Frog House

Almond shirts are now available on!

Take a look, and get excited because new shirts are on the way...

The faster surfboard: Skin friction and the 'contact angle' of the surfboard surface

It is well known that the molecular structure of the watercraft's surface can have a dramatic effect on skin friction.Surfboard designers and builders have not often taken advantage of this fact except in the use of temporary surface coatings.What I am suggesting is that the surface of the surfboard ( the resin and glass) has a measurable contact angle which is not particularly beneficial in the drag stakes... this can be improved either by adding a surface coating or by adding other substances to the resin. We have had good results with a graphite resin additive in the past, the board with graphite coating needs to be electrically charged by hand polishing ( no wax!) in order to improve the contact angle. contact angle and water sheeting properties of some surfaces are not always fixed, for example there is a titanium coating in use which is activated by uv light to improve its sheeting properties, this process is temporary (or semi permanent ) and needs to be repeated Or to put it bluntly:It is possible to make the surfboard surface itself out of a material which is lower in drag than resin due to a molecular structure which ATTRACTS WATER There are contact angle measurement devices for sale out there I would love to get one to test various resin additives, the beauty of it is that a lower contact angle means lower drag guaranteed so there's no speculation involved . . . if one has the measuring gadget.'s a board with a graphite coated bottom and fin, it was very fast


Happy Birthday Chad

Singlefin 6 footer panels all ready for lamination

HeadHighGlassy Officially Endorses...

As our national political climate has continued to heat up, I continue to be harassed by those seeking political endorsement. Initially, I deferred. My job as SurfBlogger is to share stoke, offer boardporn, and delete hostile emails from French surfers claiming there is no such thing as a fish longer than 6'2".
But as the race has reached a fever-pitch, it's become increasingly difficult, unpatriotic even, to remain silent. Much like John Edwards and Bill Richardson, I've been talking endlessly with the frontrunners, both hungry for the SurfBlog endorsement.
In the last two weeks, they have called to order boards in hopes it will sway me, and you staunch readers, one way or the other. I decided to let their board choices speak for the candidates themselves, posting pics of the board of the candidate I support.
First up was Hillary. On the phone she was confident, primed. She promptly ordered a 7'6" hybrid thruster. I asked her why.
"Focus groups," she told me. "Polls. Universal appeal. My grandpappy was one of the first to bring surfing to Pennsylvania."
Didn't sound too promising.
Next, Obama called. He asked questions. Listened. Sounded tense. Chewed gum. Not annoyingly, but still. He allowed that it was Nicorette. I appreciated his candor.
He had his own ideas, but listened politely to mine. He liked some of them, and I liked some of his. He ended up with a 6'6 quad egg, an all 'rounder with a focus on performance. "I want to unite longboarding with shortboarding," he told me, "the glide and the shred." I believed him.

It's official.

Round nose with lots of outline curve.

Double concaves and a thinly foiled tail. He knows his stuff.

Round pin quad. A judicious choice for his all 'rounder.

Even more surprisingly, he came over himself to check out the shaped blank.
Turns out he's not quite as tall as he appears on tv, and we share a similar fashion sense...

7'7" Island Rocket template

Composite surfboard builder Paul Cannon in Napier is going to have a crack at a compsand version of our 7'9" Island Rocket singlefin. It will be interesting to see what Paul makes of this planshape, it's kind of a classic 70's semi gun shape, narrowish at 19 inches wide, we used this shape mainly at Okiwi bar and Awana on Great barrier Island, it makes light work of good waves.

Today we redrew the original planshape on to our trusty roll of drafting paper, and it turned out at 7'7", and ever so slightly more pointy in the ends than previously.

The X-14 a wooden SUP for Chris

Here's a peek at the full sized plans for a big wooden Standup Waveriding Paddleboard for Chris in Australia:

Groovn's latest part 2: Highlights from the olo travels, thanks for sharing Groovn

Ok... so wrapping this baby up for now, here's a brief recap of Sunday. No time for an elaborate review (much to the relief of you ADD babies... SCAB) - so this'll have to do.

Saturday was looking seriously big, meaty, heavy and one legendary paddle fraught with walls and rips and mountains of churn. I wasn't feeling tremendously motivated - yet the thought of another couple hours wasted at Sumner spurned me into a brief moment of bravery and I decided to give it a burl at the Pier. Three guys had just headed out, and I watched them hike forever to the south and make the paddle. Took them about 15 minutes, maybe 20 all up and by the time they were out the back they'd nearly passed the pier. But if they could do it, so could I.

The paddle itself was indeed a mission. I got tossed and churned and I paddled so hard and so long I felt my arms were going to simply fall off and my shoulders were ready to explode like ripe pumpkins dropped off the SkyTower on a hot february afternoon.

Time and time again, once I hit the real impact zone, I got blasted back a hundred yards by a set wave after coming paingfully close to beating fate out the back. The pier loomed ever closer and I was panting so hard from all the rolling under, paddling and scrambling to get the olo turned back around that I'm pretty sure my lungs were actually bubbling out my mouth like chewing gum as I exhaled. There was nothing left in my arms or legs when finally everything once again went magically calm. The offshore breeze sang to me and the shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiisihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....... sound of the seaspray raining down off the back of the last wave to break told me I'd made it.

I stroked a few minutes more to be sure I was well clear of any sweeper sets and then sat up to assess the situation. At first I couldnt find the pier... until I realised it was directly behind me by about 300 meters. I'd never sat so far out here before, and for a moment I wondered what in hell I was thinking. But as the gunmetal grey day sunk into my aching muscles and the sounds and the sea and the wind calmed me, I began to feel that there was noplace I'd rather be. The olo made pleasant wood on water sounds beneath me and gave me a reassuring presence way out there... made me feel safe.

The first few sets I dodged. They looked insanely big and when I realised that on the bigger ones I was physically straining to paddle UP their faces... on thirteen feet of wood with plenty of water both above and below me... my heart fluttered a bit. This would be interesting to say the least. But I was comforted by the fact that I'd been hammered by a few on the way out and lived through that. Ironically, because I was sitting out so far, the hold down wasnt all that bad and despite being dragged and tossed around quite a bit I found the torrent of these waves less lethal than some of the big near-shore thumpers I've dealt with in other parts of the world before.

And so it was that I gained confidence and set aside the twinge of fear to swoop into a bomb set a few minutes later. At first the olo had a tough time. It bogged and I thought I'd be pitched by the rapidly nearing waterfall. Before that happened though, I shifted my weight well forward and the board took off - nearly leaving me behind as it did. Like a big wooden rocket I was swept out into a deep bottom turn and then leaned hard to bring the board carving back up and out of the range of the foamy white teeth bearing down on me. I took a high line and beat it straight along a big wall dragging a hand in the moving water and feeling the board flow. Dropped down and up a few smallish turns, but fearing the beatdown I refrained from any hard turns. Finally I drove hard up and over the back just before a secion collapsed ahead of me.

Alive with a firey stoke I whooped and paddled back out hollering THANK YOU!!!!!! That one wave alone would have been more than worth the entire weekend of beatings.

But I got five more just like it.

The latest from Groovn: Highlights from the olo travels

The next time any of you catches me speculating about possibly going to surf scarbs, kindly come kick me in the head.

So this morning Brighton was meaty and not clean or alluring in any way. The hell paddle looked decidedly un-worth the effort...

So I shipped off to scarbs / taylors. Taylors was mediumish high tide crap and crumble with three guys out and nobody gettting a wave. Was going to bag it totally but got tempted on my way back down the hill by some sets out the back.

Paddled out scarbs, sat the back for quite a long time, going after sets breaking out twenty yards beyond the end of the headland... they proved to be mythical ghostwaves and I wound up finding purchase on only one, and it was essentially a great big foamball ride.

Inside for ages paddling after wave after wave that looked choice but proved gutless and unbroken. Finally went well inside and got one decent wall about head high on the inner bank reform. Called it a day. That place is always an exercise in frustration at the sheer lack of power and pitch.... even worse on the olo. It definitely dislikes fat mushy waves....

Standing by my car after the sesh a pack of groms came by and one said "Is that the Olo?"

I was a bit surprised as the kid was only about 10 years old... I said "yeah, it is"...

"How'd you get it?"

I said "it's come back from Dunedin recently with some mates"

"Oh... so you know Baccy? Shane Baccy? I hang out with him, and he was surfing it down in Dunedin a few weeks ago..."

I grinned... "Nope, never met the guy but I know of him and seen the photos from his ride.."

"Is it hard to ride?"

"Not too bad, once you get the hang of it".

And other small talk.

Another group of groms passing by oggled the thing as they went and I heard one of them utter somthing that ended in "...LEGEND board!"

This board's growing its own cult following.


Come see Gantez Warrior play at the Coach House on June 14th!

king rat

Almond would like to welcome King Rat!

He's one of the best longboarders you'll see, and we're stoked to have him around.

A six foot singlefin under construction

Here's the last of the four panels being assembled:

And here is Miss Theadora with the two double laminated deck and bottom panels:

Homer rides the olo: Highlights from the 13 foot Future Primitive tour of New Zealand

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Homer in Dunedin:

"I was very excited when I was invited to ride this monster of a board, as I had been overseas for most of its time in Dunedin and had missed out so far.
I awoke the morning of the big day to find the large south swell we had was still hanging around, this was a concern as I had no idea what this board would ride or paddle like.
I made my way to the chosen spot to find Jay already had the olo in the water - seeing this I grabbed my 9'1 woodie and started to paddle out getting worked and having to make my way back to the channel for another attempt.

Finally making it out the back the last thing I wanted was another 4 feet of board, but that's what I got.
I was now seeing this beautiful board for the first time, I was on it, out the back, freaking out.
I paddled about 20 metres further out the back, to make sure no clean up sets would touch me. The board felt great I love the concave deck its so comfortable, like it was made for me.
Now sitting way out the back I double check the legrope and wait.
First set comes and goes I have realised this board is massive I was unable to turn it around in time, I have ridden an eleven footer a few times but this feels much bigger.
Here comes a wave I start paddling with what seemed like no chance at all of catching it, this board is such a good paddler not a wobble just straight line speed and before I knew it I was on the wave,

standing and racing down the face with complete control, which was surprising, it now felt smaller, still big, but smaller, one step forward and it takes off planeing so stable and smooth not feeling any back wash or anything.

Seeing a section in the wave I crouched to absorb the impact and held my breath...

there was no impact, and upon opening my eyes I noticed I was around the section and still going, one step back and into a cutback, surprise again this board can turn!

I wonder what the fin is like... Back into the whitewash I try to turn and the board has other plans and goes straight.
Popping up after being dragged along behind the board underwater I realise I had forgotten to breathe again - after that section my heart was racing with adrenalin.

Struggling to stand or walk I dragged myself onto dry land so I could take a look at my new love.
This board is such a work of art beautiful to look at and ride, I'm so happy I got some swell to try it out on, but I'm upset we chose its last day in town to begin our love affair.
Thanks for the ride... shaka."

The latest video using two cameras!

This video took some time to put together as we had to match the two pov's (point of views)




Early Summer South

Skinny fish for Chris.

Surf, Soul, Slide

Do you prefer vintage over this year's model? Timeless, classic designs over mass-produced pop-outs from the big-box store? Are you looking for a board with a little heart and soul?
Have you been looking for a board shaped by real surfers? In real materials?
Are you ready for a surfboard that wasn't popped out of a mold in Thailand?

Are you ready for something with a bit of heritage?

Something built by real surfers surrounded by woodchips, sawdust, and heavy steel tools?
Are you ready to ride something with the speed and glide of a freight train?
Are you interested in something a little prettier than a chunk of styrofoam covered in bondo and spray paint?
If a little bit of culture, tradition, speed and beauty sound good, come on in!

Welcome to our woodshop!

Lars and the 42 Crew