How Grain Makes Wooden Surfboards

How Grain Makes Wooden Surfboards


If you ever saw a wooden surfboard it was probably hanging in somebody’s house or underneath a deck But kind of in the last 10 or 15 years wood has made a big comeback They surf wonderfully It’s beautiful and it feels great to be on one of them I always had a love for wood and kind of passionate about things that went in the water I’ve kind of been around wooden boats most of my life There’s just so much character The way their built, the stories that come with them A lot of that has translated over to why we build surfboards the way we do When we first started thinking about building surfboards, wood was the natural material we chose They have a very high strength to weight ratio Wooden surfboards have the longest history of use in the surf world than any other material People have been surfing wooden surfboards since kinda the first documented history of people riding waves Board starts in CAD, where we take a 3d model break down the shape and kind of create frames and templates and all the inner parts of the board that we get cut on a CNC machine We take those frames and we just pop them out assemble the frame into a kind of skeleton We go out to our lumber shed, pick a bunch of cedar, bring em into our mill shop put glue along the edges, clamp it all together into a panel Everything’s book matched, you have symmetry in the colors and texture of the wood Cut your outline Take our assembled frame gently put it down right on top of the plank Once that foundation is started, you’re basically building up the three dimensional shape the outside part of the board using lots of strips that kind of interlock and fit together Every piece of wood is going to be different and it’s all gonna react differently There are frustrations with it, but I think that’s one of the things that keeps it challenging you learn to read the, kind of what the grain lines are doing and what the color of the wood is telling you Once those rails are cleaned up, we put our top planks on It’s a little bit like putting a lid on a box. It’s like this is it, whatever’s inside that board is staying inside that board and by tensioning some rope you can clamp the two together It’s like a time capsule What makes our boards unique are they are built right here in york they’re built using material that grows right here in the state of maine they’re built 100% by hand, by local crafts people and surfers There is a lot of time that goes into these boards between forty and sixty hours, start to finish We wanted to build surfboards that were as hollow as they could be, but still be strong enough to work well Too light and they don’t surf well but too heavy and they don’t surf well so there’s a, there’s a balance pint there and that’s where we try to be Taking the board off the rocker table, once the top has gone on. that is by far one of my top favorite parts It’s just you, and a shaping stand a board and a hand plane Everything else is out of your view it’s simple it’s pleasurable it’s quiet you can be with your thoughts and you can kind of just be present There’s something about taking a nice sharp edge tool to a beautiful piece of wood and feeling the curls coming off and knowing that every pass that you’re making. you’re kind of getting it closer and closer to what you have in mind Once we’ve shaped it down and the boards looking like it’s supposed to look like, time for it to go into the glassing room 4 ounce fiberglass, laying it over the board, draping it over the edges, cutting it, applying epoxy on the board Once both sides are Lamb coated, it’s time to put in the hardware drill and router and install the fin box and on the other side we drill and put in the leash plug and a vent There’s a lot of air just naturally inside the board And that air wants to expand and contract with temperature changes and that vent has a little piece of gortex fabric in it, and it allows air to kinda breathe both ways but it doesn’t allow water in it Once all that hardware’s put in, goes back into the glassing room, we brush a nice beautiful thick coat of epoxy over the whole surface and that we call a gloss coat that’s supposed to look beautiful and glossy and shiney and flawless you get to see that board come to life whatever the colors in the wood they really come out it just makes it look like candy you jus wanna touch it and run your hands down it and it’s just kinda the icing on the cake once everything’s hard, we put it into what we call the oven Get that epoxy to cure, really kind of bake it, and just get it to harden put in the fin, screw in the vent, ship it out we just love the idea of building something that’s sustainable and long lasting and made by hand kinda give you a deeper connection to the product over something you might buy on a shelf When a customer gets the board they feel it. They 100% feel the amount of work and the amount of passion that went into the board So, I’m not really looking at hours and efficiency I’m looking at like doing it right and enjoying it as we go

98 thoughts on “How Grain Makes Wooden Surfboards

  1. This is beautiful work. The CNC machine is just another tool in the shop and in the hands of a master great things happens when all tools are used properly

  2. Verdaderas Obras de Arte.
    Felicitaciones son Espectaculares. Me encantaria correr una ola con una de esas maravillas.

  3. Awesome and what a beautiful board,but that’s a generous use of the word “sustainable “ . We have synthetic glues , fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

  4. I like how you use wood but still keep it high tech like the wing of an aeroplane, have you thought of making an electric hydrofoil version.

  5. Very nice! I bet there's a lot of satisfaction in making one of those then going out and surfing on it. The commentator below has a point though. The CNC machine doesn't really qualify as hand made.

  6. it looks so amazing … unbelievable,where i can buy one of yours? and how much i have to pay?

  7. So odd that this video comes up today when I just finished sanding out a mini Grain twin fish model (similar to the little board being held by the mannequin hand in the beginning of the video). I got it as a gift two years ago and FINALLY got around to making it today.

    Very weird

  8. Amazing. I hope I come across one of these in my life. I love working with wood and if I had a woodshop I be making art like these… 🤙 Lmk if you'll ever open a shop in Hawaii ill come work for a surf board. Aloha

  9. I would literally pack everything I own, plus my dog, and move from California to Maine to work with these guys.

  10. If you enjoy woodworking plans, you will love woodprix. Get inspired by all the endless possibilities of furniture plans and other wood projects to build, for both indoors and outdoors.

  11. I think its great you guys made this but you shouldve made it longer and showed more of York, I have a 2 houses right down from there shop its a beautiful place

  12. Nice. But if this is handmade, the boards I've made are considered finger made. The only tools I use are jigsaw, router and drill.

  13. Hand crafted with boat epoxy by guys who likely never surfed or worked for a shaper. Yeah, I'd totally go for a HUGE floater knowing a $2,500 board was under my feet.

  14. i made a fish some years ago, Grain sent me the kit, all the way to Hawaii, and it took just over a year, but she came out… beautiful. and surfs awesome too! contemplating another. keeping the stoke alive. just don't forget to put the vent plug in before a surf, and after when out! and it is 100% by hand, my hands built it.

  15. The work that has been put on it is not very much. Its just cut and assemble, no quality anyone can do that. The board has no quality test. No scientific design. No technical development. And the price totally not worth it.

  16. For anyone who's seen a surfer cry after snapping his 350 dollar stick on a rock, a 3000 dollar ride made with that balsa wood and varnish seems a bit on the lavish side

  17. If they're built 100% by hand, what the fk was the cnc router doing. Don't bother. 100 %?
    Ha! Try 30%.None of your millwork is done by hand unless you're counting moving stock from machine to machine then jigs. So you clamp by hand. Wooo hooo.

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