Daruma Board Inspired by the Weber Feather Fastback and Swaylocks

Okay I gave up climbing the corporate ladder, sold the Porsche and decided not to go for the Harley. I still wanted to build something special but I am not into carpentry. I’ve started surfing back in 1967 at the age of twelve. We use to strip down old tankers and build what was termed as mini-boards and mini-guns then. We had no idea how to build boards except from the advice of a buddy’s older teenage brother who once saw someone glass a board in Kakaako several years before. We did our best to make our own boards and got scolded from my dad for leaving various color resin surfboard outlines on the garage floor. I gave up making my own boards when I got my career started.

In the early 70’s, I had a red-haired, freckle faced haole surfing buddy that was going to get a new board for his birthday from the Dewey Weber shop in Honolulu on Ward Avenue. This was the first new shop bought board any of the old gang got. He got the single fin Weber Pig. I accompanied him and his parents when he picked up the board. While at the shop, I saw this egg shaped board called the Weber Feather Fastback. I instantly fell in love. It was 7’4” x 23”. I liked the pintail and width of the board.

About a year ago I was talking to various board builders about Volan glasswork, resin pin-lines, tints and pigments. Most of the builders that do type of work are getting rare and glassers preferred clear production glassing. They added that I would pay a premium for those old school glassing. I wanted to get a new quiver of boards that represented the craftsmanship of the past and yet incorporated the modern design elements. With my introduction to UV resin and the hints and direction from Swaylocks, I thought it was time to start glassing my own boards. I bought the house from my parents and still had the same garage that I glassed boards thirty years earlier and I could afford better tools now.

I wanted to build a board similar to the Weber Feather Fastback I fell in love with in my youth. I wanted to update the rocker and rails and offer various fin configuration options but still capture the width and thickness. I had Charlie Wong of Bubba Boards and formally of Naish Hawaii shape the board from the Clark 6’9”A blank with natural rockers. We came up with a 6’10”x17”x 23” x 16”x 3” egg shape. The tail is rounder than the Feather Fastback and the rail line is lower. I installed a 10 ½” center box and FCS side plugs. This board could be ridden as a single, thruster, 2 +1 or twin fin.

I wanted to try a bunch of stuff I read on Swaylocks such as ink jet created laminates, acid splash, tinting, Volan deck patches and Posca pen pin-lines. I went wild on the glass job trying as much stuff as I could. I created my own laminates using images from the Internet, created my own KI-Energy logo and captured the image of the Daruma, founder of Zen-Buddhism. I even scanned my favorite Japanese Naval Victory headband and created a laminate from that. Of course I need to include the Swaylocks Inspired laminate. I am a local Hawaiian and I am influenced by the Japanese culture but the images I picked were more for designed purposes rather than cultural reasons. I wanted to create pin-lines that used various colors since I had the Posca pen set. I wanted to express my Mahalo for Swaylocks for teaching this 50 year-old dog a few new tricks and allowing me to get in touch with my creativity and “inner child”. The board is far from perfect, but I really had fun. I look forward to the next one.

That looks fantastic, it’s funny how things can go full circle, you in your old house, building the board of your dreams, good on you…

Can you do some bigger pictures, I’m interested in the graphics you’ve done…

Again, well done and don’t forget to tell us how it rides.

Thanks for your feedback. I am having a bit of a problem re-sizing the photos. I attached a picture of the the Ki-Energy logo and the Daruma laminate. For the pinlines, I taped off a 1/2" border and went crazy with the Posca pens within the border. I got to play with the pens and it hid the cutline bleeds pretty well. I also found an image of the Feather Fastback.

As a young man, I really thought that I was going to give up surfing around 30. I tried golf but could never get into it. I was lucky and married the right woman that allowed me to surf. When I got impossible to live with, she would put a surfboard in my hands, point to the door and say go surfing and only come back when you are happy. I have been married to the same woman for 24 years. She gave me a beautiful 10’2" Mike Casey nose rider round pin with a T-band stringer , wood tail block and a yellow Volan glass job for my 50th birthday. Now is that a woman or what???



Hey Dennis,

You used my logo!!!, that is such an honour, thanks for that. Good to see it in the flesh.

Yep you got the woman alot of men would be envious of, isn’t it great to live with your very bestest friend in the world.

Sorry guys, there was only 2 of these women left, I got the other one…


I really like THIS shot …

I would be very interested to hear how it goes as a twinnie !

Mate , when you find a woman like you’ve just described … my mate Daz’s wife does exactly the same with the point to the door , “go surfing” thing !! [they met when they were 6 , best friends all through primary , and high school …they are both 31 now. I LOVE seeing that …it ALMOST restores my faith in relationships. [I did say ALMOST !]

(I haven’t found many ladies with THAT sort of insight / easy going nature…my girlfriends all saw surfing as a threat to them …you know , the old power struggle “which do you love more?” type bullshit . Which is why I am content to just surf , rather than deal with those head games ! )

Anyway , thanks for posting that story and photos …


Mahalo Hicksy for that logo. The colors complimented the board well. I really do appreciate your contribution to my fun project.

Swaylocks makes me think of the snow monkeys in Japan where scientists observed new activities learned in one community was immediately learned in another snow monkey community even though there was no physical connection between the groups. The forum allows us to share ideas for the growth of our community. Good stuff indeed!

Yeah I had girlfriends that wanted me to choose them over surfing. I felt that in order to be interesting, one should be interested in something. I think no one has the right to deny someone of their passion. Surfing and surfboards are our passion. We need to workout that fine balance between surf and relationships.

Nice board Uncle D. Sounds like you are a lucky man.

PS It was nice to surf with you, hope we get to do it again someday when the waves are bigger!

Mahalo Keith! Yes I do feel that my life is blessed. I’ve been lucky in the spouse department too. Like everyone else, I do have my share of challenges but everything works out.

It was great surfing with you. We had a few good south bumps after you left the islands. I like meeting other, surfers, surfboard enthusiast and board builders Let me know when you are back in the islands.

We test drove the board today as a twin-fin. It floats really nice and we caught a bunch of waist to chest high waves. The board is loose and turn real nice. I let one one of our surfing ladies try the board. At 140 lbs, she caught everything. I dropped the board off to a friend Jon that wants to use it as a thurster and a single fin when the surf get bigger. I think this is a great retro transition fun board. I better save this template.