I went fishing a couple of nights ago and caught this lobster on my fishing pole. I've never caught a lobster on a fishing pole before, too bad it's not in season. This was the best catch of the night, everything else was too small. 
Hand foiled fins by Larry Gephart on top, production made fins by Larry on the middle board and hand foiled fins by Daniel Partch on the bottom board. I always prefer the hand foiled fins myself.
Daniel deleted his old blog "Daniel's Fins" and started a new one, "Surf Designs by Daniel". I put a link in the blogs section.  Daniel is one of the best wood fin foilers out there, so keep checking his blog for new stuff. 

New surfboard plans on DVD

Here are the latest surfboard building DVD's
Choose DVD

Finally some waves...

There were finally waves this week! This was the best swell so far this winter! Here are a few images from the weekend, courtesy of coastalwatch.com

Last weeks synoptic charts (bom.com)
Spot X on friday :shieldsy
Micko, Greenie :sheildsy
The Alley on Saturday :seanscott

Looks like a new swell coming this week! It was great to finally get wet,we have had a pretty dismal winter thus far! Hope the waves are pumping wherever you are! Stay tuned! The Rip Curl Search event starts tomorrow!

Rules rules rules !

It seems that in surfing and in life the more rules we have the more strife we have. It often astounds me how dogmatic and bloody minded some surfers are about the supposed 'rules' of surfing, such people try to impose rigid competition based rules in the free surfing areas as if these rules have been ordained by God.Given that there are no lines drawn on the sea the 'rules' can only be a set of suggestions for safe surfing and cannot be applied slavishly. . . . in surfing we should respond in a more fluid way than the rigid rule book allows. . . . the situations in reality include many possible conflicts in interpretation of rules and indeed even conflicting rules. . . . this should be taken into account when surfing, rather than trying to impose one's recently acquired store bought rule book to all situations.Often people use the 'rules' not as a way of avoiding conflict but as a way of causing conflict. . . that's not what it's all about.There are exceptions to every rule !Take the supposedly most fundamental rule of all, the 'Don't drop in' rule. The rule wallahs would have us believe that one must never never never 'drop in', but is this true ? No it isn't.No drop ins means no sharing of waves with friends. . . a very sad state of affairs. No drop ins means that one can never drop in on someone who isn't going to make the wave. No drop ins also means that we expect locals never to drop in on non locals, or surfers generally not being able to express their annoyance with a wave hog by dropping in on him. . . . . totally unrealistic, as that sort of thing goes on all the time. Personally I don't mind the occasional drop in as long as it isn't dangerous, it makes life interesting.Rule mongering is just another toxic consequence of the commercial surf industry/competition machine.Here's some wave sharing from the early days of innocence, good sense, and big wooden surfboards:Malibu 1947.

Larry had a lot of big jobs to do today. But he wakes up early and always gets it done. 
Thanks Larry.

Gobstopper progress

The first resin coat on the deck:

This is a triple stringer 11' Eagle that Skip gave to Joe Roper for his 50'th birthday. Joe asked if I could glass it for him. With out hesitation I said yes. I worked for Joe for a long time, so I am happy to do this for him. This is Skip's 50'th year of surfing, the golden years. So he is having all of his boards done yellow this year. Joe said  "I want my board yellow too, it's my 50'th birthday." That sounds good to me.
  I'll post more pictures when it's done.

Brometheus Unbound

The myth of Prometheus features a crafty Prometheus fashioning humankind out of clay, then stealing fire from the gods to animate his work.
The Gods were, understandably, unstoked.
The subtitle of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is 'The Modern Prometheus.' Frankenstein refers to the name of the doctor who steals fire (electricity) to animate his own creation--a manlike figure cobbled together from the parts of dead folks.
The creature has no name, and is abandoned by its creator, a freaked-out Dr. Frankenstein, upon its 'birth.'
The nameless monster starts off its life as a knowledge-seeking innocent, only to be taught evil, mistrust, and general bad behavior by some countrified English d-bags.

The Frankenfish, which has been enjoying a nice run up here on the Northcoast, is a Frankensteinian mashup of several different design elements.

However, unlike Dr. Frankenstein's creation, the board's lines are blended without all those pesky suture marks around the neck area.
Second, all who see it do not shriek in fear and cover the eyes of nearby children.
Finally, instead of being tormented by a damned dirty population of pastoral English peasants, Frankenfishes have been nurtured, coaxed, allowed to fully cure as suggested by Fatty, and shown goodness by their owners (who have heroically resisted the urge to open Red Tail Ales with their fins) in the form of waves, waves, waves.

This sub-eight-foot Frankenfish is for local hellman GayVader, who is neither gay, nor Vader--not that there is anything wrong with being either. It features a sky blue bottom tint and a 'one-drop' blue deck tint.
Five finboxes for maximum Franken-ness, double concaves for turbo boostage, and a blue resin pinline to tie it all together.

PS: If this blog entry looks at all weird to you, it's because I am writing from the East Coast, and things here are different. Examples:
1. The air is wet, giving me an unwelcome Jewfro and making it difficult to go more than two hours without a shower.
2. People use 'wicked' as an adverb, as in, 'it's wicked hot today, but it was wicked hotter yesterday.'
3, 4, 5. There are insects at the beach, people sport clothes and cars with names of colleges on them, and Dunkin' Donuts (sic) offers 'muffins,' which are really just donuts in muffin form.
6. Bring on the warm-water peelers!

I shaped this 9'3" nose rider  custom for Rebecca. Dennis and I also made this custom 'D" fin for the board also.  It all seems to go well together. The bottom picture is Rebecca and her son Riley.

The Gobstopper project part 3

This is a nose rider I shaped the other day.

An answer to some questions regarding rail shape and bottom curves

There's a lot of confusing misinformation out there in the surfing world, it's really a lot simpler than people make out.For example the downrail/uprail business really doesn't mean a lot. What is most important is the radius of the bottom section of the rail. Attached is a diagram which shows how misleading the uprail/downrail dichotomy can be. Because a parallel profile board distributes volume evenly such a board is always thinner in the mid section of the board, thus a 50/50 rail on a parallel profile board does not necessarily imply a larger diameter to the bottom section of the rail as is usually supposed.The owner of a board with a rail section resembling the one on the right will typically be of the opinion that they have a 'racier' rail then the supposedly 'fat' 50/50 rail on the left, because theirs is classified as a downrail. . . . but nothing could be further from the truth, the thinner board with the 50/50 rail has in this case a lower volume rail, and is a better board in all respects, assuming that there is sufficient buoyancy.There's a lot more to it than this, so I'll try to give short answers !Regarding the horizontal hold and release question, it's never an issue, the majority of the on the face tracking or hold work is done by the fin(s) and the rail is used to hold and release in order to adjust the angle of the fall line and the angle of presentation of the fins as much as anything else. Boards with no fins which rely entirely on the rail for on the face hold can be built but they are problematic, it is better to use fins to do miost of the work in my opinion. The short answer is that we use constant rail sections, between a 50/50 and a 30/70 downrail depending upon the thickness and planshape of the board , and they work perfectly, with excellent hold. A constant rail section is fast, forgiving, and gives good control during turns.Regarding bottom contours, surfboards are planing craft, and thus they do well with flat bottoms or slight concaves. V sections can be used but they reduce planing lift and efficiency with very little gain to offset the loss. Planing craft prefer constant bottom sections, it's better not to have complex bottom curves which change from single to double concaves or V sections, as these create conflicting water flows which cause drag. High speed planing craft always have constant hull sections in the run aft. This means that simple flat bottoms or single concaves work best.Regarding decks I always design flat decks, these allow the board to be thinner in the riding area for a given volume which improves control by lowering the centre of gravity ( this is also one of the main reasons for using a paralle fore and aft profile ) With the parallel profile the decks are concaved or spoooned out fore and aft, but flat across the board. The deck is in fact a perfect replica of the bottom and is always parallel to the bottom, this give the rider exceptional control and security.I hope that helps somewhat, the ins and outs of 'shape ' have in my opinion been woven into an uneccesarily complex set of myths, designed more to confuse the board buyer and blind him with meaningless shaping 'science ' than to make sense of board design. . . . such complication often distract people from more important and basic design parameters.

Just some random shape photos.

A Scottish Sea Monster

Will A Mackay from Caithness built himself a wicked looking Dragon board, he writes: ". . . . got carried away with the rocker it comes in at about 11 inches. It seems quite a responsive board for turning considering the size. I've caught some waves where it just drops into the wave beautifully and wants to go like mad and when it cruises it fair cruises. "