Paul Jensen's workshop, french style...

I had the luck and honour to host Paul’s workshop in Guéthary, France, during three days. it was a great experience for all and it turned out to be a huge success. About one year ago, when Jean-Marc (aka “McFly”,’s webmaster) told me about organizing this, I wasn’t rather optimistic… Thinking that maybe we would get five to ten people interested, I suggested my shop as a possible hosting place for the event. Then we very quickly got overwhelmed with bookings and had to limit the number of participants to a mere twenty… which was a lot of people for a 80 square meters shop.

We spent a few days with Paul and Jean-Marc cleaning up the place and moving outside what was not absolutely necessary for the workshop. All in all, everything went smoothly and I have yet to hear but good things about it all. Paul is a great guy and I’m happy I got to know him (who said that Swaylock’s was just another “virtual” thing?) I hope that he will keep some fine memories from his stay here. Thanks, Paul, for all the efforts, especially trying to understand my bad English. Let me show you a few photos, just to make you guys jealous you couldn’t attend it:

Getting the place ready to host twenty people in three working groups:

Who is this “Paul Jensen” guy, and how does he think he can advertise in my own shop?

Paul, showing how to route out a bottom “skin”:

Hot and promising young local shaper, Jeremy Ferrara, playing with a stringer planer I gave him to try:

PierreB (right, laughing) and McFly (left):

Pierre and Paul leaving the water after some good waves at Cenitz (local break):

Jeremy, showing Sonia how it’s supposed to be done:

Sonia, doing it alone:

At the end of the third day, everybody gathered outside for the lottery:

McFly, writing everyone’s name on small plywood pieces before putting them in a garbage bag:

Manuel, proudly showing one of the boards (come on, Manuel, you may breathe, now!):

The finished 7’3" (my favorite):

And the winners are…

More later, if you feel like it… Some cleaning up to do…


Looks like a good time was had by all! Did all 20 make their own boards or was it a combined effort on a few?

Three groups of 6 or 7 people working together on one board, so three boards total: two 5’10" fishes and one 7’3" “retro”. In the end, we had a lottery with the boards going to the three people that I posted photos of. Since we didn’t want the others to leave empty-handed, I scratched inside my cabinets and pulled out some goodies for everybody: small razor-blades stringer planers, FCS Fusion plugs, WFS kits…

We had a hell of a good time. Paul and I talked quite a lot and it was good to make friends with another swaylockian; Jean-Marc deserves a big up for carrying out all the logistics like he did: would you believe there were still a few beer left in the fridge after everybody went back home? (But that was before I started shaping this 12’3" for PierreB…)

Oh, BTW the complete story by Paul can be viewed here: