Olo of the Sun 19 foot surfboard , Spitfire cutaway fin

Here's the 13 inch spitfire cutaway fin for the Olo of the Sun taking shape,  when set into the board the tab below the cutaway won't be seen.

The faceted cutaway is a development of the radial cutaways used on previous fins, and is of the type used in 1940's spitfire tailplanes.

Leading edge tubercules will be added next...

stange tails part 2

Following on from the strange tails post from last week with the twin pin, here's a design Alex saw recently on the north shore made by Daniel Nichols.' I met Daniel on the North Shore last year at Rocky point, he was surfing the red Bolt in the pics on the day we met and of course I was interested in the Lightning Bolt as you don't see many around, plus it was epoxy and very light. Daniel shaped for Bolt back in the 70s so I presume he can still use that logo on his boards, so it was interesting talking to him. Next day he was out in the water with his yellow fish with the fins on the tail, so I got a shot of it. Something Daniel had been playing with, he then sent me some shots of the next bunch he shaped.'
This set up looks pretty cool, shades of early 80s jet fins but with a whole lot more.

new home

Some of the collection has just moved into a new home. What was once a tumbledown outside toilet, has been done up by my mate Tim in return for a painting or two. A good trade I think , and a winner for both sides. Altough its quite a small space 25 + boards can fit in without fins. And lets face it the boards look better than a stinky old dunny.

Yoki's Garden

Check out Generic Youth's new project, Yoki's Garden.

They're re-purposing athletic equipment from USC into new apparel items for you.

Eyasu approves.

The Man who Loved Water

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who loves water more than Tim Palmer. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who loves the natural world more than Tim Palmer, who has authored twenty books on rivers, river conservation, mountains, California, the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite...etc. He grew up canoeing the waters of Pennsylvania, then bought a rad van (pictured in below photo), converted it into a mobile outdoor-lover/writer/photographer transport module, and set to exploring America's wild places.
Tim's as hardcore as it gets. He walks, runs, wades, backpacks, paddles, drifts, or floats every inch of his subject material. The guy's up before dawn each day, and has probably seen more sunrises than Robert Downey Jr. He is understated about his lifetime of adventures, but his speaking and slideshow tours always reveal some true narrative gems.
His new book, Rivers of California, is a gorgeous display of photography and writing at its finest and would make a great holiday gift for any nature lover. Check it here!
Our own Russian River even makes it into the edition.
Tim is currently touring with a slideshow. He's in Sonoma County tonight at Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol at 7pm. He'll have a mindblowing presentation, his new book Rivers of California, as well as some of his other offerings. They're all great. He can even sign one for you.
If you can't make it tonight, he'll be at Guerneville's River Reader at 7pm for the same deal. Still can't make it? Here are some tour dates.

Science and Surfing

You're invited to "Surf's Up Nightlife" at the California Academy of Sciences this Thursday, Dec 2nd, for an evening filled with the science, art, and culture of surfing. There will be films, forums, and surf related displays. You can even see some tarp surfing. I'll be sitting in on a round table on surfboard shaping and green design. Come on by and get your stoke up. There's going to be a lot of great stuff at a very cool location. Hope to see you there. California Academy of Sciences"Surf's Up NightLife" - Thursday, December 2nd Mavericks Film with Pro-Surfer PanelWe’re pleased to present a screening from the soon to be released movie ‘Super Natural’ from Powerlines Productions. This includes footage from last year’s big wave event at Mavericks and giant surf from Pe’ahi (aka “Jaws”). The movie’s producers will introduce the piece and each screening will be followed by talks and Q & A with a panel of professional surfers. Check back as the event approaches for confirmed panel participants.There will be two film screenings, each followed by the panel discussion. Seating is limited, passes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on the night of the event. Tarp Surfing and MoreThroughout the building, we’ll have a variety of surf and ocean oriented activities. There will be a stunning display of tarp surfing in our central piazza, films and videos playing throughout the building, and other great surprises. Surfing and Ocean GalleryOur iconic African Hall will be transformed into and gallery dedicated to the art and science of surfing. We’ll have surf board art, interactive displays and games about the ocean and surfing from local Surfrider organizations and others. Scheduled to participate are: Save the Waves, Marin Surfrider, San Francisco Surfrider, San Mateo Surfrider, Surfaid, Surf for Life, American Cetacean Society, Project Kaisei, Sea Stewards, Frank Quirarte, Art Gimbel, Doug Acton, Seth Migdail, Matthew Proehl, Paul Ferraris and others. Expert RoundtablesHere is your opportunity to learn more on a variety of topics pertaining to surfing and the ocean in an intimate setting with renowned experts. We’ll have three topics this evening:Surfboard Shaping and Green Design - Moderated by David McGuire and featuring James Mitchell, Danny Hess, Ward Coffey, and Kevin WhildenSurfing and Environmentalism - with Kyle Thiermann and J. Nichols. PlanetariumEnjoy the following planetarium shows this week at NightLife:Life: A Cosmic Story6:30 pmA surfing film from Powerlines Productions (title TBA)7:30 pm and 8:30 pm Passes to planetarium shows are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick up your pass at the Planetarium Kiosk.

Ian's new board all finished and ready for action.

Ian has just finished is 9ft longboard.All the components have been laser cut from hardwood ply with cork rails and deck inlay.

Ian has used some interesting details on this board.

Olo of the Sun 19 foot surfboard , fin foiling commences

Fin foiling commences on the Olo of the Sun 19 foot surfboard

Stoked & Broke | Surline Review

Check out the feature about S&B on Surfline.

Cyrus perched on his Aquatic Almond...

Grain wooden fish kits in Australia


balsa fish skinned and soaking up some rays


Its all feeling a bit christmasy
Looks like picture on the old car badge below comes from this railway poster from the 30s. Either same artist or a rip off.

Stoked and Broke DVD

The wait is over, Stoked and Broke is now available on DVD.

Newquay -various bits

A few mixed bits with a Newquay connection. I found these three framed prints a few years ago at a car boot. Taken by Doug Wilson, one of the founders of Bilbo and the manager of the Bilbo shop in Newquay, in around 1965 on a promotional trip to France. The prints were sold at the Bilbo shop in '66 or '67, and I think the frames came with them as there are some identical ones at Bilbo's stand at the Boat show of '67. I worked out that the guy above is Dennis White from Sydney, and below is Jim Noll, Greg Noll's brother. If these prints hadn't been framed they would have been trashed by now.
Jim Noll in same yellow shorts, Dennis white with blue t shirt and Rod Sumpter looking at camera, La Barre 1965, probably same session.
This was a random find at Steckfensters 2nd hand shop in Penzance. An old rack of car badges, mainly German, with a surfing Newquay badge in the middle, a beaut from the 30s or 40s ? I'm not sure what Dursona Dheugh means , sounds Cornish.
Graham was up in his loft recently and found these blasts from the past, '84 Fosters poster and t shirt held at Fistral. Graham says the t shirt was bright yellow when he got it !

New Painting on Copper

Finished a new painting for my buddy's dad. He really likes copper and wanted me to paint a black and white underwater scene on a spare piece he had.

11.5''x17.5'' acrylic on copper-

Olo of the Sun 19 foot surfboard , making the paulownia wood fin panel

Making the paulownia wood fin panel for theOlo of the Sun 19 foot surfboard:

The Olo of the Sun will have a 13.5 inches deep spitfire cutaway fin, made from 6 layers of 3mm laminated paulownia. Here's the first layer, the panel will also make an 11 inch spitfire fin for a smaller board.

The underside of the panel is held together with masking tape at the joins, this also stops the resin from running out. Clear epoxy resin as applied:

Layer two is added:

The tape is removed

Ready for the final and sixth layer:

Fred Flintstone's clamping system

Early summer poppies...

Bob Mitsven and his quad Mini Simmons.

Raphael Wolfe and Timberline surfboards


Flex frequency and harmonics in surfboards part two: The sweet spot

In response to Pablo's recent comment on the subject of harmonic nodes in surfboards  ( in blue )   

This is a fascinating subject. Would you be willing to elaborate further on the relationship between harmonic nodes and board performance? Would you mind showing the location of the main nodes on the Olo of the Sun? Are you able to calculate with a fair amount of accuracy where they'd be located, prior to building the board?

Hello Pablo.

There is a primary node approximately in the centre of the board. This is convenient as it is also the designed position of the sweet spot not only in harmonic terms but also in hydrodynamic and control terms. The position of the node depends upon the position of the rider, it moves fore and aft with the rider, but only up to a point. If the rider moves too far from the sweet spot, the rider and the node of rotation part company. This happens also with swords. If Mr Pearce moves his grip from behind the guard down the grip towards the pommel the node on the blade will move further towards the tip.  Also the 'sweetness of the sweet spot ' depends upon the width of the grip or in the case of the surfer the fore and aft width of the stance. A wide grip or stance means that there is a dampening effect. This happens because with a wide grip the pressure is inevitably spread into an area ahead of and behind the node of rotation where movement occurs.  Thus with swords, one  finds that a grip with both hands placed closer together gives a sweeter strike than one with the hands spaced far apart ( as one can do with some very long gripped swords ). Likewise with the surfboard, a narrow stance makes the board immeasurably more lively and responsive, and enables greater subtlety of communication between wave, surfboard, and rider to occur, and less dampening

Wider grips and stances allow greater leverage to be exerted, and this is useful at times, it's a coarser control setting, to be used when required. For the best response the stance and grip wil be made narrower when possible.

I'm of the opinion that useful harmonic  nodes and frequencies are an inevitable result of the  harmony  in all aspects of board design which occurs when successfully pursuing functional design aims.  Specifically, a riding position near the centre of the board ( which has general handling benefits ) a low thicknes to length ratio ( for low centre of gravity and flex) , and other aspects of board design e.g. rocker and planshape curve, when  matched coherently, all have simple hydrodynamic and ergonomic advantages, as well as excellent harmonic properties. Without calculating the position of the node mathematically, it seems that the happy harmonic characteristics come hand in hand with matched foils and perfect geometrically generated curves.

It seems to me that the existence of nodes of rotation which will not move as energy transfered onto the board results in a harmonic vibration has tremendous implications, both whether the energy comes from the effort of the rider or the wave itself. A board thus finetuned would, for example, be magical in terms of absorbing energy from water irregularities--especially in big waves--without decreased performance , provided the rider stands at or near the node, right?--just as shock waves going through a sword upon striking would not affect the hand holding it at the blade's lower node of rotation.


Yes, that's quite right,  and the feeling and results do indeed feel magical.  Propelling the surfboard forwards via a weighting and unweighting motion transferred through the tail of the board into a dolphion tail motion is a well known phenomenon, but there is a vast realm of subtleties in the wave/board/rider interaction which can also occur. As the surfboard meets irregularities in the surface and the rider responds to the harmonic vibration which these interactions set up, there are gains in speed and control. This is the case even with the tiniest most imperceptible high frequency  rider movements  and the smallest of wave surface textures.  The results include at times appearing to do little, but going far. 

Regarding wave size, it is speed rather than wave height which has the most influence. Wave height and surfboard speed are somewhat related, but it is the speed which counts. As speed increases the harmonic response  becomes crisper,  more distinct, and more powerful.

The results are so remarkable that I've been wondering if by constantly  communicating with the water in this way one can reduce friction by feeling water pressure on the board and adjusting it to keep it flowing smoothly, in much the same way that the fingers behave when paddling, but possibly with an added harmonic relationship between the frequency of vibration of the water molecules and that of the surfboard and rider.      

Remarkable! This adds true depth of meaning to the expression "sweet spot". What a way to feel the wave!

PS.: I assume it would be nearly impossible for a harmonic resonance to ever develop.



All the best Pablo, it's great to hear from you, and I hope that you are enjoying your big wave season  ! 

We'll see if we can get some video footage of the harmonics on the 19 foot Olo of the Sun


See also:



Custom 9'6" x 24" x 3 1/4" for Ryan.

Simon Skerry Alaias at Stone and Wood.

Last night down at Byron Bay a number of young designers and surfboard builders gathered to show their wares at Stone and Wood brewery. Great location to meet anytime when you can stand surrounded by vats of beer and surfboards , photographs of surf and groovy clothes.Oh and $2 beers.I met Simon from Lennox Head there and he builds boards in a shed out in the country. Nice resin work on his boards. But these two alaias stood out as being quite different.
The one on the left a much wider coffin shape with a fin flex profile. And the other a radical fish shape was thicker and the nose more hullish. The bottom had many deep channels and was well made. Both very different and very interesting.

Check him out at : Skerry Surfboards