinted<br />

Moisturiser SPF 50+ Medium/Dark. We can happily say both go on<br />

super easy and last for a very long session out in the surf.<br />

sanuk.com.au<br />

Guaranteed to keep you grounded,<br />

Sanük is on a shoe-mission that supports<br />

customers to embrace more sustainable<br />

products, without wavering from the<br />

companies commitment to cushiony<br />

comfort, made for all-day wear.<br />

Sanük’s customers represent various<br />

beliefs and have different wants or needs.<br />

But the company is proud to say their<br />

eco-friendly initiatives provides a little<br />

something for everyone.<br />

Sanük loves using reincarnated rubbish<br />

and incorporates some form of quality,<br />

eco-minded materials in every style<br />

including recycled polyester, recycled<br />

cotton, recycled EVA and other foams,<br />

plus other upcycled stuff.<br />

Nature provides a bounty of wholesome<br />

materials out there and Sanük are<br />

always striving to make the most of<br />

them by including naturally occurring<br />

substances such as hemp, cotton,<br />

linen, jute, straw, cork and responsibly<br />

sourced leather in their footwear.<br />

Sanük doesn’t use leather often but<br />

when they do it’s responsibly sourced<br />

from Leather Working Group tanneries<br />

and partners who abide by their Ethical<br />

Sourcing and Animal Welfare Policy.<br />

They look at sustainability holistically<br />

and are constantly seeking new ways<br />

to improve product packaging and how<br />

they can reduce their environmental<br />

impact.<br />

Sanük’s research and development is at<br />

the forefront of rethinking manufacturing<br />

and footwear, and they are always<br />

exploring innovative ways to source even<br />

more. Learn more about Sanük’s ecoinnovations<br />

at www.sanuk.com.au/pages/<br />

our-materials<br />

sunzapper.com.au<br />

sb / #54 / 18

Photo: Paul Hardie | Surfer: Mark Hansel<br />

admin@connectedby.org | connectedby.org<br />

Connected By Inc. | ABN 60 302 768 978 | IARN: A1030024X

Nowadays it appears so many people are eager<br />

to take offence about something or rather. It<br />

almost appears as if some, not all, are on the<br />

constant lookout for anything to be offended by.<br />

Now let me say this, it is of paramount importance we are<br />

respectful of one another’s feelings and wellbeing. We<br />

need to show due care for the welfare of people who may<br />

be the target of bigoted comments. Genuine grievances<br />

need to be addressed but let’s not see the seriousness<br />

of these grievances overshadowed by ones contrived by<br />

people who merely seek to find offence as some form of<br />

gross attention seeking.<br />

With the ever-present cloud of someone taking offence<br />

to something or a rather some of us may feel like we’re<br />

walking on eggshells most of the time. You don’t wish to<br />

cause offence, you don’t actively seek to offend and you<br />

do everything possible to not offend but someone still<br />

manages to fault with something you do or say, no matter<br />

how you try.<br />

Where am I leading with all of this? Recently, we received<br />

a notification via the Online Fight Club otherwise known as<br />

Facebook or one of those that our magazine had offended<br />

someone. It piqued my interest because we are particularly<br />

mindful of being an inclusive publication – a magazine that<br />

can be picked up by anyone, of any age, of any sex or<br />

sexuality, and any ethnicity, and this very ethos applies to<br />

our editorial content within. How on earth could we offend<br />

someone? I pondered.<br />

Our said offence was that Smorgasboarder was not<br />

inclusive enough because we featured an advertisement<br />

of a white lady in swimwear and the subsequent story that<br />

followed was about a white surfer. You’re joking, I thought.<br />

Through our thirteen years we have frequently featured<br />

stories of surfers of all ethnicities, both able bodied and<br />

not, male, female, old, young, accomplished surfers,<br />

“crap surfers” and those starting out. The said person<br />

who publicly criticised us couldn’t be more wrong about<br />

our publication. Indeed, in the early days, when it was just<br />

Mark and I, we even produced a 132-page magazine with<br />

100% of the editorial coverage dedicated to female surfers,<br />

surfboard shapers, glassers, photographers and artists – a<br />

Ladies Edition completely produced by two guys. I would<br />

be interested to know if there is another publication in the<br />

world that has done that.<br />

But then I considered, maybe all of this isn’t enough. Whilst<br />

we have featured diverse content regularly, maybe to<br />

those who actively seek to be offended it just doesn’t cut it.<br />

Maybe that diversity HAS to be in every edition, or indeed<br />

on every page, or every picture, and every sentence,<br />

otherwise we’re bigoted. Our free magazine that runs<br />

on the smell of an oily rag better quadruple our editorial<br />

budget to seek out all these specific stories.<br />

Moving forward we need a considered and intelligent<br />

approach to being inclusive and mindful of all of those<br />

around us. However, with regards to this said person,<br />

please read a couple of editions before you form an<br />

opinion. You offended me with your uniformed comments.<br />

Yep, there it is, I am offended by idiots. Those people who<br />

portray themselves as righteous and holier than thou but<br />

unfortunately don’t fully educate themselves on the subject<br />

matter of their interest before getting on their high horse<br />

to lecture us lesser individuals from ahigh. However, that<br />

statement is probably offensive to horses.<br />

words: dave swan<br />

sb / #54 / 20

make a wish...<br />


SINCE ‘68<br />


1/1-7 Canterbury Rd, Braeside, VIC<br />

P: 03 9587 3553<br />

E: rory@okesurfboards.com

t o p<br />

There’s nothing quite as appealing as<br />

a wooden surfboard. Whether it be<br />

the natural colours of the timber, the<br />

pattern of the grain, or the fact it is<br />

quite clearly crafted from materials<br />

more environmentally friendly than their<br />

alternatives. Wooden surfboards look<br />

good, and they make you feel good.<br />

Through the course of time however,<br />

the intended use of wooden surfboards<br />

is changing as the way they handle and<br />

perform in the ocean is advancing. In this<br />

special feature we explore the many types<br />

of construction and the motivation for<br />

doing so.<br />

Photo supplied courtesy of Varuna

of<br />

the<br />

t r e e<br />

words: Dave Swan & Amber O’Dell

As you would be well aware, some<br />

surfers collect wooden surfboards to<br />

be adorn their walls, to simply gaze<br />

at and admire the workmanship and<br />

sheer beauty of the craft while others<br />

seek out that ‘traditional feel’, to fully<br />

understand what it is like to ride a solid<br />

balsa malibu or chambered big wave<br />

gun. Then there are those surfers with a<br />

heightened eco-consciousness who are<br />

looking for more sustainable surfboards<br />

than their traditional foam and fibreglass<br />

counterparts. This is where the evolution<br />

of the wooden surfboard is experiencing<br />

a real ‘tree change’ with the advancement<br />

of materials and construction techniques.<br />

Now, it would be fair to say that surfers in<br />

the main have an innate sense of affection<br />

for the environment and are conscious of<br />

supporting sustainable and eco-friendly<br />

means of producing the boards they<br />

take to the waves on. The one variable<br />

however that can prohibit such support<br />

is that this ‘environmental consciousness’<br />

cannot be at the expense of performance.<br />

Plainly put, if the boards are made of<br />

environmentally friendly products using<br />

sustainable practices and they still<br />

perform the same as a traditional PU<br />

board, they are more than willing to spend<br />

their hard-earned. If they don’t compare,<br />

many surfers are arguably willing to turn<br />

a blind eye to environmental concerns<br />

until a viable, eco-friendly equivalent is<br />

found.<br />

In the ensuing pages we talk with those<br />

businesses who are the Top of the<br />

Tree, who have found a sweet spot and<br />

successfully married performance with<br />

sustainability. We also have the great<br />

pleasure of taking with legends of the surf<br />

industry who are crafting timeless timber<br />

masterpieces and those who are bringing<br />

the joy of building wooden surfboards to<br />

the people. Enjoy.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 24

the evolution<br />

of the wooden<br />

surfboard is<br />

experiencing a real<br />

‘tree change’ with<br />

the advancement<br />

of materials and<br />

construction<br />

techniques.<br />

Photo: Riley Surfboards<br />

Photographer: Lime Light<br />

Creative Studios<br />

Contact your Coopers Area Manager for more information<br />

and to secure your order.<br />

1300 555 166 (SA/NT: 08 8440 1800)<br />

coopers@coopers.com.au www.coopers.com.au<br />

25 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

eco<br />

warrior<br />

He may have initially not set out<br />

to be, but nowadays, Mark Riley<br />

is an eco-warrior with purpose<br />

seeking to set the benchmark for<br />

others to follow.<br />

Where to start? I guess a declaration<br />

on two fronts. First, Mark Riley is an<br />

incredibly talented surfboard shaper who<br />

continues to refine his craft and is now<br />

elevating his eco credentials to a whole<br />

new level. I will explain this in more<br />

detail a little later on. The second, is that<br />

he is a very good mate. I didn’t know<br />

Mark before we started Smorgasboarder<br />

some thirteen years ago, but through the<br />

years, whilst we haven’t seen each other<br />

that regularly in person, our friendship<br />

has grown. I absolutely think the world<br />

of the guy. I have come to know him<br />

very well and now fully understand his<br />

devotion to crafting long-lasting beautiful<br />

balsa boards perfectly tailored to his<br />

customers.<br />

Regular readers of Smorgasboarder would be<br />

well aware by now that Mark shapes his boards<br />

entirely by hand, creating everything from fishes<br />

through to single fins, longboards, paddleboards<br />

and everything in between. While most are<br />

performance orientated and super lightweight<br />

with balsa skins applied to a recycled EPS<br />

foam core, he still shapes solid balsa classic<br />

longboards for clients seeking a traditional feel.<br />

So, what has changed?<br />

Mark originally set out to make his surfboards<br />

last. Tired of what he considered the disposable<br />

nature of traditional surfboards, he made his<br />

boards the equal of their counterparts in terms<br />

of performance but also indestructible. Over the<br />

last 27 years he has achieved that aim having not<br />

yet managed to snap one of his boards to date.<br />

However, as the years have gone by, he has<br />

become more acutely aware that the boards he<br />

builds can have a positive environmental impact.<br />

Mark explains his intent.

“I came to realise what I was doing was good<br />

for the environment because the boards I was<br />

making lasted so much longer. I had always been<br />

environmentally conscious in my approach, but this<br />

just strengthened my belief in what I was doing and<br />

how I went about my business. It also encouraged<br />

me to find out about and adopt other ecologically<br />

sound materials, products and approaches.”<br />

Mark set out to find material that complemented the<br />

balsa he sources from sustainable farms. The first<br />

point of call was of course the internal foam blank.<br />

He settled on 100% recycled EPS foam and has<br />

stuck with them since.<br />

The blanks go through a process called<br />

regranulation. Scrap pieces of packing foam from<br />

fridges, TVs and the like are ground up, pumped<br />

into a mould and heated. Once ejected from the<br />

mould they are shuttled into large gas oven drying<br />

rooms. Mark then shapes the blank before a 2-3mm<br />

balsa veneer is vacuum-bagged (laminated) onto<br />

the blank providing added strength. Solid rails are<br />

then added to the board and the shape is further<br />

refined with some light sanding before being<br />

glassed, finished and polished.<br />

Mark further continued to work towards reducing<br />

his environmental footprint. All foam offcuts from<br />

his boards go back into his recycled EPS foam mix.<br />

Waste from his solid balsawood boards is used as<br />

garden compost and usable offcuts are donated to<br />

schools. The glues he uses contain no volatile or<br />

flammable ingredients and his vehicles converted to<br />

LPG to reduce the amount of fuel consumed. He is<br />

also an active member of the Rainforest Alliance; an<br />

organization that works to arrest the major drivers of<br />

deforestation and environmental destruction and to<br />

further his commitment to responsible, sustainable<br />

harvesting of balsawood, Mark even set up his own<br />

balsa plantation in Cooktown near Port Douglas in<br />

North Queensland. Now Mark is looking to certify<br />

the carbon footprint of each of the surfboards he<br />

produces.<br />

“Various estimates put the carbon footprint of a<br />

traditional PU surfboard at around 250kg of carbon.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 28

I estimate my boards presently emit around 80kg of<br />

carbon into the atmosphere. That’s near a quarter<br />

to that of their PU counterparts. But I am keen<br />

to ratify this with certification from the regulatory<br />

bodies.<br />

To put that in perspective, a Riley Balsa Surfboard,<br />

emitting 80kg of carbon is a smaller environmental<br />

footprint than that of a bicycle and close to that of a<br />

woollen coat. That’s quite the accomplishment.<br />

“Once I achieve this, I will not only fulfill my<br />

promise to produce high performance surfboards<br />

that last, they will also be certified as far more<br />

environmentally friendly than their counterparts. And<br />

we will continue refining our processes to further<br />

minimise our carbon footprint.”<br />

There is no denying Mark has found his sweet spot<br />

– beautiful boards built for speed that last forever,<br />

soon to be certified as an eco-friendly alternative<br />

to conventional surfboards. All he has to do now is<br />

find an eco-friendly beer because he doesn’t mind<br />

consuming a couple of those, and I am only too<br />

happy to share a few of those with him.<br />

“Once I achieve<br />

this, I will not<br />

only fulfill<br />

my promise to<br />

produce high<br />

performance<br />

surfboards that<br />

last, they will<br />

also be certified<br />

as far more<br />

environmentally<br />

friendly<br />

than their<br />

counterparts...”<br />

balsawoodsurfboardsriley.com<br />

29 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>



Bringing the joy of building your own surfboard<br />

with a heightened eco-conscientiousness to the<br />

suburbs are the good folk at Tree to Sea.<br />

These guys are quite literally the community<br />

champions of environmentally friendly surfboard<br />

construction. Their wooden surfboard workshops<br />

are now that of legend here in Australia and are truly<br />

something special to experience.<br />

Based in Mt Eliza, three friends, Rob Ivers, Gary<br />

Miller and Darren Minchin hold their wooden<br />

surfboard workshops in their purpose-built indoor/<br />

outdoor workspace. They are bound by their love<br />

for surfing, timber surfboards and the sensory<br />

experience of crafting your own, so much so,<br />

they want others to experience the feeling for<br />

themselves.<br />

It all began some twelve years ago when one of the<br />

founders of Tree to Sea Australia, Rob Ivers, met<br />

Rich Blundell, an American pioneer of the wooden<br />

surfboard making workshop and founder of Tree to<br />

Sea in the USA. Not long after, Rob met Gary Miller<br />

through a mutual friend and the two of them talked<br />

about bringing the workshops to Australia.<br />

They invited Blundell out to Australia and it was with<br />

him they taught their first workshop, which was a<br />

huge success. Subsequent workshops filled just as<br />

fast as the first and so the two sought an agreement<br />

with Rich Blundell to use the name Tree to Sea.<br />

The team crafted surfboards using Rich’s original<br />

template of a hollow wooden surfboard with<br />

fibreglass coating. They further refined their board<br />

building process when Darren joined the team, who<br />

is a carpenter by trade. This took their workshops<br />

to another level and since that time they have<br />

continued to refine their processes, construction<br />

methods and the materials they use. The desire has<br />

always been to experiment and innovate to realise a<br />

more environmentally friendly product.<br />

Today the boards are no longer hollow nor feature<br />

fibreglass. What they now refer to as their “Eco<br />

Board” is made using a sandwich design where<br />

inside a lightweight plantation-grown timber veneer<br />

is a pre-shaped recycled polystyrene blank. All<br />

that is needed to complete the main body of<br />

construction is sustainably grown cork rails. This<br />

innovation has not only lessened the build time so<br />

boards can be fully constructed and ready to surf<br />

at the completion of a two-day workshop, they<br />

are now incredibly lightweight and performance<br />

orientated.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 30

Thanks to the timber construction they are also<br />

incredibly strong.There is virtually no waste in the<br />

manufacture of their Tree to Sea surfboards.<br />

The foam core blanks are made from recycled<br />

offcuts and packaging and the timber veneers<br />

are sourced from Australian grown Paulownia<br />

plantations, a fast-growing softwood that when<br />

felled, another grows in its place, basically<br />

perpetuating an endless cycle of renewal. The<br />

boards are then finished with Australian made<br />

marine grade varnish. Every aspect of their<br />

surfboard construction takes sustainability into<br />

account.<br />

If the sustainability of these boards wasn’t<br />

appealing enough, the workshops are altogether<br />

something else.<br />

“The desire has always<br />

been to experiment and<br />

innovate to realise a more<br />

environmentally friendly<br />

product.”<br />

31 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

“It’s a pleasure to surf on a handmade<br />

board, but even better to have made it<br />

yourself. And making the boards is so<br />

therapeutic, as so many have told us.”<br />

The many laughs, the absolute sheer joy of building<br />

something with your own hands and sharing<br />

that euphoria with others and the comradery<br />

that develops makes for such an incredible and<br />

memorable experience. Rob best sums up their<br />

approach.<br />

“We’re not dollar driven. It’s not about making<br />

money. All our decisions are made for the benefit<br />

of the end result - a great, fully functional surfboard<br />

made by the average guy or girl in the street, and<br />

built from a renewable source.<br />

“We have literally taught people of all ages and skill<br />

levels how to build their very own environmentally<br />

friendly wooden surfboard. And we enjoy teaching<br />

people and are just as proud as they are to see the<br />

end results.<br />

“It’s a pleasure to surf on a handmade board, but<br />

even better to have made it yourself. And making<br />

the boards is so therapeutic, as so many have told<br />

us. Crafting something by hand is so absorbing<br />

and deeply satisfying. Plus, we are in keeping<br />

with the soul of surfing – surfers making their own<br />

surfboards and crafting them from wood, just like<br />

they originally were.”<br />

There are virtually an endless array of plan<br />

shapes to craft with templates for retro fishes to<br />

shortboards, funboards, single fins, longboards and<br />

pigs all on offer. And if you don’t have the time or<br />

inclination to attend a workshop, you can also buy<br />

a ready-made board crafted from the experienced<br />

hands of the crew at Tree to Sea.<br />

treetosea.com.au<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 32

taking it for<br />

granted<br />

33 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

When surfing, it’s easy to<br />

get lost in the rhythm of<br />

the ocean, and even take for<br />

granted the object that is<br />

underneath our feet that lets<br />

us walk and soar on water.

“Many of my wooden<br />

boards are hanging<br />

in people’s houses<br />

as pieces of art, but<br />

whether you surf it or<br />

not, the process for<br />

making them is exactly<br />

the same.”<br />

Like many surfers, Grant Newby didn’t pay<br />

much mind to the components, equations<br />

and creativity that make up a surfboard until<br />

he embarked on the process of shaping<br />

wooden boards himself. Grant said he started<br />

building boards with all sorts of combinations,<br />

processes and materials that led to some<br />

interesting outcomes.<br />

“It’s a journey where you learn about your<br />

yourself, your patience and your creativity. You<br />

learn to use tools in a different way, and it’s just<br />

thinking outside of the box because it is all very<br />

new.”<br />

Based in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Grant<br />

has spent over a decade crafting gorgeous<br />

wooden surfboards desired worldwide for both<br />

their artistry and functionality. Grant said the<br />

allure of wood is felt by everyone, and he loves<br />

bringing out its beauty in his boards, some of<br />

which contain up to 80 different layers of wood.<br />

“Many of my wooden boards are hanging in<br />

people’s houses as pieces of art, but whether<br />

you surf it or not, the process for making them<br />

is exactly the same.”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 34

Growing up in New Zealand, Grant has always<br />

been connected to the sea. His respect for<br />

the ocean comes from his long family history<br />

of mariners and fishermen, and his creativity<br />

comes from spending much of his life as an art<br />

director and production manager in advertising<br />

agencies.<br />

More than anything, Grant loves experimenting<br />

with wooden board designs and sharing his<br />

findings with as many shapers as possible. For<br />

over 11 years, he has hosted ‘The Wooden<br />

Surfboard Day’, a gathering of like-minded<br />

people who build wooden surfboards. Grant<br />

said the thing that really blows people away<br />

about the event is that every attendee is happy<br />

to explain how they have gone about building<br />

their boards, which is pretty rare in the surf<br />

industry.<br />

“People have lots of questions. There’s not<br />

many people building wooden surfboards in<br />

the world. You never forget the time where<br />

you catch your first wave on the board you<br />

made. So if you can share that experience<br />

with somebody else, I think that’s a pretty cool<br />

thing.”<br />

Grant said looking back at old boards is<br />

a window to where the industry is going<br />

tomorrow, and describes perfectly the<br />

spiritual journey of a wooden surfboard<br />

creator.<br />

“The combinations are endless and so are the<br />

outcomes. This, to me, is what strikes a chord<br />

with my creative background and enquiring<br />

mind. Some things work and some don’t. But<br />

great watermen before us have ridden some<br />

amazing waves on a huge variety of shapes<br />

and styles. So nothing should be discounted.<br />

Different shapes, sizes, outlines and contours<br />

give different feelings on a wave. All of which<br />

can only happen with an open mind and a<br />

willingness to try different things.”<br />

Talking to brilliant wooden board makers<br />

like Grant really makes you appreciate those<br />

wonderful things that carry and guide us<br />

through the waves.<br />

surfboardsbygrantnewby.com<br />

35 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

he is<br />

legend<br />

The title we refer to here is of course a play on the movie<br />

called “I am legend” although we couldn’t use those exact<br />

words because they would never be uttered from the lips of<br />

one of Australia’s most esteemed surfboard craftsman.<br />

Sam Egan is one of the most downto-earth<br />

blokes you will meet and<br />

is incredibly humble despite being<br />

revered by several generations of<br />

elite surfers and surfboard designers<br />

across the world. Simply put, Sam<br />

Egan is a legend. He’s a surfindustry<br />

pioneer. Now 80, he’s<br />

been shaping surfboards since he<br />

was 15 and commercially since<br />

’62 when Sam Egan Surfboards<br />

officially opening its doors in his<br />

beloved home of Newcastle. Sam<br />

estimates he has probably shaped<br />

more than 10,000 boards in his<br />

lifetime.<br />

His surfboards have been under<br />

the feet of many pro surfers,<br />

such as his son Luke, and while<br />

he regularly continues to shape<br />

surfboards every week, it is his<br />

wooden boards in particular that<br />

left my mouth agape.<br />

It is in essence a return to Sam’s<br />

roots. The very first board he ever<br />

crafted was a 16-foot plywood<br />

toothpick that he had modelled off<br />

the boards he saw washed up on<br />

the rocks.<br />

The board was built out of necessity.<br />

A member of the Cooks Hill Surf Life<br />

Saving Club, he had developed a<br />

love for surfing but back then boards<br />

were hard to come by. Skilled with<br />

his hands, and being an apprentice<br />

carpenter at the time, he crafted his<br />

own and the rest is history.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 36

Sam never pursued his carpentry trade but rather<br />

turned his hand and making surfboards. It is<br />

staggering to consider at the height of his fame, 18<br />

of the top 44 surfers on the World Championship<br />

Tour were riding his boards. In fact, his boards have<br />

been under the feet of more than a couple of world<br />

champions.<br />

It is in essence a return to his<br />

roots. The very first board he<br />

ever crafted was 16-foot plywood<br />

toothpick that he had modelled<br />

off the boards he saw washed up<br />

on the rocks.<br />

Even revered Hawaiian born shaper Donald<br />

Takayama is on record as saying that Sam’s 66<br />

model, still sold at Barry Bennett surfboards today,<br />

is the best example of boards from that era. That’s<br />

fair testament to his skill. And speaking of his skill,<br />

rather than just craft a wooden surfboard, in true<br />

Sam fashion he takes these boards to another level<br />

altogether.<br />

“I like to use balsa mainly with some other exotic<br />

timbers such as Western Red Cedar and Silky Oak<br />

and Australian Red Cedar, all cut and fitted in.”<br />

As for the time it takes, Sam estimates the boards<br />

take him in excess of 200 hours. He sells them for<br />

around $5000.<br />

37 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

“That works out to $25 per hour,” he chuckles in<br />

true Sam fashion, non-plussed.<br />

“They are just a labour of love I do when I don’t<br />

have too many (foam and fibreglass) board orders<br />

(Yep, you heard right. Sam is still shaping 5 or so of<br />

those per week).<br />

“They take so long. I will have them on my bench<br />

for a few months. I have probably made about 10<br />

or 12 over the last three years. I have always got<br />

one going and tinker on it. You can’t rush it. It is<br />

just a matter of take your time and do a bit here<br />

and there. I do enjoy doing it though, as long as it<br />

doesn’t take over my entire life.”<br />

Photo: Sam’s third surfboard he made.<br />

Sam crafts all manner of timber surfboard shapes<br />

from chambered wooden guns through to skin on<br />

frame collectables, that can be surfed but most of<br />

his clients opt to just appreciate the workmanship<br />

hung up on the wall of their home. Those clients<br />

include people like Jason Stevenson, the founder,<br />

owner and original shaper of JS Industries who<br />

has one of Sam’s chambered balsa boards in his<br />

collection.<br />

He makes everything from nose to tail – fins, nose<br />

blocks and tail blocks. He even sells the nose and<br />

tail blocks to other shapers. They are works of<br />

art in themselves. Same goes for the many surf<br />

trophies he crafts and ornate timber furniture and<br />

jewellery boxes. Sam explains.<br />

“Well, I spent 4 years from the age of 15 as a<br />

carpenter and joiner. Before I came out of my time I<br />

was making some surfboards. As soon as I finished<br />

my apprenticeship I left. So, I have only had two<br />

jobs in my life. But yes, I can make furniture and of<br />

course I make surfboards.”<br />

Instagram: samegansurfboards<br />

Photo: the first board Sam made - a 16ft paddleboard.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 38

in tune with<br />

nature<br />

The equivalent of strumming a classic<br />

Gibson Les Paul guitar would be riding<br />

a Mitchell Rae balsa collectable. Tuned<br />

to perfection, these truly are elite waveriding<br />

craft.<br />

These boards are not designed to be ornaments on<br />

a wall, admired from afar, these chambered balsa<br />

boards are the equivalent of a Formula One race<br />

car, albeit far less destructible.<br />

Each year, Mitchell Rae crafts a small number of<br />

these signed and dated custom balsa boards.<br />

In creating these long-lasting statements of his<br />

craftsmanship, he most certainly draws inspiration<br />

from the guitar maker’s art to which I refer with<br />

hand inlaid Mother of Pearl eyes and logos,<br />

elevating the aesthetic appeal and resonance of<br />

the surfboard way beyond the ordinary. Mitchell<br />

elaborates on his approach.<br />

“It’s a similar fashion to collector’s guitars, years<br />

of use and hard riding enhance their intrinsic value.<br />

Like a ‘57 Gibson Les Paul, they become full of<br />

memories and experience. They look good on the<br />

wall, but these boards are built to be ridden.”<br />

Mitchell spends in excess of 60 hours constructing<br />

these boards, sparing no effort. They are what he<br />

considers the pinnacle of the surfboard maker’s art.<br />

“Folks have no idea how much crazy love I pour into<br />

these creations. I only make a few each year and for<br />

good reason.”<br />

Mitchell has shaped these magic balsa boards<br />

everywhere from the jungles of West Java using<br />

local balsa to where he resides today on the Mid<br />

North Coast of News South Wales. His clientele<br />

includes many well-known surfers, surf industry<br />

royalty and surfboard aficionados.<br />

Built from mainly the lightest balsa from Ecuador<br />

and Papua New Guinea with Western Red Cedar<br />

and Redwood stringers, they are chambered for<br />

lightness, split, bent and glued using techniques<br />

similar to that of boat builders and aircraft wing<br />

construction. Each board also incorporates<br />

Mitchell’s devotion to flex.<br />

“I am looking to load the timbers in a similar fashion<br />

to the wooden bow analogy. I set the timbers up<br />

and actually bend them to where the wooden bow<br />

would be holding its flex before you let the arrow<br />

go. When the glues dry, the timbers will hold that<br />

39 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 40

shape. It’s sprung under tension so when you flick<br />

it, it sings. It has a real different quality to it than if I<br />

carved a profile on one big chunk of wood.”<br />

“The bent wood and chambered construction<br />

sets up a resonance like that of a guitar or violin.<br />

Awesome to ride, a long process to build. These<br />

boards will last for generations and be around long<br />

after I’m pushing up daisies.”<br />

The craftsmanship that goes into these boards is<br />

awe-inspiring. There is good reason why Mitchell<br />

Rae is revered as one of the most talented<br />

surfboard artisans to have picked up a planer.<br />

Best of all, when you talk with him about building<br />

a board, you not only get a first-hand insight into<br />

his craft and the principles he applies to surfboard<br />

design, you also get a life lesson all in one. His<br />

knowledge for all manner of things is unfathomable<br />

and a joy to listen to. I have said many times before,<br />

a chat with Mitchell is akin to visiting a spiritual<br />

guru. I absolutely love him.<br />

“Awesome to ride,<br />

a long process<br />

to build. These<br />

boards will last<br />

for generations<br />

and be around long<br />

after I’m pushing up<br />

daisies.” outerislandsurfboards.com<br />

41 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

fueling<br />

the fire<br />

Revered by many, Maurice Cole is quite simply a<br />

legend of the surf industry. His boards have been<br />

ridden by some of the best surfers on the planet,<br />

a few who have gone on to win world titles on<br />

his craft.<br />

Maurice’s designs are an expression of his<br />

deep, philosophical understanding of wave<br />

mechanics. His eccentricity and the way he<br />

sculpts his boards has often seen him described<br />

as a disruptive force of creative genius in the<br />

surfing world, challenging the status quo of<br />

conventional thinking. Recently, Maurice has<br />

overseen a reincarnation of his shapes in foam<br />

and fibreglass in the form of Varuna surfboards.<br />

Based in Byron Bay, Varuna is a true international operation,<br />

with crew scattered across the globe and manufacturing in<br />

Indonesia. The team have embarked on a mission to redefine<br />

the world of sustainable surfing. To that end, they’ve<br />

partnered with world-renowned surfboard designers such<br />

as Maurice, Stuart D’arcy, Joel Fitzgerald, Renaud Cardinal,<br />

and most recently Beau Young and Chilli Surfboards with<br />

a few other big names soon to be announced, to replicate<br />

iconic designs using sustainable materials. The reasoning is<br />

simple, as explained on their website: “We replicate trusted<br />

shapes from elite designers on all of our boards, but with a<br />

sustainable spin. Because we figured there was no sense in<br />

reinventing the wheel, or the board, for that matter.”<br />

Intrigued, we decided to find out more about how this<br />

revolutionary sustainable spin was achieved exactly. We<br />

were surprised to find out these high-performance balsa<br />

wood surfboards are made with absolutely no foam. Varuna<br />

surfboards are made entirely out of wood.<br />

The internal structure of the board is made with bamboo<br />

and balsa ribs to keep the boards light without sacrificing<br />

strength. Hollow balsa rails with flex layers are employed<br />

to provide power, speed and control. A super light balsa<br />

wood composite deck is reinforced with aerospace-grade<br />

fiberglass and then laminated with Sicomin resin to deliver<br />

strength, flex and durability. Being essentially a hollow<br />

wooden board, an all-in-one, self-regulating air valve / leash<br />

plug is installed to regulate interior pressure. For fins, Varuna<br />

utilises Futures fin boxes.<br />

What’s important to mention here is that whilst sustainability<br />

and durability are the cornerstone of how these boards<br />

are made, performance is still very much front of mind.<br />

The weight of the boards are equivalent to their foam and<br />

fibreglass counterparts. Company spokesman and<br />

co-founder, Damien Cole, elaborated on Varuna’s approach.<br />

Images supplied courtesy of Varuna<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 42

43 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

“We believe that when it comes to surfing,<br />

sustainability and performance are not<br />

mutually exclusive.<br />

“By replicating world-class designs onto<br />

sustainable materials, we envisioned a world where<br />

everyone can surf exceptionally and responsibly.<br />

“However, it really was our focus on performance<br />

that morphed this business from a passion<br />

project to a fully-fledged operation. There’s<br />

no point making boards with an environmental<br />

consciousness if they don’t perform. Surfers won’t<br />

buy them.<br />

“We’re using innovative technology to give you a<br />

lively ride that you can be stoked about both in and<br />

out of the water. And because we’ve reimagined<br />

iconic surfboards from the hands of world-class<br />

designers, we’ve created an elevated, sustainable<br />

surfing experience that even meets the needs of the<br />

most experienced, seasoned surfers. Our boards<br />

go incredible.”<br />

The approach has to be applauded. To construct<br />

hollow wooden surfboards on this scale is quite<br />

mind blowing. And it has been Maurice, Damien<br />

Cole’s father, who has been secretly with Varuna<br />

from the start, working behind the scenes and<br />

guiding them with his knowledge of structure and<br />

the intricate minutiae that take a board from the<br />

ordinary to extraordinary.<br />

In an interview with surf photographer and<br />

filmmaker Peter Baker, Maurice had this to say<br />

about his collaboration with Varuna.<br />

“There are literally thousands of variables that<br />

go into creating a magic surfboard. And across<br />

the industry, I’ve continuously pushed design<br />

innovation, which has defined what a person can<br />

do on a wave.<br />

“It’s been incredible to be a part of the evolution<br />

of surfboard design. But after all these years, what<br />

has continuously plagued me is that we’re still<br />

making surfboards, using the same toxic materials,<br />

which after 75 years has become a huge problem.<br />

“Working with Varuna has been such a pleasure.<br />

By using their sustainable materials and their<br />

sustainable manufacturing process, I feel like I’m<br />

now part of this family where we are all part of the<br />

solution.”<br />

Quite clearly both Varuna’s mission and vision to<br />

not only redefine the world of sustainable surfing<br />

but to also revitalise the planet by doing what they<br />

love, resonated with Maurice.<br />

Damien explains the three core principles guiding<br />

the company.<br />

“As we developed the business, we all understood<br />

there were a couple of non-negotiables – basically<br />

three parts to our business that if we didn’t get<br />

right, it wouldn’t get off the ground. They were in<br />

relation to sustainability, performance and integrity.<br />

“When it comes to sustainability, we vow to pursue,<br />

innovate and inspire sustainable solutions that<br />

rejuvenate our planet. We hold ourselves to the<br />

highest ethical standard of sustainable production,<br />

so our planet can have a chance to thrive.<br />

“When it comes to performance, we simply aim<br />

to create products grounded in exceptional<br />

performance, responsiveness and durability. We’re<br />

achieving that aim by collaborating with world-class<br />

designers to optimise performance of these boards.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 44

“When it comes to integrity, we’re conducting<br />

our business with the utmost respect toward our<br />

customers, our team, and most importantly, our<br />

planet. We are doing this by pursuing a business<br />

framework rooted in a carbon negative future, so<br />

our kids can stay stoked in cleaner oceans and<br />

thriving wilderness.”<br />

From what we can see, the team at Varuna are<br />

living and breathing their edict and have fully<br />

adopted their mantra “from seed to surfboard”.<br />

Indonesia has been victim to massive deforestation<br />

practices for decades. Once abundant rainforests<br />

have been transformed into barren grasslands,<br />

incapable of regenerating on their own and pushing<br />

wildlife species out of their habitats.<br />

Balsa trees were initially planted to counter<br />

deforestation, but being an invasive species in<br />

Indonesia, the solution created more problems.<br />

With balsa being the key material used in Varuna<br />

sufboards, the team figured out a way to rid forests<br />

of balsa overgrowth while regenerating these<br />

abandoned lands of plenty to get the materials<br />

they need.<br />

Basically, the balsa is harvested via two methods.<br />

First, they selectively log existing balsa trees,<br />

effectively weeding the forests of them, and<br />

secondly via permaculture. This approach<br />

requires a more detailed explanation.<br />

Varuna are working closely with the Indonesian<br />

government, expanding green zones to reforest,<br />

regenerate and rejuvenate the land through<br />

sustainable practices to reduce environmental<br />

impacts and revitalise the area. They’re doing so<br />

through permaculture methods, planting balsa<br />

trees in tandem with native plant species. Most<br />

importantly, as Damien points out, the balsa trees<br />

are harvested before they flower.<br />

It only takes 4 years for balsa to fully mature,<br />

so once it’s harvested, the native plants are left<br />

behind to flourish and thrive. This regenerative<br />

practice leaves behind a restored ecosystem<br />

rich in biodiversity, generating economy for<br />

local farmers, encouraging self-reliance and<br />

advocating sustainable practices. Permaculture is<br />

known to promote resilience through biodiversity<br />

and restores natural resources, allowing nature to<br />

rejuvenate while empowering local communities.<br />

Varuna have even swapped the traditional<br />

shaping bay for a jungle workshop and minimised<br />

The way we see it, it’s our<br />

responsibility as surfers to do<br />

whatever we can to protect the<br />

thing we cherish most.<br />

their waste partnering up with renewable allies.<br />

Damien explains, “We’re abandoning the traditional<br />

shaping bay for an environmentally forgiving<br />

alternative with a system that minimises waste<br />

while giving back to the planet in colossal ways.<br />

“We’ve committed ourselves to an approach<br />

rooted in conservation. Any harvested balsa<br />

not used in Varuna production sees the excess<br />

materials transferred to our partners in various<br />

sectors such as wind energy, railway, models and<br />

biochar, which is used around our balsa plantings.<br />

(Biochar is said to offer multiple soil health benefits<br />

in degraded tropical soils.) This ensures minimal<br />

waste and responsible use.<br />

“From seed to surfboard, we’re minimising our<br />

environmental impact through innovation.<br />

The way it stands, the climate crisis threatens<br />

everything we love about our planet. And as<br />

surfers, that love flows deepest with the ocean. The<br />

way we see it, it’s our responsibility as surfers to<br />

do whatever we can to protect the thing we cherish<br />

most. That’s the mission we’re on and why we are<br />

going about our business the way we are.”<br />

For those interested as to the origin of the name<br />

Varuna, Damien explains the inspiration stems from<br />

their intrinsic connection with the environment, a<br />

devotion to optimal performance and a collective<br />

passion for conservation.<br />

“Associated with clouds, water, rivers and the<br />

ocean, Varuna is a powerful Hindu deity and<br />

‘one who encompasses the whole world.’ It’s his<br />

influence over the environment that inspires our<br />

calling to go full circle, or, from seed to surfboard.<br />

“In our eyes, the rains bring our balsa crop,<br />

which is then transformed into surfboards, and<br />

ultimately returns to the ocean from which it<br />

originally began.”<br />


One man’s trash<br />

is a surfer’s treasure<br />

Who would have thought the venetian<br />

blinds dangling from your window would<br />

ever touch the ocean?<br />

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to make venetian blinds<br />

look good. The rickety things often get tangled and<br />

after a few impatient pulls end up looking like a<br />

jumbled mess. There’s no telling how many of these<br />

things go into landfill, which is why Stephan Halpin,<br />

founder of Shapes by Steveo, has found a way to<br />

make venetian blinds both functional and beautiful<br />

in the form of a surfboard.<br />

Along with other recycled wood cuttings and<br />

materials, Stephan transforms venetian blinds<br />

into unique, stunning and sustainable surfboards<br />

adorned with various patterns and shades of<br />

salvaged timber. Stephan says he started to make<br />

wooden, environmentally friendly surfboards<br />

because they last longer, look better, and are way<br />

kinder on the environment.

“Using offcuts is not just good for recycling and<br />

keeping stuff out of landfill, you can make some<br />

really decorative boards out of those strange<br />

bits of timber.<br />

“Wooden surfboards aren’t boards that last for<br />

only five or ten seasons at the most, they last<br />

a lifetime. They are something you can pass<br />

down to your family, and they also just look<br />

amazing on a wall in your house.”<br />

Growing up, Stephan was always tinkering and<br />

building with wood. After moving to Noosa<br />

at 26 years of age and learning to surf, his<br />

passions naturally led him into shaping the lines<br />

and curves of wooden surfboards. Stephan<br />

said he used to go to local board factories and<br />

study the subtle art of surfboard shaping under<br />

quite a few well-respected shapers. Now, he<br />

can turn just about anything into just about any<br />

surfboard.<br />

“I make hollow wooden surfboards, fishes,<br />

guns, malibus and stand-up paddle boards.<br />

I still make foam and fiberglass surfboards of<br />

all shapes and sizes, but it is the wood boards<br />

that I really enjoy the most.”<br />

“Hemp was the past,<br />

and it’s going to<br />

be the future,<br />

because people are<br />

starting to realise<br />

the number of<br />

plastics that are<br />

in the ocean, and<br />

just I don’t want<br />

to see it anymore.”<br />

Wherever possible, Stephan uses recycled<br />

wood or sustainable grown timber to create his<br />

boards. However most recently he has delved<br />

into the vast capabilities of hemp in his new<br />

eco-friendly board range: Hemp Tech. Stephan<br />

says hemp boards are lighter and stronger<br />

than normal polyester boards and even epoxy<br />

boards.<br />

“I am right now making Hemp Tech Boards,<br />

which are recycled polystyrene boards with a<br />

minimum amount of fiberglass. We use hemp<br />

cloth and a range of different hemp materials<br />

like hemp, linen and silk, plus organic epoxy.<br />

“Hemp was the past, and it’s going to be the<br />

future, because people are starting to realise<br />

the number of plastics that are in the ocean,<br />

and just I don’t want to see it anymore.”<br />

Based in Coolum Beach in Queensland,<br />

Shapes by Steveo offers a range of Hemp<br />

Tec and recycled wooden boards. In perusing<br />

over Stephan’s beautiful wooden surfboard<br />

collection, you may even be tempted to hang<br />

up some venetian blinds in your home again -<br />

in the form of a board, of course.<br />

47 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />


connected by<br />

water<br />

Sometimes when your head gets the better<br />

of you, it’s important to take a step back,<br />

breathe, and feel the smooth, wooden<br />

grain of your very own creative and<br />

passionate project under your palm.<br />

I’m certain no one reading needs to be reminded<br />

of the healing power of the sea, the surf, and the<br />

board. Whether it’s cruising waves or shaping<br />

surfboards, surfing has always been a therapy for<br />

many people as well as a lifestyle.<br />

Someone who knows this exceptionally well is<br />

Greg Wallace, who, after 15 years of lecturing and<br />

practicing naturopathy around Australia, quit his job<br />

and built a legacy for himself by giving people the<br />

opportunity to learn, share, heal and grow through<br />

wooden surfboard workshops.<br />

For those who don’t know, naturopathy is a holistic<br />

approach to health and includes natural remedies<br />

like sunlight, exercise and stress management -<br />

which sounds a lot like surfing if you ask me. Greg<br />

would agree, which is why he founded Connected<br />

By, a charity that merges mental health and healing<br />

with the satisfying, long, and therapeutic process of<br />

wooden surfboard shaping.<br />

The charity is a branch of Bodhi Tree, a company<br />

founded Greg in 2012 that specialises in sustainably<br />

sourced wooden surfboard DIY kits. Back in the<br />

day, Bodhi Tree also provided wooden board<br />

building workshops, until Greg noticed an<br />

increasing amount of first responders and Australian<br />

Defence Force personnel seeing value in his<br />

lessons, propelling him to turn his company into a<br />

movement that would outlast him.<br />

“What I did nearly four years ago was create a<br />

charity out of the workshop component of Bodhi<br />

Tree, and I did this because I recognised that the<br />

long-term benefit for people’s wellbeing through<br />

building boards.<br />

“What I’ve done is combined all of the philosophies<br />

and understanding from my past career and created<br />

a space where people come to build a board and<br />

deal with trauma and transition.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 48

“Everything is hand shaped. We don’t use any<br />

guides or templates, everything is all about<br />

understanding, we want to give people the skills so<br />

if they want to build a board at home, they can”, he<br />

said.<br />

Greg said it all started when he attended a<br />

singular workshop in Perth and felt passion’s firm,<br />

comforting grip for the first time.<br />

“I built my son a nine-foot mal when he was three<br />

months old through a six-day course over three<br />

weekends, and when I left on the last day - I just<br />

had this rush.<br />

“I knew in that moment I felt passion. I was 37, and<br />

I had never known what it felt like. So I got a couple<br />

of wooden surfboard kits from the states and built<br />

those, but I was actually pretty disappointed with<br />

what I got.<br />

“I just wanted for everyone to feel what I felt, so<br />

I quit my job as a naturopath and reinvented the<br />

board building process to make it more accessible.<br />

I changed by path to building wooden surfboards,<br />

and it just made sense,” he said.<br />

After spending years in his shed developing and<br />

refining the process of hollow wooden board<br />

building, Greg founded Bodhi Tree Surfboards to<br />

share his love of the craft with the world.<br />

“Part of that passion I felt came from recognising<br />

that I could buy every part of the process. I really<br />

wanted to do it all myself. So I collect my own trees,<br />

and in house learned how to machine everything.<br />

“Wooden boards are stronger and structurally<br />

integral even before they get glassed. The thing I<br />

love most is that there’s no wrong way to build a<br />

board, it’s just a relationship with the builder and<br />

the method they’ve chosen. Its a labour of love,<br />

“We service anybody, but the parameters of<br />

the workshop have been set up for ex-defence<br />

members and ex-first responders, cops, firies,<br />

ambos and people who have suffered workplace<br />

trauma. Because of the place we have set up, it’s a<br />

trigger-free environment for them,” he said.<br />

The wooden boards take from 60 to 80 hours to<br />

build across three months, with the end result being<br />

a unique wooden surfboard that is as beautiful as<br />

it is functional. Greg said an important part of the<br />

workshops is to have everyone make the boards<br />

themselves.<br />

“You have to let everything go before you form<br />

a relationship with the board. They are not<br />

cookie cutter things, there’s a lot that goes into a<br />

surfboard. They are beautiful objects.<br />

“We have about ten frames that we use, and from<br />

those frames we can basically create any type of<br />

board. We don’t replicate boards or copy anything,<br />

but stylistically from those ten frames, we can make<br />

anything from a kickboard up to a ten-and-a-halffoot<br />

paddleboard.<br />

The surfboards are what I love to<br />

do with my life, and seeing what<br />

the surfboards do for other<br />

people, it just gives you that sense<br />

of pride.<br />

“In a throw-away society, we build boards that last<br />

at least a lifetime,” he said.<br />

Bodhi Tree was one of the first wooden board<br />

makers to go to market in Western Australia, and<br />

while the company remains a sustainable worldwide<br />

source of custom hollow surfboards, Connected By<br />

has become Greg’s true passion.<br />

“The surfboards are what I love to do with my life,<br />

and seeing what the surfboards do for other people,<br />

it just gives you that sense of pride,” he said.<br />

Connected By workshops are quiet, private and can<br />

be booked by appointment only.<br />

49 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />


<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 50

51 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

See<br />

the<br />

wood<br />

for<br />

the<br />

seas<br />

Mark Riley shapes solid balsa<br />

classics right through to a range of<br />

high-performance surfboards built<br />

with a recycled EPS foam core<br />

and a 2-3mm balsa outer skin.<br />

This makes the boards super<br />

light as well as super strong.<br />

Shortboards, longboards,<br />

fishes, funboards and<br />

paddle boards, Mark custom<br />

shapes them all with an ecoconsciousness<br />

second to none.<br />

He also conducts board building<br />

courses for the surfboard<br />

enthusiast.<br />

balsawoodsurfboardsriley.com<br />

0412 376 464 | mark@riley.com.au<br />

By Appointment: 156 President Ave, Miranda



email: outereye@gmail.com | phone: 02 6655 7007<br />


When Rob from Tree to Sea Surfboards asked if I wanted to give<br />

one of their eco-friendly Paulownia timber boards a go, I jumped at<br />

the chance. I love surfing and spend most of my time on my CI Fever.<br />

I’m a member of the Peninsula Surf Riders Club and love competing<br />

in competitions. I mainly surf on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria<br />

which gives us a huge variety of waves.<br />

The board from Tree to Sea I’m riding is a 5’5 Vola Twin fin.<br />

It’s super fun in smaller conditions and catches waves so easy.<br />

One amazing bonus is how tough it is, its so easy to fix I don’t<br />

have to hassle dad. Thanks heaps to the awesome crew at Tree to<br />

Sea, I’m looking forward to lots of epic sessions on this little<br />

beauty this Summer.<br />

— Ava Holland (pictured)<br />



workshops are held<br />

over 2 days<br />

We have 14 or so models to choose from<br />

ranging from performance shortboards,<br />

fishes, guns, longboards and our<br />

popular custom service. If you prefer<br />

TREE TO SEA AUSTRALIA can build an<br />

ECO Board for you.<br />

“Firstly, Rob, Gary & Darren - thanks so<br />

much for a hugely enjoyable and rewarding<br />

workshop. Rob for the technical know how,<br />

Gary for the patience, and Darren for the dirty<br />

jobs! I am absolutely stoked with the outcome<br />

and cannot believe we did it in 2 days. Back<br />

home I am trying to not let my enthusiasm<br />

get in the way of being patient, working out<br />

the staining, sanding - 120 then 240 grit,<br />

colouring, pin lines, varnishing etc.”<br />

— Jason<br />

The board has a very fast take off, easy pop up<br />

and is really really fast down the line. Really<br />

nice turns as well. Great bottom turn and<br />

amazing tight but predictable turns off the top.<br />

Super happy. The board got a lot of attention<br />

on the beach. A lot of impressed onlookers<br />

that discovered you can build a great board<br />

with you guys. Thanks so much.”<br />

— Andrew Hallett











He found there was a growing interest in<br />

wooden boards and so in 2008 hosted the<br />

first Wooden Surfboard Day at Currumbin on<br />

the Gold Coast. An event that he has hosted<br />

for 11 years and has attracted people from all<br />

over the world. His wooden surfboard Blog<br />

has had some 1.8 million visitors and been<br />

a source of knowledge and inspiration to<br />

others. He also assisted in the establishment<br />

of the European Wooden Board Day in Spain<br />

and attended the second event in 2019 at<br />

Playa de Berria.<br />

He has built wooden boards using many<br />

different methods and materials along the<br />

way. His preferred method is to vacuum<br />

bag wood veneers over an eps core which<br />

can then be glassed. This results in a board<br />

very similar in weight and performance to a<br />

traditional foam and fibreglass board. Wood<br />

has a certain attraction and allure to many<br />

people and if you are a surfer then a wooden<br />

board is a must-have in your quiver.<br />







FOR A MATE, OR<br />



surfboardsbygrantnewby.com<br />


M: 0434 797 596<br />

IG: @SURFBOARD<strong>SB</strong>YGRANTNEWBY<br />

55 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 56


WOOD<br />



TIMBER<br />





0421522503<br />


shapesbysteveo.com<br />

57 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>


words: Amber O’Dell<br />

photos: theoceancleanup.com<br />

No doubt all of us are growing tired of<br />

walking along our beautiful beaches and<br />

spotting the occasional plastic bottle bobbing<br />

over the waves, beer can half-buried in the<br />

shore, or plastic bag being brought in with<br />

the sea foam.<br />

This garbage many of us have to pick up and move<br />

out of the way of our beach towels are some of the<br />

5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. With our<br />

rubbish being incredibly damaging to marine life,<br />

it’s unfortunate that plastic is as common a sight as<br />

fish nowadays, in fact, scientists predict plastics will<br />

outweigh all fish species in our oceans by 2050.<br />

While this is a damning and upsetting issue,<br />

there are so many people doing truly incredible<br />

and innovative things to clean up our oceans<br />

that deserve to be spoken about. While large<br />

media companies would prefer to shine a light on<br />

controversial and environmental protesting, the<br />

people that truly deserve the world’s attention<br />

are those taking action and providing hope and<br />

inspiration for others to do the same. One of these<br />

incredible people is young Dutch inventor and<br />

entrepreneur, Boyan Slat.<br />

In 2011, Boyan was also tired of spotting rubbish on<br />

the beaches of his home, so, at the age of 16, when<br />

most of us were still figuring out how to socialise,<br />

he decided to do something about the world’s<br />

devastating ocean pollution.<br />

Driven by his shock in seeing more plastic than fish<br />

while scuba diving one day, Boyan said he came<br />

up with an idea for a strategic and energy-efficient<br />

solution to rid the world of large garbage patches<br />

floating in the middle of the ocean.<br />

“I wondered why we couldn’t just clean it up, and<br />

that rather simple question stuck in my head.<br />

“This plastic doesn’t go away by itself, and to just<br />

let hundreds of thousands of tons of plastic be out<br />

there fragmenting into these small and dangerous<br />

microplastics to me seems like an unacceptable<br />

scenario.”<br />

While cleaning up ocean garbage is easy when it<br />

washes up on our shore, it is not so much when it<br />

is stuck circling in currents thousands of kilometres<br />

away from land. So, Boyan’s solution was to create<br />

long barriers to concentrate the plastic and act as<br />

artificial coastlines where there is none.<br />

“I envisioned an extremely long network of floating<br />

barriers, they’re like curtains floating in the ocean<br />

which are attached to the seabed. So what happens<br />

is the current comes around and because it’s in<br />

a V-shape, the plastic gets pushed towards the<br />

centre.<br />

“I came up with the idea of a curtain, not a net, so<br />

there’s nothing sea life can get entangled with. The<br />

system would also move very slowly, around four<br />

inches per second on average. So the chances of<br />

sea life being harmed were very minimal.”<br />

At the age of 17, when most of us were having<br />

nightmares about public speaking, Boyan presented<br />

his idea in a TEDx talk in the city of Delft in the<br />

Netherlands. In 2013, his passion and determination<br />

led him to drop out of an aerospace engineering<br />

course at the Delft University of Technology. It<br />

was at this point that he founded the non-profit<br />

organisation The Ocean Cleanup, which currently<br />

has its HQ in Rotterdam.<br />

Boyan said it was a challenge being in the CEO role<br />

at the start of the organisation, but despite his many<br />

failed attempts at creating a working prototype,<br />

and his ironic problem of getting badly seasick,<br />

he eventually created System 001, the first ocean<br />

clean-up system, in September 2018.<br />

“When I started, there was this consensus that you<br />

could never clean this up, that the problem is way<br />

too big, the ocean is way too rough. There was the<br />

issue of bycatch - ‘plastic is too big, plastic is too<br />

small’.<br />


The Great Pacific Garbage Patch<br />

“It was a feat we were pleasantly surprised to<br />

achieve. When people say something is impossible,<br />

the sheer absoluteness of that statement should be<br />

a motivation to investigate further.”<br />

In 2021, the team at The Ocean Cleanup, consisting<br />

of 120 engineers, researchers, scientists and<br />

more, made Boyan’s concepts into a reality with<br />

the new and improved System 002, which is<br />

currently harvesting every little bit of rubbish across<br />

kilometres of open ocean, including tiny onemillimetre<br />

microplastics.<br />

Boyan said the trash collected by the clean-up<br />

system is dumped on the ships pulling the barriers<br />

and brought back to shore once a month, where it<br />

is processed and recycled into new products. Using<br />

the ocean plastic, the organisation created and sold<br />

sunglasses with 100 percent of the proceeds going<br />

back towards their clean-up efforts.<br />

“We have been able to recycle it into a high quality,<br />

useful product; something which was always<br />

considered impossible because of the complex<br />

nature of ocean plastic.<br />

“But there is something else we tried to achieve<br />

with this model, to show how plastic can be used<br />

responsibly. What we’ve been able to accomplish<br />

with these sunglasses I hope will already raise<br />

the bar of what it means for a product to be<br />

sustainable,” he said.<br />

Thanks to the persistence and passion of Boyan,<br />

The Ocean Cleanup has successfully cleansed<br />

over 500,000 football fields worth of ocean. On<br />

top of this, they have also collected over 100,000<br />

kilograms of trash from the largest build-up of<br />

ocean plastics on earth, the Great Pacific Garbage<br />

Patch. Boyan said they started solely concentrating<br />

Basically, just picture a mass of garbage about the size of the entire<br />

state of Queensland floating in the middle of the ocean and trapped<br />

circling in currents between Japan and the U.S.A.<br />

• It is the largest of five offshore plastic garbage patches on earth<br />

• According to studies conducted by The Ocean Cleanup,<br />

86 percent of the rubbish comes from fishing activities, with 84<br />

percent containing toxic chemicals.<br />

• It is estimated the plastics in the patch originate mainly from<br />

Japan, China and the USA.<br />

on cleaning up the garbage patch because they felt<br />

it was the most neglected environmental problem of<br />

them all.<br />

“The waste is mostly in international waters that are<br />

sort of in no man’s land, and thus considered to be<br />

not one nation’s problem.<br />

“It’s a very strange experience to be four or five<br />

days from the closest point of land, and you see<br />

more plastic than you have in your life.”<br />

Not only does The Ocean Cleanup believe in<br />

removing plastics from the oceans, but also in<br />

halting the trash flow from the rivers, which are the<br />

main source of ocean plastic pollution. Boyan said<br />

the rivers are the arteries that carry waste from the<br />

land to the ocean, and that preventing pollution is<br />

just as important as cleaning it up.<br />

“We absolutely need to clean up the plastic that’s<br />

already in the ocean. It won’t go away by itself. But<br />

we do also need to make sure that no more plastic<br />

enters the oceans in the first place. These things<br />

should go hand in hand,” he said.<br />

In 2017 the organisation invented the Interceptor<br />

001, a river clean-up system that is placed at the<br />

mouths of rivers and completely stops the flow of<br />

rubbish to our oceans. Today, multiple iterations<br />

of the technology are placed in various locations<br />

across Malaysia, USA, Indonesia, and more. The<br />

organisation hopes to eventually install versions of<br />

the Interceptor across the 1000 top polluting rivers<br />

that are responsible for roughly 80 percent of ocean<br />

pollution.<br />

The Ocean Cleanup is currently conceptualising the<br />

third iteration of the clean-up system that is planned<br />

to completely rid our ocean of the Great Pacific<br />

Garbage Patch. System 03 will be comprised of<br />

three vessels hauling a huge 2,500-meter-wide<br />

barrier system and will also rely on drones to locate<br />

garbage hot spots. Over the next few months the<br />

organisation is planning on creating a fleet of 10<br />

System 03’s. A massive project to say the least.<br />

With their innovative new technology, Ocean<br />

Cleanup boldly aims to remove 90 percent<br />

of floating plastic by 2040. The non-profit<br />

organisation is solely funded through donations and<br />

sponsorships, and hopefully when the media sorts<br />

out its environmental priority issues, more people<br />

will be exposed to the wonderful work that Boyan<br />

has done, and more people will be inspired to<br />

donate or find solutions of their own to keep those<br />

annoying plastic bottles off of our beaches.<br />

“It will be very hard to convince everyone in the<br />

world to handle their plastics responsibly, but what<br />

we humans are very good in, is inventing technical<br />

solutions to our problems.<br />

“For society to progress, we should not only move<br />

forward but also clean up after ourselves,” Boyan<br />

said.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 60

61 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

“It’s a very strange<br />

experience to be<br />

four or five days<br />

from the closest<br />

point of land, and<br />

you see more<br />

plastic than you<br />

have in your life,”<br />

Boyan said.

THE<br />

ART<br />

IS<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 62

the motion of surfing<br />

art inspired by the sea<br />

always on the move…<br />

. . . is a haiku written by artist,<br />

surfer and traveller Laura Feller<br />

as a mantra for both her life and<br />

work.<br />

As an inspired artist and illustrator born in Austria,<br />

Laura simply cannot help but have the travel bug.<br />

Always going where her heart takes her, she has<br />

journeyed from the lush wonders of New Zealand to<br />

the pristine beaches of Australia to the tropical surfing<br />

paradise of Bali.<br />

Travelling inspires and drives everything Laura does,<br />

which is why wherever she goes, her sketchbook<br />

follows. Filled with wonderful watercolour illustrations,<br />

her art perfectly depicts the small intricacies and<br />

feelings of surfing and the picturesque places she visits<br />

around the world.<br />

In addition to her sketches of surfers carving up<br />

watercolour waves, her art is also littered with skilfully<br />

drawn architectural wonders inspired by her travels.<br />

Laura said she attended art school and studied<br />

architecture in the trendy and cultural city of Graz,<br />

which is a place she calls home whenever she goes<br />

back to Austria.<br />

“I took my time and travelled a lot during my studies.<br />

The further away and the more exotic the culture the<br />

better. Different architecture, food, plants, animals,<br />

languages and people are super interesting to me.<br />

“It really makes you see our planet with open eyes<br />

and teaches you to have awe in life. Looking back,<br />

that’s why I changed my path from wanting to become<br />

an architect to an artist. Well, of course surfing was<br />

involved too,” she said.<br />

Laura grew up on a small farm in the land-locked<br />

country of Austria. Her summer holidays were by the<br />

Mediterranean Sea, but while it was beautiful there,<br />

the expanse of water is almost completely enclosed<br />

by land and waveless. While she was very connected<br />

to nature her whole life, Laura said she didn’t discover<br />

surfing until she was 23.<br />

“Getting into surfing was pure luck I would say. Back in<br />

2016, I wanted to go on an exchange to Australia, but<br />

the program didn’t work out, so I signed up for study in<br />

Bali very last minute and not knowing too much about<br />

it at all.<br />

“A few months later I had my very first surf lesson<br />

through uni on Kuta Beach. Then I found a few friends<br />

who surfed, and I was hooked! I remember we often<br />

surfed before and after uni, and I just couldn’t get<br />

enough.<br />

“The seven months there passed way too quickly, and<br />

after one month of traveling in Australia afterwards I<br />

was back home in Austria. It was early March and still<br />

cold and all I could think about was ways to get back<br />

into Bali and surf. As stubborn as I am, I made it work<br />

somehow, and spent every study break in Indonesia<br />

and also later in New Zealand,” she said.<br />

For someone who grew up in a land-locked country,<br />

it’s a miracle and a wonder that Laura has become so<br />

passionate with surfing. Laura said she loves riding<br />

the waves, not just because she likes being outside<br />

and having fun with friends, but because it teaches her<br />

patience and it’s not like any other sport she has tried.<br />

“Surfing challenges you in so many ways physically<br />

and mentally. So many factors have to play out in<br />

order to catch a good wave. Pushing through those<br />

frustrating moments helped me a lot to tackle other<br />

hurdles in life, both privately and with work.<br />

“The ocean calms you and challenges you at the same<br />

time and is something that I find very freeing. What’s<br />

cool is that you’ll never be the boss, and the ocean will<br />

show you that from time to time. Eventually, you can<br />

learn to have a good relationship with it, and you will<br />

be rewarded.<br />

“There’s nothing like coming off a wave that felt good,<br />

you just can’t hide your smile afterwards and it will<br />

make you paddle back out no matter how tired your<br />

arms are already. It’s addictive, but in a good way,”<br />

she said.<br />

63 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

Laura’s love of the surf and the sea is reflected<br />

in her rhythmic, flowing artwork. She said at the<br />

beginning, her art and style were totally influenced<br />

by architectural sketching, until she started to carry<br />

a sketchbook around with her while travelling.<br />

“I transformed from black and white line drawings<br />

to watercolour, mostly because I just couldn’t<br />

bring the surf scenes across the way I wanted with<br />

a black pen. Exploring this new style, I actually<br />

fell in love with it. Now I can express myself best<br />

when combining line drawings with free-flowing<br />

watercolour.<br />

“I love sketching outside the most, there I can get<br />

into a certain flow where my hand is moving freely<br />

and producing what I see in a way that I could never<br />

guide consciously and that doesn’t follow any rule.<br />

These are the drawings that I’m most satisfied with<br />

myself.<br />

“You often don’t really know when and why<br />

inspiration hits you for a certain painting, but there is<br />

something that drives you, images in your head that<br />

just want to come out. For some time, when a new<br />

idea for a painting is in your head, you are almost<br />

uncomfortable until you can bring it onto paper.<br />

“In general, I would say my<br />

biggest inspiration is ‘observing<br />

closely’. For me it’s about the<br />

little details, the hidden feelings<br />

between the lines or a certain<br />

atmosphere. I soak all of that up<br />

and subconsciously transform it<br />

into lines and surfaces,” she said.<br />

Being a self-employed artist, Laura has a lot of fun<br />

letting loose her creativity with the many private<br />

commissions she’s taken on. From mural paintings,<br />

portraits of homes and window illustrations to<br />

artwork for websites, flyers and books - she leaves<br />

behind a trail of dazzling drawings wherever she<br />

travels. Laura said the one thing she loves about her<br />

job is that she gets a lot of different enquires.<br />

“Private commissions are always special, because<br />

people share their stories with me and give me their<br />

trust to transform it into a painting. My favourite<br />

piece that I have done is probably a mural where<br />

I have combined frame prints into a panoramic<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 64

65 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

drawing of a landscape showing different places where I<br />

have travelled to. With my background in architecture, it’s<br />

super interesting to me to transform rooms and spaces<br />

with art,” she said.<br />

While Laura’s artistic motifs often include surfing,<br />

architecture and anything that she can observe around<br />

her, she also has a strong interest in sustainability across<br />

all sectors, especially when it comes to architecture. Laura<br />

said she tries to shift her focus to sustainable projects as<br />

much as she can.<br />

“I don’t only want to draw my environment, but also for the<br />

environment. Making an impact with my work is always<br />

something that drives me. With my illustrations I want to<br />

make important information visible for a larger group of<br />

people and help to make the world a little bit of a better<br />

place.<br />

“In the past year I have illustrated and written a children’s<br />

book. It’s an activity book where you can playfully explore<br />

a lot about ecological footprints and learn how to see<br />

everything on this planet as connected. The book aims to<br />

show the huge potential there is to live happily and more<br />

in tune with nature. I am still looking for a publisher who<br />

shares my passion and wants to realise this project with<br />

me.<br />

“Looking at things through kids’ eyes can teach you so<br />

much and I’m always learning lots from them for my work<br />

and life in general,” she said.<br />

In 2018, she bumped into her future husband, Tom, while<br />

surfing in Portugal. Laura said she was incredibly lucky to<br />

find a person who shares her dreams, and she can’t even<br />

imagine going on surfing adventures without him.<br />

“For the past one and a half years I have been at home,<br />

but my husband and I have recently moved back to Bali to<br />

stay for a year. I just love the tropical weather and food of<br />

Bali, and with the friendly and kind people and the amazing<br />

waves, it’s just paradise on earth,” she said.<br />

While Laura adores travelling the beaches and wonders of<br />

the world with her sketchbook in hand, she said the most<br />

difficult part of following the waves is that it always comes<br />

with being away from her family and friends.<br />

“At the moment I am moving around a lot to try and<br />

balance time with loved ones, living by the sea, and work,<br />

which is not always easy. I feel like I have three places I call<br />

home and I can’t split myself in three pieces.<br />

“Every move naturally comes with a lot of heartbreak, but<br />

also joy and excitement, Sometimes I think if we had a<br />

wave pool in Austria the decision of where to live would be<br />

easy, but in the end that’s not true. Honestly, I’d still have<br />

the travel bug,” she said.<br />

Laura’s collections of inspired artwork and illustrations can<br />

be found on her website,<br />

www.laurafeller.com, Instagram, @laurafellerart, and<br />

Facebook, Always On The Move/laurafellerart.

W<br />

W<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 66

AYNE’S<br />

ORLD<br />







words: Angus Brown<br />

photos: supplied courtesy of Wayne Winchester<br />

67 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

Wayne Winchester is the man behind this new and<br />

exciting venture which opened its doors in early<br />

2022. Wayne has been working on living the dream<br />

for half a century, not only shaping, repairing and<br />

restoring boards, but most importantly surfing,<br />

photographing, filming and amassing a collection of<br />

historic boards and memorabilia.<br />

As a young man in the 70s and 80s, Wayne was<br />

living in the Perth area when his passion for all<br />

things surfing led him towards making boards in his<br />

family backyard shed. Over time he shaped under a<br />

range of brands including Boom Shankar, Tin Can<br />

Surfboards, Salt Fever and Winchester. In the 80s,<br />

Wayne and his wife Carol managed to have a team<br />

of staff working and shaping boards.<br />

Wayne was absorbed in the surfing lifestyle as a<br />

young man, though he is quick to point out that<br />

although he loved everything surf-related, including<br />

running a board shaping business, he always<br />

worked a real job on the side to help supplement<br />

his lifestyle. While his shaping business was<br />

successful, he soon found a niche in the market<br />

offering surfboard repairs.<br />

While most of the surf shops in the Perth area at the<br />

time sold boards, very few offered a repair service.<br />

So, Wayne and his team developed a reputation for<br />

delivering quality board repairs and soon after most<br />

of the shops in the Perth area were referring to him.<br />

Wayne identified that board repair was relatively<br />

lucrative as making boards (similar to today) was a<br />

very time-consuming and expensive process with<br />

often very tight margins.<br />

We will address Wayne’s Surf Gallery and<br />

“Evolution of the Surfboard’ exhibition later, but<br />

for now we wanted to catch up with him and pick<br />

his brain on surfboard restoration and surfboard<br />

collecting - both of which are his key passions and<br />

has led him to where he is today.<br />


Wayne was keen to differentiate between surfboard<br />

repair and surfboard restoration.<br />

“Repairs are usually done to everyday riders and<br />

are generally just to fix specific areas of damage to<br />

keep the board in a surfable condition.<br />


70S AND 80S, WAYNE<br />








“Restoration involves a much deeper and complex<br />

process. The work is generally done to specific<br />

vintage surfboards and involves the entire board,”<br />

he said.<br />

Approaches to surfboard restoration vary. Some<br />

‘hard’ restoration processes can be quite intensive,<br />

as basically all of the fibreglass is removed leaving<br />

only the original blank, with the board being built<br />

back up using new decals, colours and glass.<br />

On the other end of the spectrum, we have all seen<br />

those restoration jobs where an old board receives<br />

a paint job on the outside of the glass and a new<br />

shiny clear coat to retain only the tapped off logo,<br />

shape and rails of the original board. As a collector<br />

and surf historian, Wayne takes a more measured<br />

and honest approach to his restoration work.<br />

“Restoration demands a different level of respect.<br />

It’s about preserving culture and it aligns with my<br />

technical, environmental and artistic approach to<br />

life,” he said.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 68

69 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>











<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 70

Bringing surfboards back from the brink to where<br />

they are valued and appreciated is intrinsically<br />

rewarding for Wayne. Some of his clients want<br />

to surf the boards again, and others want them<br />

as display items or even to sell, which is also a<br />

factor in how the restoration is approached. While<br />

he considers the customer’s desires, he prefers a<br />

‘softer’ approach to restoration.<br />

Authenticity is key for Wayne, as he likes to keep<br />

as much of the original fabric and material of the<br />

boards as possible. He focusses on repairing any<br />

of the damage and structural issues using minimal<br />

impact and the correct materials.<br />

“My involvement in the surfing industry since the<br />

late 60s has given me the knowledge to undertake<br />

the work in a manner that is sympathetic to the<br />

era that the board was made, using period correct<br />

materials and techniques,” he said.<br />

He attempts to source period correct fins and,<br />

if required, correct decals and logos. Even<br />

maintaining much of the patina, such as the<br />

yellowing and marks of a well-used and loved<br />

surfboard, is important to him. Wayne of course<br />

takes serious efforts to colour match and repair any<br />

designs or artworks.<br />

Surfboard condition is typically ranked on a 1 to<br />

10 scale. Wayne notes that while not all boards<br />

can be restored back to a high rank, with a good<br />

restoration job, all boards can be improved.<br />


It’s impossible to explore surfboard restoration<br />

without delving into the subject of surfboard<br />

collectability and value. Wayne reports that he<br />

noticed the collectability and monetary value of<br />

old surfboards had become increasingly apparent<br />

in the 2000’s. Prior to this, although there were<br />

collectors, there wasn’t as broader demand or real<br />

appreciation for the importance and historic value of<br />

surfboards.<br />

But, given the growth of the wide-spread appeal<br />

of surfing, this situation has changed. Wayne talks<br />

of the ‘40-year factor’ in collecting which can be<br />

seen in a whole range of areas such as music,<br />

furniture, fashion or any pop culture objects where<br />

items can become highly desirable again. This<br />

may be because of trends returning, or people<br />

wanting to connect with their past (and some 40<br />

years later they have the means and time to revisit<br />

this influential time of their life) or the quality and<br />

craftsmanship finally being recognised in a world of<br />

mass production.<br />

“You can consider value in terms of monetary terms<br />

or emotional terms,” he said.<br />

In terms of general collectable demand and<br />

monetary value there are a couple of core<br />

considerations: age, condition and providence.<br />

Wayne notes that originally it was the boards of<br />

the 50s and 60s that were sought after and had<br />

the highest value. This then extended to the single<br />

fins of the 70s and now, much to his surprise, the<br />

fluorescent thrusters of the 80s. He is not sure<br />

how this will translate for the mass-produced, thin<br />

banana boards of the nineties but hey, you never<br />

know!<br />

71 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

Example of providence -<br />

Martin Potters board on the<br />

cover of Tracks magazine.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 72

The overall condition of the board is also an important<br />

factor, whether this be its original condition or<br />

restored condition. As discussed, boards are rated on<br />

a 1 to 10 scale in terms of condition. The boards that<br />

are typically in better condition are more collectable.<br />

This is where the quality of the restoration process in<br />

terms of enhancing the boards condition plays a big<br />

role.<br />

However, providence is the most significant and often<br />

unknown factor in terms of making a board financially<br />

valuable. Providence refers to the verified background<br />

of the board, including the shaper, the brand, the<br />

decals, the artwork, and the people who have ridden<br />

it. These all add to the story, history and importance<br />

of a board. For the average surfer who has a couple<br />

of old boards under the house, this is one of the<br />

most difficult areas to determine. Those of us who<br />

don’t have an intimate knowledge of surfing history<br />

probably don’t pay much attention to many of these<br />

details. Being able to identify the tangible history of<br />

the board helps to determine its true value. Searching<br />

for clues such as the brand, the shaper and any<br />

identifying features can assist with this investigative<br />

process. Wayne advised a good starting point is the<br />

surfsearch.com.au website.<br />




Over his years in the industry, Wayne amassed an<br />

impressive collection of rare and collectible boards.<br />

When running his shaping and repair factory in Perth,<br />

surfers would often trade their old boards for the latest<br />

models.<br />

“People didn’t see the value in old single fins, they<br />

were seeking to get their hands on the latest thruster,”<br />

he said.<br />

Despite not having any plans for the growing<br />

collection at the time, he maintained a deep<br />

appreciation for the craftsmanship and artwork<br />

associated with these boards so he couldn’t help<br />

but keep them. Wayne explained that at the time,<br />

those boards were not considered collectable, as<br />

they weren’t that old. It wasn’t until the early 2000s,<br />

when the sport of surfing become a major industry,<br />

that people really started to appreciate them for their<br />

cultural and historical significance.<br />

Forward some 30 or so years later, Wayne decided it<br />

was time display his hidden treasures.<br />

He curated some hugely successful “Evolution of the<br />

Surfboard” exhibitions in Albany and Esperance and<br />

received a lot of interest in his collection. Momentum<br />

continued to build but the logistics of transporting<br />

and displaying his boards proved prohibitive. So<br />

Wayne, with the support of his wife Carol, sought<br />

and identified a suitable property on the highway at<br />

Youngs Siding. Previously it was a dairy farm and at<br />

the time of purchase in 2020 it housed a Woodwork<br />


<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 74

After significant hard work and refurbishment, this became<br />

the permanent location for what is today the largest private<br />

collection on public display of surfboards in Australia. The<br />

exhibition space and display are of a very high standard and<br />

Wayne talks of drawing inspiration from MONA in Tasmania.<br />

It is apparent when visiting the venue that Wayne has a focus<br />

and attention to detail that is present in all he undertakes.<br />

Wayne with Neves and<br />

the Mexican Board<br />

The surf gallery houses an extensive collection of<br />

boards dating back to the origins of surfing through the<br />

development of the surfboard up until the current day. It<br />

is hard to describe the quality and historical importance of<br />

some of these boards but consider some highlights such<br />

as an original 1975 Jerry Lopez Lightning Bolt, a 1968<br />

George Greenough Spoon and a 1981 Michael Peterson<br />

Winterspoon. But there are so many more, some 80 in total,<br />

on show.<br />

There are also a range of historic photos and a curated film<br />

on display taken by Wayne and his brother that transport you<br />

back in time. The exhibition also includes a brief evolution of<br />

the skateboard from the 60s to the 80s along with a viewing<br />

window into Wayne’s workshop where, if you are lucky, you<br />

can see him working his magic.<br />

Since opening, Wayne continues to develop his collection,<br />

with people often giving him surfing memorabilia knowing<br />

it will be valued and may be given the opportunity to be<br />

appreciated by a broader audience.<br />

Alongside the gallery is a coffee shop (for which Carol bakes<br />

fresh cakes daily) and a restored dairy shed and meeting<br />

place which makes for a great place to chill and reflect on<br />

this little gem of a setup. In the near future there will be<br />

opportunities for related artists to access gallery space so<br />

keep an eye out on the website for more information.<br />

thesurfgallery.com.au<br />

surfboardresto.com.au<br />













When talking about value to an individual it is not<br />

necessarily about financial worth. Wayne’s favourite and<br />

personally most valuable board is ‘The Mexican’. He<br />

obtained the board in the 80s and it is the one he feels the<br />

most attached too. The board is a short twin fine shaped by<br />

Ian Keightly in 1976 (Mt Pleasant WA) and depicts a lonely<br />

Mexican riding a donkey across the desert, with perfect<br />

unridden barrels in the background. For Wayne, this image<br />

captured and continues to conjure up the allure of surfing<br />

and travel in the 70s, with a world of unknown waves to be<br />

ridden by adventurous surfers.<br />

The story of this board became even more interesting when<br />

Wayne was able to locate the artist, Neves Sumner, who<br />

airbrushed the image at 16 years of age. Wayne described<br />

the moment as being quite emotional when he was able<br />

to show the board to Neves some 40 plus years later. The<br />

Mexican takes pride of place in the exhibition.<br />

75 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

7’10 X 20 X 27/8<br />

Foam and wood, single<br />

fin, flat bottom - vee in tail.<br />

For bigger waves!<br />

SAM EGAN<br />


M: 0408 676 481<br />

E: samegansurf@icloud.com<br />

Another Fat<br />

Bastard hits<br />

the lineup...<br />

the board not the surfer<br />


SURF<br />


PHONE: 02 4456 4038<br />

MOBILE: 0427 767 176<br />

EMAIL: markrab88@gmail.com<br />

mark_rabbidge_surf_design<br />

different to the rest.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 76

Quality build. Satisfaction guaranteed.<br />


We love creating individual unique<br />

custom boards, built to last.<br />

#clarksurfboards #soarfins<br />

#burfordblanks #customsurfboards<br />

#madeinadelaide #quality<br />

#foamsprays #glassonfins<br />

#twinfinsurfboard<br />



Units 7 & 8, 9 Chapman Road,<br />

Hackham, SA<br />

E: leightonclark01@yahoo.com.au<br />

M: 0422 443 789<br />

02 6685 6211 2/7 Acacia St, Byron Bay<br />

6’1 X 19 1/2 X 2 7/16<br />

L: The “Compass” model -<br />

a high performance board for<br />

punchy hollow waves. V=29.<br />

The single concave throughout<br />

gives a balanced transition<br />

between top & bottom pocket<br />

surfing and down the line<br />

speed.<br />

6,1 X 20 X 2 7/16<br />

R: V=32 single flyer,<br />

swallow tail, deep single<br />

concave.<br />

CUSTOM<br />

BOARDS<br />

DIRECT,<br />


PRICES<br />


E: dsshapes@gmail.com<br />

M: 0475 408 198<br />



M: 0404 059 321<br />

E: axissurf@yahoo.com.au<br />

W: espsurfboards.com<br />


77 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

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<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 78<br />

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gear<br />

Guns<br />

to Gut<br />

Sliders -<br />

we got you<br />

covered!<br />

KEITH /<br />



M: 0434 211 779<br />

Photo Credit: Hewysurf Photography<br />

Burford Blanks<br />

provides surfboard<br />

blanks and<br />

other surfboard<br />

materials to help<br />

you build your<br />

ultimate surfboard<br />

including:<br />

Foam surfboard blanks<br />

Polyester resin<br />

Fibreglass<br />

Fibreglass fins<br />

@ burfordblanks<br />

Burford<br />

blanks<br />

Located in Currumbin, we have<br />

been supplying to the surfboard<br />

industry since 1966, providing<br />

services Australia-wide and<br />

exporting internationally. Our<br />

goal is to get your project on<br />

the right track with the right<br />

surfboard blanks and materials<br />

for your needs. When you shop<br />

for surfboard blanks with us,<br />

you can rest assured your needs<br />

are in the hands of a dedicated<br />

family-run business.<br />

Whether you know exactly what<br />

you need for your surfboard<br />

requirements or you could<br />

benefit from some professional<br />

advice, we’re happy to help.<br />

Call us today!<br />

07 5534 3777 to speak<br />

to one of our surfboard<br />

blanks specialists!<br />

www.burfordblanksaustralia.com.au<br />

79 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

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<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 80




81 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

Out There,<br />

DOIN’ IT!<br />

“This is my shop!” - a fair comment, if it’s coming<br />

from the person who owns it, however, so often<br />

it’s from a customer. It’s humbling, as you know<br />

you’re on the right track when you inadvertently hear<br />

comments like that as they walk past the door telling<br />

their friends about the store.<br />

“I buy all my gear from here” - so many do, and it’s<br />

appreciated.<br />

We’ve been around a while here at NZSHRED.<br />

From our conception in the mid-80’s out of a need<br />

to fund a Southern Hemisphere snow holiday, to<br />

the modern day where we cater for all sorts of<br />

fashion and sport orientated hardware and apparel<br />

requirements. From our roots in snow and skate,<br />

through to surf and SUP, to the modern era of wake,<br />

foil and bike. Like so many other customers remind<br />

us - “You have a bit of everything in here!”. There is<br />

a lot of product in our little footprint – it really is like<br />

owning your very own toy shop.<br />

The development of a relationship with our<br />

customers is at the core of our NZSHRED<br />

community. It’s as much about understanding the<br />

marketplace, reading the customer requirements<br />

or paying the bills as it is being honest to ourselves<br />

and making sure we are also ‘getting out there and<br />

doing it’!<br />

I’ve always found it funny when sitting with a<br />

customer fitting them into a new pair of snowboard<br />

boots or trying them in a good pair of goggles and<br />

they comment - “Well, you could sell me anything, I<br />

suppose”. And partly, they are right. A salespersons<br />

skill is sometimes misconstrued as their ability to<br />

convince a customer that they need a particular<br />

item. I’d like to think we take a very different<br />

approach and our reply to their suggestion is - “But,<br />

I will see you in the lift line”, and we do! There is<br />

no better feeling than to be waved at randomly by<br />

someone sporting their new kit, proud as punch,<br />

and, just like us, they’re ‘out there doing it!’.<br />

Sitting in the line-up some months ago at our<br />

closest break on the New Zealand South Island’s<br />

very south coast, the swell had dropped out and<br />

I had time between sets to loose myself in the<br />

magic of the morning sun reflecting on the water<br />

and the glassiness that was suggesting to me<br />

perhaps a switch to a SUP would keep me out there<br />

for another hour or so. As I perused those hardy<br />

folks, who no doubt were having similar thoughts<br />

to me, I recognised a recent customer sporting<br />

a 7’6” funboard purchased just days before. He<br />

was ‘out there doing it’, as were the group of local<br />

Queenstown girls, eating their breakfast after their<br />

“There is no<br />

better feeling<br />

than to be waved<br />

at randomly by<br />

someone sporting<br />

their new kit,<br />

proud as punch,<br />

and, just like us,<br />

they’re ‘out there<br />

doing it!’.”

morning session while watching the tiny swells meander into the bay<br />

from the side of their campervan. Two of the wetsuits hanging from<br />

the back door were literally hanging instore just days before.<br />

I think this is what owning a shop is really about, the ability to be part<br />

of your own community, to do the things you like and sell that game to<br />

your customers.<br />

Whether it’s some early morning laps up the Remarkables, or a<br />

session with friends in the backcountry of the Doolans,<br />

It could be negotiating messy peaks at Colac Bay, or a sunset SUP<br />

paddle and a beer on Lake Wakatipu.<br />

Or, just getting that endless powder fix on our annual Japan snow<br />

tour.<br />

In equal measure, we must strive for the products to facilitate the<br />

tasks, as much as we encourage and embrace the drive to stay ‘out<br />

there, doing it’!<br />

Real Surf<br />

“Real Surf is a locally owned and operated Core Surf Store<br />

specialising in surfboards, wetsuits, hardware and rentals. Come<br />

check out our new store just down the road at 5/56 Kingsford<br />

Smith St, Lyall Bay, Wellington.<br />

“We’re open 7 days a week with a friendly and experienced team<br />

ready to help out with your next purchase!<br />

Alternatively check out our website for the latest products and<br />

sale deals at www.realsurf.co.nz or find us on social media.”<br />

+64 4 387 8798<br />

www.realsurf.co.nz<br />

team@realsurf.co.nz<br />

In the 80’s we printed t-shirts as kids<br />

with our surf designs in our beach<br />

garage. Coupled with home made surf<br />

wax and board repairs, our surf brand<br />

was a family affair.<br />

Today the prints are available worldwide<br />

through our online store. Our shirts are<br />

hand-crafted and made with the same<br />

love and aloha from the 80s. We stock<br />

authentic Hawaiian shirts, single<br />

fins, vintage art and all things<br />

longboard. We have strong<br />

connections to Australia<br />

with Michael Saggus<br />

Longboards and Surf<br />

organic wax. Find us<br />

under the palm trees of<br />

Mount Maunganui.<br />

169 Maunganui Rd,<br />

Mt Maunganui Beach<br />

P: (07)5743888<br />

NZ SHRED<br />

words: jase johns<br />

www.nzshred.co.nz<br />

mountlongboards.com<br />

83 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>


In days heavily reliant on online shopping and web<br />

orders, at the SupCentre we still recognise the<br />

importance of an in-store experience. With our shop<br />

conveniently located near Auckland’s CBD, we aim to<br />

be a one-stop shop for all your watersport needs.<br />

In-store we not only stock an extensive range of quality<br />

brands but a variety of clothing, accessories and hard<br />

goods. Customers of the store are always met with<br />

our friendly, knowledgeable staff who can answer your<br />

questions, provide you with local advice or are just<br />

down to have a yarn about all things surf and SUP.<br />

By buying in-store not only do you get to try on gear,<br />

compare boards and view or test products but you<br />

are more likely to walk away with a board that is a<br />

perfect fit for you and your needs. An in-store surf shop<br />

experience is unparalleled. Whether it be the live surf<br />

comps streamed in the shop, a peek inside our fin box<br />

or our exclusive instant coffee service from our wellknown<br />

neighbour’s Cafe Laffare. A trip to SupCentre<br />

will leave you feeling psyched and ready for your next<br />

mission!<br />

So be sure to pop in store for a good time and great<br />

deals. You are in good hands with Auckland’s shop for<br />

all things stand-up paddle, surf and foil.<br />

P: 09 520 3366<br />



supcentre.co.nz<br />

Your stand<br />

up paddle<br />

boarding<br />

specialists.<br />

Moana<br />

SUP and Surf<br />

Your stand up paddleboarding specialists<br />

We’re a locally owned Nelson-based business specialising<br />

in everything SUP and driven by our passion for the<br />

magnificent Moana.<br />

Our premium range of NZ inspired stand up paddleboards<br />

and accessories are designed by kiwis, tested on kiwis, and<br />

paddled all over Aotearoa and beyond. Having fine tuned<br />

every detail of every board, we believe we have a range<br />

of boards that will get your whānau out there enjoying the<br />

Moana. So if you are looking for a flat water cruiser or a<br />

wave machine, we can hook you up!! Pop in and check out<br />

our range, try a demo, and get amongst it. We also stock<br />

a great range of quality Moana clothing and merchandise,<br />

as well as other well-known surf brands like Vissla, Xcel,<br />

Sisstrevolution, and O’Neill.<br />

Whether you want advice on which board is best for you,<br />

the ultimate paddleboarding locations or any advice<br />

remotely related to the ocean - don’t be shy, it’s our favourite<br />

thing to kōrero about. We paddle, we surf, we play, and we<br />

enjoy being out there as much as you do.<br />

Come see us at Shop 2,<br />

623 Rocks Road, Moana,<br />

Nelson, 7011, visit us online at<br />

moananzsup.co.nz, drop us an email<br />

at boards@moananzsup.co.nz,<br />

or give us a bell on 027 285 0772.<br />

We ship nationwide.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 84

Pedal and Paddle<br />

With over 25 years of experience in<br />

recreational activities on the land and sea,<br />

Pedal and Paddle is a cycle and surf store<br />

with soul at the gateway to the Coromandel.<br />

Whether it is a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, we have enlarged<br />

hire fleets available for you to experience the pristine coast in<br />

your own way. Or, if you prefer to explore on land, we have a<br />

comprehensive range of E-bikes for you to traverse the urban jungles<br />

and Mountain Bikes for you to immerse yourself in the forest regions.<br />

In alignment with our obligation to preserve the environment, this<br />

summer we are actively promoting and committing to the collection of<br />

rubbish with our TRU NORTH initiative in respect to the land and sea.<br />

As part of this, we are proud to announce that we are now a key<br />

stockist of Helly Hanson’s sustainably sourced professional-grade<br />

range of clothing and gear.<br />

If you are passing through in your self-contained campervan,<br />

you are invited to stay at our Little Onion Parkover, an animal<br />

friendly campground nestled next to the serene water of the upper<br />

Whangamata harbour complete with barbeques and supplied kayaks.<br />

We also welcome you to take advantage of our store boat ‘Castaway’<br />

to deliver you to the quiet haven of the peninsular beaches for a surf<br />

or a picnic.<br />

Pedal and Paddle is here to make<br />

your experiences on the land or sea<br />

unforgettable all year round.<br />

Full range of NZ Kayaks,<br />

and all equipment<br />

www.pedalandpaddle.co.nz<br />

85 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>


NZ Board Building Supplies<br />

NZ Board Builder Supplies, is New Zealand’s only online specialist<br />

shapers supplier.<br />

Stocking a full range of Bennett PU and EPS blanks, known for their<br />

whiteness, small cell structure, consistent density, strength and<br />

lightness. We also have fibreglass cloth and tapes, polyester and<br />

epoxy resins, Shapers tools, DIY kits and installation equipment.<br />

Whether you’re a seasoned shaping veteran or a backyard expert, we<br />

have the tested, professional equipment to craft your own board.<br />

Buy online or visit us in store at Sadhana Surfboards, Christchurch.<br />

Shipping New Zealand Wide<br />

sadhanasurfboards.co.nz<br />

+64 03 3895611 sales@sadhanasurfboards.com<br />

Ultimate Surf<br />

& Skate<br />

Ultimate Surf & Skate has been<br />

Auckland’s premium core surf & skate<br />

shop since 2000, supplying New Zealand<br />

with quality gear that’s been tested and<br />

proven by our crew.<br />

We’re New Zealand’s biggest stockist of<br />

Firewire and Haydenshapes surfboards,<br />

with many other amazing brands such as<br />

Christenson, Tokoro, Salt Gypsy, NSP<br />

and many more.<br />

Tested and proven wetsuits from<br />

Billabong, Vissla, C-Skins and<br />

Sisstrevolution.<br />

Next time you’re up in Auckland<br />

come visit us in our huge<br />

showroom and have a chat<br />

with our very experienced,<br />

knowledgeable and friendly<br />

staff. We’ll make sure you’re on<br />

the correct gear and/or advice<br />

before leaving the store<br />

+64 9 476 7000<br />

ultimatesurfnskate.co.nz<br />

‘Ultimate Surf & Skate -<br />

by surfers, for surfers’<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 86




Beachstreet<br />

Beachstreet Surf Shop - is a core surf shop, locally<br />

owned and operated, just up from Fitzroy Beach.<br />

We stock surfing products for all types of wave<br />

riding. Home to local brands Lost in the 60’s and<br />

Blacksand.<br />

Also offering trade in’s, ding repair, hire equipment<br />

and stand-up paddle and surf coaching.<br />

Beachstreet Surf Shop, it’s all about surfing!<br />

+64 6-758 0400<br />

chip@hotmail.co.nz<br />


+6 4387 4539<br />

cafe@maranui.co.nz<br />

7 Lyall Parade, Lyall Bay,<br />

Wellington, New Zeland

AUS<br />


BRICKS<br />


<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 88

89 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>




<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 90



JUST A<br />


Open every day from<br />

19th Dec - Xmas Eve: 9am-5pm<br />

TEXT US!<br />

0408 068 068<br />




Mon, Wed & Fri: 9am-5pm<br />

Sat & Sun: 10am-3pm<br />

29 Ipswich Rd,<br />

Woolloongabba QLD 4102<br />

(parking at rear on Gibbon Street)<br />

office@goodtime.com.au<br />

goodtime.com.au<br />

91 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

Peter White still making the surfboards locally in<br />

Eumundi with the showroom open for convenience in<br />

Noosaville. Our showroom address is Unit 3/37 Project<br />

Ave Noosaville, next to the Land and Sea brewery.<br />

Appointments to see Peter in the factory can<br />

be via EMAIL: peter@classicmalibu.com<br />

and/or PHONE: 0402 106 616<br />

Unit 3/37 Project Ave, Noosaville, qld<br />

info@classicmalibu.com<br />

Ph: 07 5474 3122 / Janet: 0409 004 760<br />

classicmalibu.com<br />

@classicmalibusurfboards<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 92

More than<br />

200 years<br />

board<br />

building<br />

experience<br />

under one<br />

roof<br />

Since 1969 this familyowned<br />

surf brand has tied<br />

the coastal community<br />

of Philip Island together<br />

with not one, but two<br />

surf stores. Island has<br />

become renowned for<br />

their quality hand-shaped,<br />

custom boards and their<br />

generational knowledge on<br />

everything surf related.<br />

Their store on Smiths Beach<br />

just happens to be home to<br />

one of the most established<br />

surf schools in Australia.<br />

Island’s location is so close<br />

to the surf you can almost<br />

feel the sea spray while<br />

perusing their wide selection<br />

of performance surfboards<br />

and all the accessories<br />

and clothing a surfer could<br />

possibly need to enjoy their<br />

time in the water.<br />

+613 5952 2578<br />

islandsurfboards.com.au<br />

cowes@islandsurfboards.com.au<br />

147 Thompson Avenue, Cowes<br />

225 Smiths Beach Rd, Smiths Beach<br />


10%<br />

off<br />

ONLINE<br />

“REVIVAL10”<br />

at checkout<br />

Brunswick Surf<br />

1/12 The Terrace,<br />

Brunswick Heads NSW<br />

p: 02 6685 1283<br />

brunswicksurf.com.au<br />

1/25 coldstream strett,<br />

yamba, nsw<br />

02 6646 3454<br />

revivalyamba.com.au<br />

HUTCHINSON 7’ x 18 ¼ x 2 7/8<br />




STORE!<br />

WE STOCK<br />







The Anglesea Surf Centre is situated in<br />

the heart of the Surfcoast, 10 minutes<br />

from the surf capital of Torquay and<br />

twenty minutes from the popular coastal<br />

get away Lorne.<br />

Located right on the Great Ocean Road,<br />

we are famous for our friendly and<br />

helpful service, huge range of new and<br />

second hand surfboards, wetsuits and<br />

accessories.<br />

lowpressuresurf.com.au<br />

68 Prince St Grafton NSW<br />

Phone: 02 6643 5551<br />

noel@lowpressuresurfco.com.au<br />

SOL 6’8” x 19 x 2 7/8<br />

111 great ocean road,<br />

Anglesea vic<br />

03 5263 1530<br />

angleseasurfcentre.com.au<br />

@anglesea_surf_centre<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 94

40 years in the making, the store was founded on<br />

following the alternate and freeing surf lifestyle. With<br />

an awe-inspiring store, Natural Necessity is the<br />

largest single doorway surf shop in Australia boasting<br />

an assortment of surfing fashion, hardware and a<br />

stunning gallery of over 1000 boards.<br />

Located in Gerringong a couple hours south of<br />

Sydney, the store is one of the Smorgasboarder<br />

crew’s all-time favourites. Indeed, when we’re asked<br />

about the best surf stores we’ve ever seen, Natural<br />

Necessity is always one of the first that comes to<br />

mind.<br />

Natural Necessity Surf Shop<br />

115 Fern St, Gerringong NSW<br />

(02) 4234 1636<br />

naturalnecessity.com.au<br />

@naturalnecessity<br />

95 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong>

HED NINE<br />

REW<br />

OMING<br />

HROUGH<br />

Shed Nine, the core, surf, skate, bodyboard, snow and foil store in Rye, Victoria is run by mutli-boarding<br />

legend Eddie Wearne. There is not much he can’t ride and Eddie has had two feature articles over the past<br />

decade so when we approached him for our “Bricks and Mortar” edition he was surfing alone in a remote<br />

Indonesian tidal bore and said “Lets do something on the next generation of our team riders and staff<br />

because They Are The Future! Lets stoke out the Groms! There are plenty of talented kids coming up on<br />

our coast and around Oz, and although we can’t sponsor them all, we will do what we can! Support Your<br />

Independent Bricks And Mortar, They Have Community At Heart!<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #54 / 96

Lilly is a fearless, talented and committed skater,<br />

her favorite moves are frontside tailslides and<br />

backside airs, she loves any white stripes tune old<br />

school Elton and Hip Hop like her mum.<br />

Sponsors: Shed Nine | Pic: mum<br />

LILLY<br />


OWEN<br />


(16 yo Junior World Kneeboard champ and staff)<br />

O-dog loves pit to roundhouse cutback combos<br />

and cant wait to get to the Mentawis.<br />

Sponsors: Shed Nine, Balin,<br />

Mick Pierce Shapes<br />

Pic: bruce sherlock<br />


DAVIS<br />

(17 yo surfer, skater & snowboarder and staff<br />

member) Spence is a multi board, mutlti sponsored,<br />

techno shred head. He hopes to surf and dj his way<br />

around the coast of Oz, some day.<br />

Sponsors: Shed Nine, Adelio, 3D Fins, ZFlex<br />

Pic: Jeff lease<br />

JETT<br />


(16 yo surfer and staff member) Jett was<br />

last years most improved junior in the local<br />

‘Peninsula Boardriders Club”. Well sponsored,<br />

he dreams of running a boat in the Mentawai’s so<br />

he can surf amazing waves every day.<br />

Sponsors: Zion, OAM, Shed Nine,<br />

Two Boys Kombucha<br />

Pic: peninsula sports<br />

photography<br />

97 / #54 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

shednine.com<br />

362 dundas street<br />

rye ocean beach, vic

pic: @corabezemersurf<br />

The<br />

Harries<br />

Pro 9’1”<br />

Introducing the Harries Pro. It looks<br />

like a Mal but it rides like a short board.<br />

This board, which features Sunova's<br />

BalsaFlex construction technology, is<br />

so free and loose that no one believes a<br />

Longboard can be surfed so radically.<br />

The Harries PRO is the ultimate<br />

performance longboard, striking a fine<br />

balance between competitive edge and<br />

longboarding tradition.<br />



STOCKISTS - INFO@SANUK.COM.AU - 02 4872 1242<br />




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