Wood Surfboards

Does anybody enjoy riding wood boards much more than foam? I rode Balsas from the 50’s a long time ago and I loved the feel. Last year I rode a hollow wood board and it brought back the feeling of wood, which is extremely lively and responsive. Now I make wood boards from paulownia wood and the feeling is so good. Foam boards feel like a wet sponge in comparison. What is it about wood? Tom Wegener http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com

Long ago I started a thread about using cork for blanks.We found out that you can buy thick sheets and glue them up for blanks.Paul Jensen may have some input on this.Tom as for wood it is just cool thats all.Do you still live in Australia? R. Brucker

Oh yeah… I’ve been building and riding on hollow wood boards exclusively since July '02… The feeling is SO different…An aliveness that foam can’t replicate…And a board can be built with specific riding characteristics…A longboard can be made to ride with the resonance of a chelo…A shorter board can be tuned to ride like a violin…Sonund wierd, well that’s the best way I’ve found to describe the feel…Foam to me feels, wimpy, chattery and dead… It’s way more than just the way they look… Tom, nice work…Is that a vent near the tail…??? Check out my website… Paul http://www.hollowsurfboards.com

I’ve been wanting a wood board for years. I even have a nice stash of clear tight redwood for the occaision. I’m wondering what board designs work well with the weight, bouyency and stiffness of wood? At first I was just going to make a paipo so I could get it in the water with out throwing out my back. But even these slabs weighed 60+ lbs and split up the middle when loaded 'em in my truck. How thick and wide would a chambered stand up board in the 6 foot range have to be to carry a 150 lb surfer in a 5mil suit? what do you think it would weigh? Would a hull-type design with wide round nose and tail be a good call? or…just give in to the weight and make a long sleek cruiser? I also have a couple of questions about paulownia wood. It’s a fairly fast growing tree isn’t it? About how old of tree would you say your good “boat wood” is coming out of? How does it compare stregth and weight to redwood and balsa? Sorry to be such a brain picker guys…but this is a cool subject.

Yes, wood really transmits the feel of the wave right to your feet!! and takes less control input because it has more forward momentum. I’ve been ridding and building balsa boards since the 80’s. Learned from OLE when I worked for him in the 60’s - he’s the master(along with Velzy and Yater). Tom, I saw some Paulownia boards made by Paul Jaski in Australia, beautiful! Do you chamber them? is the Chinese wood lighter? Paul, wow what a job! great work. - PK

Hey Tom, The boards on you web site look top notch to me. The outline of your Model A is very close to my 9’5"x22.5" Michel Junod though I expect yours is a bigger board. Noosa must be a slice of paradise. Glad your living the life and making boards of such beautiful design. Work like yours will always be a part of the essence of surfing. Can you share a little about your construction methods and how the woods you’re using are to work? Mahalo, Rich

Tom, Strange coincidence: Lately I have built a couple of balsas and am working on a hollow cedar. Yesterday a friend who owns a local surfshop here on Vancouver Island stopped by to chat and look at the hollow. He got to telling me about this great board he has in the shop that I must go see. Turns out it is by a fellow named Wegener. After your post I am definitely going to check it out. In terms of ride, I agree with all of the above, in that they are smoother, have momentum and require less input. I like to characterize the ride of a balsa as making better use of the waves energy than foam. They seem to ride with a more connected to the wave feeling. However, I have read posts that make similar claims for mats. So defining the difference is probably a job for a surfer with literary skills. Take care. Patrick

Tom, I was impressed with your level of stoke when I first viewed “Siestas and Olas”. You brought to that video the true essence of surfing, you, your board, a couple of friends, and just having fun. I was totally blown away when you and that Aussie dude charged that huge Mexican beachbreak, Petacalco. Those waves looked HUGE…Good luck with your board business and wooden boards. FD

Thanks for the response. To be honest, I do not think you can make a chambered 6’ board from cedar that would float enough to get waves. Just not enough floatation. However, if you milled to wood into flat sheets and made a hollow board similar to Paul and I it would work. More air in the board. I would suggest an original fish style. Paulownia is very good for surfboards. It does not soak up water when you get a ding and it is easy to fibreglass. It is lighter than redwood but heavier than balsa, but it is very consistent. One piece is not heavier than the next. Also, it is great to work with. Thanks again. Tom

Noosa is really nice. I recomend this area for any traveling longboarder. Jimmy Gamboa comes most every year and Kevin Connely (sp) spends lots of time hear as well. You get lots of time to work on noseriding. Please check out the website for more construction information in a few days. tomwegenersurfboards.com I am working on the site. Thank you. Tom

Tom, Have you tried Vinylester resin yet.You sounded pretty keen when after seing my boards at Warrens shop earlier this year. I am repairing one of your “Signature models” It is one of Warrens, he lent it to a mate and he ran over another surfer on it. It has delaminated infront of the fin.I notice you did not put rovings around the fin only cloth. Any reason for this? Regards David.