Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wooden Board Building Classes Brisbane

The next wooden board building class the be held by Stuart Bywater in Brisbane is coming up starting August 18th.
"Our Wooden Surfboard Classes are designed to enable you to make your own Classic Wooden Surfboard.
In 8 easy Tuesday night lessons or our 2 day weekend shaping course, you will be able to take home your very own board. You will be given options for size, style and timber choices ensuring your surfboard is exactly how you want it to be."
Prices for wooden surfboard classs vary according to board size and timbers required ,
As an estimate please use the following as a general guide.
We will of course confirm your price prior to registration.
10’ Okanuie $1600 cedar $1750
9” Mal $1500 cedar pinstripes or all cedar $1650
8” Mal $1450 cedar pinstripes or all cedar $1600
6”8’ fish $1200 cedar pinstripes or all cedar $1300
5”8’ fish $1050 cedar pinstripes or all cedar $1150
More options: Western red Cedar and stripes can be added please add aditional pricing
Once completed, Stuart will advise and guide you on finishing options best suited to your needs.
Wooden Surfboards make for a wonderful ride in the surf, enabling you to catch the smallest or the biggest wave…
"By making your own classic surfboard you will have gained definitive woodworking skills and produced a work of art that is uniquely yours.
Our Wooden Surfboards are not just meant for the surf, they are the perfect ambience for a breezy deck, sports room, pool room or bar…"


1. Do I have to have prior experience to make a surf board?
No prior woodworking experience is necessary, as we start you off with the right templates and techniques, we show you the basics and guide you every step of the way.

2. Do I need to wear anything special?
We will require you to wear enclosed footwear; steel capped boots if you have them otherwise sandshoes/runners will be fine. We will supply you with any other safety equipment required.
Warning there will be lots of gluing that will not come off your clothes.

3. How big are the class sizes?
The class sizes are kept small – no more than 10 in a class and we all help each other at times, but usually about 6.

4. Do you have many females in the class?
Yes we do, they are most welcome and will thoroughly enjoy making a board under the expert guidance of Stuart and Michael

5. Are materials covered in the cost of the course?
All materials required for the initial course are covered within the course fee.
If alternate timber is requested the price will increase and we need 2 weeks’ notice.

6. How do I pay for classes?
You can pay for classes by direct deposit, payment of cash or cheque prior to commencement of classes. It is a requirement that your full Course Fee is paid upfront 2 weeks before the course commences. Once payment has been processed you will be issued with a tax invoice for claim purposes.

7. What happens if I miss a class due to illness?
If in the unfortunate event that you are sick we will endeavour to help you catch up but no makeup class are available.

8. Are Course Fees refundable?
No, once fees are paid they are deemed non refundable. Unless the classes are terminated by Bywater Design.

9. Do you offer food /drink?
We endeavor to offer tea, coffee /water and biscuits time allowing, students often have a quick break during our classes and enjoy a cuppa with fellow students and talk about their last great wave, or the one that got away.

10. After I finish my first wooden surfboard what happens next?
After you finish the initial board classes you will have completed your own hollow wooden surfboard. Ready for final sanding and finishing or glassing whichever you choose. Most of our course participants then choose to re-enroll for another course where they can choose another board to create.

11. Do you offer gift vouchers?
We certainly do.
They make a wonderful gift and they can be for any board size required.

12. Yes; it’s also a great team building adventure.

If there are any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us;
or Please phone Stuart; 0414283818

We will see you in class

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Matt Voore's wooden board from Nicaragua

" I recently finished my first wood board project. Here are some photos. It was an awesome experience, no plans, hand sketched, no real modern tools mostly by hand sanding, used the worst wood possible, Laurel is a hardwood great for guitars and fine furniture, but looks great and is now hanging on the wall at the local brewery in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua (SJDS Ceveceria). I'm already starting the next one! "

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wood coming to life

Don't you just love it when after all the hard work and the dust has settled, it just comes alive with colour and it makes it all worth while.

Gareth Smith surfboards and art

Gareth Smith has been crafting and designing wooden surfboards for the last 10 years. An avid surfer and artist his boards are made with the surfer in mind. He takes great pride in researching, designing and replicating the boards of yesteryear.  These boards have been carefully crafted, sealed both inside and out, and built to surf and to last. 

Each board is suitable to certain waves and conditions. The weight of the wooden board provides a glide and momentum different from todays boards and is a must have for any avid surfer's collection. 

Art is something that has always had pride of place on Gareth's boards and now uses his handcrafted wooden boards to display and compliment his functional artwork.

 For more information or to order a beautiful one off board :

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lesley's new board

Lesley Adamski is the only lady I know of who has built more than one chambered surfboard. This is the second one I know of but she has built other wooden boards.
The board is made from a Coral Tree which anywhere on the east coast is known as a weed! This one was from a roadside bush poisoning. It's very light when dry.It's a chambered construction which took an awful lot of thinking and work to actually get it together. Those cross grain marks are from having to straighten that piece because it had a compound curve. Because it was so hard to get together I had to guess the internal cutouts before gluing up so the 6kg weight is a nice surprise. The shaping was the easy part. The timber is very fibrous (ropey actually) when still green but if it were possible to mill some slabs it would be easier as a hollow construction. I love the different grain especially the spalting. The timber had a strange hollow core, notice what look like dowels in some areas.They're made from coral tree too. The dark timber is western red from a salvaged handrail and the fins are Aust cedar.

So very happy with the board made from a weed. I've only epoxy resined it with entropy supersap.
No glass to keep weight down to just over 6kg. And it surfs very well .
                 We hope to Lesley and her boards at the wooden board day again this year.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sergi in Spain - new board build

Llamanto F2 – 5ft 3" x 20 5/8" x 2 5/8"
"It's a reinterpretation of my hollow Llamanto. Considering it's 1'5kg lighter I redisigned it thinking of a more aggressive surfing, not so "speed oriented" and looking for tighter turns.
I ordered recycled EPS blanks in different sizes and three different rockers. All my designs fit into one of those three. That way I can pick the blank I need, cut the outline and glue the rail bands. Then I only have to fine tune the rocker. "

"And then comes the weirdest shaping process ever experienced. You're shaping something that resembles a surfboard, without rails and about 7mm thinner than it will be with the 3/4mm skins. To make it easier I print a full-scale template with a few slices of the board and some mesurements. The first rail band will determine the definitive rail height, and from that point it's "only" a matter of shaping the dome and whatever you want in the bottom."
"This time I embeded some paulownia blocks into the foam for installing FCS fins. The board had had a couple nice concaves, so I had to carefully shape those little blocks, trying not to rip the EPS. Anyway the vacuum squeezed the EPS well enough to form some weird bumps where the blocks were installed. Next time I'll try cork"

 Sergi's new rail clamping process.
"The rails are made of 5mm strips, 20mm thick in the center but they go thinner towards tail and nose. And the finish is the same I do with my other boards, just a couple hands of varnish for wood floors. And yes, I had some fun with water colours! "

Great looking board from Sergi. I am sure this will not be ghis last using this building method now that he has his head around it. Just wanting for the ride report.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Check out the Grain website

The boys at Grain have revamped thier site and have a great looking range of boards on the go.You can check them out in 3D and it is all very well explained. Nice.

60 Brixham Rd. York Maine 03909

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

There are many ways to skin a cat and even more ways to skin your board.

Check it out , the latest video from John Purnell's Deep Creek TV. Recycling a snapped PU board and giving it a new life wrapped in Paulownia.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mathew Ayre and his Polymath Surfcraft

His story, in his words ...
"Hit with the unmistakable smell of styrene and through the haze of a freshly sanded longboard I met with Rob Lion* to discuss my first custom board. Prior to this meeting I was admittedly, totally ignorant to the world of surfcraft and in visiting my board during the varying stages of it’s creation I was witness to Rob’s willingness to experiment with concepts, shapes and materials. The effect was instant and is why I almost immediately stripped the glass off an old board, eager to break the convention to which I was unconsciously adhering. 

With more enthusiasm than method I hacked away at the unceremoniously stripped back surfboard. What ensued can only be described as a waste of what was a perfectly usable board. I decided making boards was a stupid idea.
Despite feeling disheartened at this failure I couldn’t quash my curiousity and I began to read around surfcraft and it’s construction. With my freshly gleaned knowledge I ordered my first real blank. This attempt was relatively successful and I started to build experiment after experiment, manifesting my on going research in tactile form.

As I continued to experiment, other like-minded surfers began asking for boards and soon I was receiving regular orders, refining my skills and processes with every board. Five years on I began to question the methods I was using, that smell of styrene and haze of sanding dust that had initially sparked excitement and intrigue were now an inconvenience to my adopted creative outlet.
Unhappy with the dust, noise and chemicals I was exposing myself to I stopped taking orders and began researching cleaner build methods. I had a fair idea of where I wanted to take my work and I began a new period of experimenting, focussed on a variation of the compsand method using external timber veneers.

I found this process to be much cleaner for myself, creating exponentially less dust, noise and smell with no compromise on what I can build.  The resulting boards have a greater strength to weight ratio than those I used to build using the accepted standard of polyurethane foam and polystyrene resin.
Finally, limiting orders to 24 a year allows me continue doing what has got me this far, and enjoy the creative process. 24 is not a goal, it is a cut off point, a point at which I believe if exceeded the pressures of meeting demand would impact on the enjoyment I get and the quality of the boards I produce.

It is a privilege to explore the craft behind riding waves."

Monday, May 25, 2015

Very sad but "No Byron Bay Surf Festival this year"

"Organisers of the Byron Bay Surf Festival (BBSF) say this year’s fifth annual event will not go ahead, blaming lack of major sponsorship as well as council and government red tape for the decision.
Festival director Mike Jahn and co-founders Vanessa Thompson and James McMillan said in a media statement that after four years of successful events and winning the recent Surf Culture Award from Surfing Australia, ‘the decision was neither taken lightly nor easy to come by’.
The festival had become a regular part of Byron Shire’s community event calendar, and was widely known for its fun, creativity and innovative flair.
‘It both reflected and inspired the unique Byron Bay surfing community and its vast global reaches. BBSF always intended to be a free community festival to encourage, support and inspire handcraft, the arts, sustainability, beauty and goodness amongst fellow ocean-minded people. To this end, it has proved itself year in year out,’ organisers said.
But they added that ‘regulatory hurdles’ imposed by Byron Shire Council and the NSW Government, alongside the lack of major sponsor support for the 2015 event were impossible to overcome, ‘rendering the festival logistically and financially unviable this year.’
Despite being ‘stifled’, BBSF organisers have not given up just yet but are focusing on keeping their unique surf culture festival alive.
Festival director Mike Jahn said, ‘Arts and culture needs to be supported and encouraged rather than suppressed, as [this is what] leads to a stimulated and colourful society, which in turn creates participant citizens.
‘We encourage the community to come forward with any major funding contacts and investors who may see the benefit of sustaining this event for many years to come,’ Mr. Jahn added.
The BBSF has thanked everyone who supported it over the last few years.
‘Previous festivals were a great achievement and even though BBSF will not be celebrated this year, the trust to regain momentum and continue in 2016 is unbroken,’ organiser said."

Investors or anyone wishing to support BBSF can contact the festival at

Keep an eye out for 2016 festival dates on

It is a shame that this has had to happen as the team behind this event have put so much effort into making it what it is. I have been to them all and it has just about doubled in size each year, which just goes to show that it is greatly supported buy the local community and surfing community at large. It is a shame that the local Council don't reflect the feelings of the local community and why they all live where they do. Surely it is the surf, the beaches and the natural beauty that drew them all to Byron. This is a festival that reflected all those things and there was a feeling that the local community now owned the event , but sadly not the council.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An update from Paul at Arbo Surfboards in the UK


March and April have been great surf wise. nearly constantly some sort of swell here in Cornwall, offshore or little wind most of the time with warming sunshine... and the booties and gloves are stowed away until next winter. #coldwatersurf may be the momentary 'soulsurfer' marketing phrase but i don't really miss the cold winter sessions with grey rainy drizzle that much to be honest... yeah to sun and mild weather! we are #allwatersurfers!!
in between swells I've been busy all over the place taking my mobile workshop to London, Bristol, Cologne and Hamburg. some of the results below...
Thank you underfall yard in Bristol, Mark Edwards in London, Jackinthebox in Cologne and Andrea Moog in Hamburg for letting me be their guest for those weekends.
The workshop in Hamburg in April had the first solidarity-board, built by Tim who cycled from Berlin to take part. All proceeds from that board will go to the Ngo Phnx and will be used for medical training in Rojava in Northern Syria. Maybe that democracy movement over there turns in to a positive model for the region.
My offcuts pile was getting a bit high again and the leftover stuff from all those surfboards had to be turned into something. Get in touch if you want any of those toys! I will have handplanes, handplane shaping kits and little skate decks with me on all my future workshops as well...
The next build-your-own weekend workshops will be:

5-7 June in Berlin / Germany at FIT Freie Internationale Tankstelle

12-14 june in Frankfurt a.m. / Germany at Blaues Haus,

24-26 July or the 31 July-2 August London / UK

In between I do a few individually arranged sessions here at my workshop in Cornwall
maybe in your backyard as well?
Contact me soon if you are interested to take part and want more information.
I'm too busy to do any custom orders until July but could build a few boards in July / August / September.

All the best from sunny Cornwall, UK


Timber and working with wood show in Brisbane

This years Brisbane Timber and Working with Wood Show is on this coming weekend 15/16/17 May from 10-4 each day

This is a great place to see skilled craftsmen demonstrate a great aray of tools and techniques that you may not be aware of , that may be of great benefit to building your own wooden boards.

Stuart Bywater from Brisbane will be on hand.
"I will be demonstrating  shaping some hollow wooden blanks , explaining how I make them selling paulownia and talking woodworking techniques and tools
I will also have a stack of my boards on display with me
In association with Carbatec ( home of woodworking ) woodworking tools
we have also released a short video ."

Stuart Bywater   0414283818

Friday, May 8, 2015

International Surfing Day 2015

Surfrider Foundation would like to invite you to participate at International Surfing Day which is a family friendly, sustainable, community, surfing lifestyle fundraising event on 
Saturday 20th of June
 2015, 12pm – 16:30 at Dune Café, Palm Beach Parklands.

Activities on the day we will be:
Roots of Surfing Wooden Surfboard Teams Challenge
Dune Care planting, weeding, watering
Beach Clean Up
Sand Wars - the movie

12:00 – 13:30 Roots of Surfing Wooden Surfboard Teams Challenge
Hi Boardriders, would you and three mates like to ride wooden Alaia's at Surfrider Foundation International Surfing Day "Roots of Surfing Wooden Surfboard Teams Challenge" which is a family friendly, sustainable, community, surfing lifestyle fundraising event on Saturday 20th of June 2015, 12pm at Dune Café, Palm Beach Parklands.

6 Teams only but plenty of spots for Expression Session.

Surfers will be asked to surf 2 waves in groups of 6 in a tag team format. All surfers will ride a wooden surfboard (Alaia) which will be provided, along with all other necessary equipment. The judging format is under standard surfing competition criteria, but the emphasis will be very much on having fun & enjoying yourselves while helping promote sustainable surfing.

After the Teams Challenge - wooden surfboard event, we will be holding an expression session made up of experienced wooden surfboard enthusiasts who will show their prowess riding original style surfboards like Alaia's, Paipo's & Itako's. These ancient wooden crafts date back to the Roots of Surfing which are thousands of years old.

So if you're an enthusiast, sustainable surfing advocate or complete novice who'd like to watch professionals or even try out one of these original surf crafts bring your family down to the beach for a fun day.


·         $1000 off any full charter booking made with Soul Safaris Surf Travel in 2015/16

·         Burleigh Brewing Co. voucher for 4 people entry to a “Tanks, Tales and Tastings Session”

·         Patagonia $100 vouchers

·         Surf Organic wax

13:30 – 14:00 BBQ & Preso

14:00 – 15:00 Dune Care planting, weeding, watering will take place just along the path from the Dune Café. All plants and equipment will be supplied, just bring a hat, water bottle & wear shoes.

Beach Clean Up, at the same time as dune care we will be keeping an eye out and cleaning up any waste that is found. This rubbish will be audited and records kept adding to our data collection program in partnership with Tangaroa Blue.

15:00 – 16:30 Sand Wars – the movie is an epic eco-thriller that predicts by the end of the 21st century, beaches will be a thing of the past. That is the alarming forecast of a growing number of scientists and environmental NGOs. Sand has become a vital commodity for our modern economies: we use it in our toothpaste, detergents, and cosmetics, and computers and mobile phones couldn’t exist without it. Our houses, skyscrapers, bridges and airports are all basically made with sand: it has become the most widely consumed natural resource on the planet after fresh water. The worldwide construction boom fuelled by emerging economies and increasing urbanization has led to intensive sand extraction on land and in the oceans, with damaging environmental impacts. Sand Wars takes us around the world as it tracks the contractors, sand smugglers and unscrupulous property developers involved in the new gold rush, and meet the environmentalists and local populations struggling to reverse the threat to the future of this resource that we all take for granted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

James and the Agave board

" This is my latest board. Its been a long time coming. I harvested the Agave over 18 months ago, but a new job and a new baby have left me with very little board building time!

Anyway its still awaiting a few little tweaks (including a leggy), but its a blast to ride. So fast and fun. The twinzer set up works so well on boards like this (and some of yours I'd imagine).

I'm struggling to come up with a name for the board... Any suggestions, please shot em through."