Dedicated to Keith Melville, Robin Mair, all gun lovers...

Finished this today:

Made for a friend’s birthday and for waves I don’t ride anymore (if ever I did…)

Nice looking board balsa. I nearly crapped my pants thinking about the waves it needs to be surfed in!. I can say that i will never ever need a board like that, or even a half version of that.

Aloha balsa:

Very nice, great job!

Also a very nice glass job.

That would work well here in Hawaii.

Is that a diamond tail I see on the board?

What type of bottom did you put on the board?

What are the dimensions?

Sorry about all of the questions but enquiring minds would like to know!

Here is one that I recently finished, this is a 9’ 1" that was designed to be more maneuverable so it has a little more hip and width in the tail.


Not sure why the images showed up twice, must be something I did wrong, oh well!


good to see the masters at work. nice job balsa

and robin. we are not worthy!

Both boards are beautiful. Like Beerfan, they make me think of the waves needed to ride them and the fear I’d be feeling paddling out to them.

It reminded of looking at one of Bobby Owens’ board for sale on a used board rack. My friend made the comment, “Man, that board’s been in some scary places!”

Mahalo, Silly!

Kudos to Balsa!


…Balsa, the outline looking very good

and Hand shaper your tail outline is very interesting too

would mind both of you post photos of the rocker?

here a semi gun

Bonzer type, gloss/speedfinish combo, Silver jewel adjust device

Aloha Reverb:

I have attached a photo of the rocker on the board I posted above.

Nice looking Bonzer you have there!


Nice board amigo! Now, about that pen name of yours… isn’t this thing supposed to be made out of BALSA??? ha ha just kidding, that’s a good looking board. I haven’t converted to the “quads for guns” school myself, but that one looks promising.

Post photos of it in action someday… that would be a cool thing.

PS peek a boo shirt.



That gun looks like it has some beef in the middle.

My kind of board for big beachbreak, get in early and go fast.

Do the back fins have a double foil?

Again very nice!

Robin, thanks for posting this one. You’re my god when speaking of guns. Mine is 9’2" x 20 3/4" x 3 1/16". Yes, it’s a diamond-tail:

Bottom is fairly flat with a trace of V in the tail and a hair of belly up front (just to soften up the rails a bit and prevent them from catching near the entry point). No gimmicks. Lol.

Reverb, that bonzer gun has one of the finest outlines I have ever seen. Thanks for posting it but you should be aware that it will be copied soon…

Thanks to all for the kind comments, they are really appreciated. Here are the rocker and fins:

“Now, about that pen name of yours… isn’t this thing supposed to be made out of BALSA??? ha ha just kidding…”

Actually, Keith, I do have a project involving chambered balsa and marquetterie filets on a gun, but you’ll have to wait a bit for it, I’m afraid…

“Post photos of it in action someday… that would be a cool thing.”

I’ll try and get the guy it was made for to post some if he can have them, for sure.

“PS peek a boo shirt.”

Vintage RipCurl shirt from the eighties. Wear it all the time, can’t believe how well that thing has held. My wife uses many tricks to try and make it disappear but she won’t succeed… Got it from my old friend Esteban when he was a rep for RipCurl. He would go to the Canary Islands with a full collection to sell into surfshops there, and when he came back he would sell me what was left at wholesale prices.

…thanks Handshaper,

seems a loose (for that size) board


the rocker looks like a moderate one

with lot of “wetted” surface in the middle

isn t it?

Aloha reverb:

Yes! It is intended to be loose, most of my more recent guns have been tending in that direction as we are learning how much more you can wring out of them by putting a little more curve in the back-end of the boards outline. This has been especially true as I have moved to using quads on my guns. Admittedly, this one is pushing the envelope but that was on purpose as it is not going to be ridden in huge surf, instead it is designed to be ridden in medium size with more performance turns. So yes it will be loose but not in a detrimental way!

This trend started as I started to find that more and more of my customers wanted boards that looked like guns but could be ridden in a very wide range of conditions. With some of them even using them more as gunny longboards. The design changes have been proven to be very effective especially when setup as a quad!


…if I understand right, you talk about big wall faces (that moves lot of water volume) not hollow fast waves

do you tucked edge all along the rail in these ones?


Aloha Balsa:

I really like the curve on the outline of your board, the shaped picture shows it off really well!

The board I posted is wider at 22" with a thickness of 3", but it is 3/4" narrower than many of the other guns I have been doing in this size range. I have been slowly going wider with a lot of my guns to make them more versatile, but the serious ones are still fairly narrow. For instance, the 12’ Pomar guns are only 1/2" wider than this board even though they are 3’ longer!

The bottoms on my recent guns have been getting more and more extreme as I have modified the outlines and widths, I am now using single to bowled double concaves with V out the tail. But the double concaves are focused out towards the rail so that they better channel water to the quad fin setup. This has been working extremely well adding another gear to boards that are already fast. Of course the big guns have much simpler bottoms with V in the nose to a very slight concave and then V in the tail, keep it simple!

I’m just about to start a 12’ balsa gun this week, so I will post photos of that when it is done.

Keep those guns coming!


Aloha Reverb:

Actually, this board was designed for hollow fast waves as well, but the primary focus is Hawaiian waves. My direction has been towards more versatility as opposed to single purpose designs. I have guns like these being ridden here on Kauai, and places like Ocean Beach in California, and Indo. So a fairly wide range of conditions.

All of my guns have tucked edges running the entire length of the board, but the amount of edge and tuck varies along the length.


Robin, it’s great to see what you’re doing with your quad guns. I’ve got an XPS/epoxy 8’0" x 20 1/2" quad “semi-gun” that’s now over 16 years old, holding up amazingly, and has seen excellent service at Mundacca, Fiji, sizable Hossegor, and the biggest days here at home. The other dimensions are: 10 7/8"N, 12 7/8"T, 2 5/8" thick. I’ve been riding quads of all types and sizes (except I don’t like them for longboards) for nearly 25 years, with a few of my customers hooked as well. It’s gratifying to finally see their potential recognized world-wide, though, sadly, a bit late for me to cash in on the trend. Also like to comment on your double concaves being concentrated out towards the rail. I’ve long been using fluted wings between the fins to accomplish the same thing, and as more of my bottoms have gone to single-to-double concave, it has worked in nicely. Have to give more thought to that on the boards with no wings!

Aloha, Chuck