Surfboard design workshop: The displacement tail

Here's a quick introduction to the displacement tail design, in the 1940's they were know as 'sinker tails' but had not been fully developed as they still had square rails with hard edges and not much fin area.The displacement tail has to have ultra soft rails with no edges and should be really narrow. . . and thick. . . so that it can sink in and out of the water without catching or stalling. Actually in the video of Randy at Sunset point he was trying to stall right off the tail and the board didn't stall as dramatically as a wider tailed hard railed board does, it is too smooth for that so it just keeps on rolling. Also the displacement tail relies a lot on the fin for lift ( with soft rails and not much area in the tail it doesn't produce a lot of planing lift ) so needs to have a big fin as well as a lot of useable rail convergence in order to set the fin at the angles it needs to lift properly.. . . this again equals a narrow tail..

C Wach

Christian Wach just wrote a bit about almond on his blog, so take a look...

Christian is one of the most impressive all-around surfers you'll find anywhere, especially considering his age.  These 2 pictures above should provide enough evidence to support that claim. 

Thanks C Wach for the support.  Make sure to check him out at Sea Walk.

Almond Surfboards

I Don't really know these guys but I sure dig what they're doing. Keep up the great work! 

An update on John Sutcliffe's board in the shed .

As you can see you don't need a lot of room to build a board. Just move the GT Falcon to one side and get into it. Looks like he has used a pine frame and light pine strips for the skin. I will let you know when more detail comes to hand.

Tuberiding and trimming tips for the Future Primitive 13 footer and the dragon board

Reverb on Swaylocks asked the following question:

In Reply To
...hey man, in a previous page I commented about riding the board forward (to trim down the line Pipeline) but you say only in the middle so, will be efficient to move the stance forward ina a really hollow fast toob? thanks

Hi Reverb, the riding position is from the middle of the board, adjustments fore and aft in the usual way but only a few inches or a small step or so and not forward of centre, in a hollow fast tube it's not a straight line trim feeling really it's kind of outside rail and nose down, the nose leading the board down and the rail softly rolling and squeezing up and down a little in the wall while directing the big fin on its glide path. . . . sort of hard to explain sorry, more like constantly dropping in from on high rather than tracking it.The long nose is like a counterweight, when some of the rail is released the weight of the nose drifts the nose of the board down the wave and the big fin lowers its glide path and slices down to follow. . . . thus downwards adjustments in the tube can be done without having to jam a turn. . . just a subtle rail release and she swoops down smoothly.. . . . this means that one can hang high as it is so easy to carve back down. .Hope that makes sense.

Coffey Table

Who could resist the play on words. It's a natural fit! Well, Adam Brodsley and the folks at Volume Inc decided they needed a table they could use to hatch their latest visual schemes. And having a surfer in the bunch, this balsa table was born. The added bonus is the chips and dip and beer rings wipe right off.

Jeff Bickerstaff's new fish for next years Alley Fish Fry...

Local Auckland builder Jeff Bickerstaff who came over for this year's Fish Fry has just sent me these shots of his second hand-shaped board. A 6ft 7" x 21 3/4" wide Quad. It looks like he has done a great job for his second effort and I hope he gets some time over Christmas to catch a few waves. Jeff is planning on bringing his wife over next year to enjoy the Gold Coast and catch up again at the 2009 Fish Fry. This is what it's all about, getting together , seeing what others are doing and taking a board or two out for a surf  then going home inspired to put your thoughts into action and building a board for yourself that expresses where you want to be. There is only one  better feeling than getting a new board and that is shaping one yourself. Jeff you know that feeling. Good on you mate and thanks for your support. See you in the park Sunday 8th March 2009.

Donald Bunnell rides the Future Primitive 13 footer at Ali'i beach Haleiwa Oahu Hawaii

Here are Donald's comments. Donald is building a 13 foot Blake era wooden surfboard at present"I surfed the FP today at Ali'i beach, Haleiwa.It was awesome.I was apprehensive about the weight and narrowness in the tail, but as soon as she went in the water and I was paddling out I could feel the balance between the weight and amount of flotation.The waves were shoulder high and there was an adequate amount of power to let the board work.Turning was very easy, much to my surprise.In these days of potato chip pop outs, it is nice to feel the real soul of surfing.Mahalo Nui Loa !Donald "

Latest 13 footer Hikoi news: Randy Rarick rides the board at Sunset point

Pictures and video to follow soon, apparently Randy had some fun waves and one tuberide, Mark Healey is rumoured to be the man to take it out at Pipeline, but "only over ten feet "Here's Mr Rarick in with the board at the O'Neill World Cup of surfing Sunset beach contest site.

back from Portugal..

In Florida visiting the family for thanksgiving. Just got back from a month in Ericeira Portugal. Did a bunch of boards for Board Culture and had a great time. For more info you can go to

The Shiny Red Single Fin.....

......will never go out of style!

Paul Jensen's hollow wooden board building school at Port Townsend USA.

Paul Jensen of Hollow Surfboards fame has just posted some great pics and a rundown on a group of guys who have just done one of his week long classes Nov 17th - 22. Paul takes them through the whole process with each member ending up at the end of the week with a board they have hand made themselves.This is what we are planning to do here on the Gold Coast in the week leading up to the Wooden Surfboard day here. I will hire a warehouse and Paul will do the same classes here .

If you are interested please contact Paul  -

But first check out his post on his blog   -

A week in the life of a world famous shaper.

D'Arcy just got back from 2 weeks on the North Shore of Oahu! He was lucky enough to be invited by Layne for some R&R, (and carry her quiver over) as well as some product research and development. He had a great trip and is now back to work for the summer rush! Lucky bloke! Here are some pics from his holiday in paradise. D'Arcy and Layne at the Reef Hawaiian Pro contest site
Welcome to the North Shore Haole. Solid Rockies Layne and her new Quiver of the highest quality boards on the market.Looking left from the house, RockiesView from the living area, picture perfect! (Monster Mush)Layne going for her first surf on her new quiverLayne, looking like they boards are going wellSolid10ft. at SunsetPost-Sunset surf sessionD'Arc, Layne and Happy GilmoreD'Arc and local Uncle Bryan Serratt
Post heat interviewCongratulations Layne! 2nd Place Reef Hawaiian Pro
Celebration Dinner with the ladies!

The Xcel and Roxy Pro at Sunset is set to start tomorrow, make sure you check it out!
Good Luck Layne!

Rad New Friends

So, I've been looking forward to meeting the Grass is Greener crew for a while.  They came by to hang out today, and we chatted about everything from surfboard design to spirituality.  I had a blast getting to know these guys, and about the possibility of some collaborative stuff in the future.

These are some super talented dudes with some rad things going on.  Take a look...