Here we go again

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I have been off “Gadding About” over the past few months…. I do not like the UK winter anymore! Sure the waves are better, or at least bigger, but it is the Cold and Rain I have trouble with.

Anyway….. I am back, and back at work.

I have already shaped a few, and got quite a few more “Custom Orders” to do.

The biggest request so far this season is for my J bay inspired “Traditional Nose-Rider”.

More than half of the orders I have are for this “New” Traditional Board.CIMG7639

I did go down the Trad Nose route a few years ago, but never really got to grips with it, as not so many guys wanted them then, but now the Trad Nose seams to be more “In Flavour”

Most of the Custom Orders I get have Nose and Tail Woodies….. and some with Resin Tints. It is nice to see guys know exactly what they want….it makes my life a little easier.CIMG7637

So much effort and work go into these Nose and tail Woodies, it is nice to see that the results are appreciated. …. even though they have to be paid for… there is no real profit in them. Everything seems to cost more money these days, especially the Hardwoods that I use. Not to mention the sharp saw blades needed to cut the hardwood into the skinny strips…. and we haven’t got to the Glue, Special Clamps and TIME to get the “Woodies” ready.

BUT ….Wow! they do look good.

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The last day….

CIMG7552 What a site to wake up to….

Red sky in the morning, I was expecting a “Crap” day for my Last Day in J bay!

The weather was UK like, but hot, grey sky, light rain but strangely warm…. oh and the waves…. small and lumpy from the on-shore the afternoon before….

By mid morning, still rain and cloud but now with off-shores blowing, by late morning….WOW, more swell, and the off-shore had cleaned up the waves…. and only a hand full of guys out….. The Last Surf.CIMG7557

So 2 hours of almost empty perfectly shaped waves, and getting bigger all the time.

Back home for some lunch and all those last minute things to sort out before a big trip. To get home to the UK it is a short flight to Jo’Burg from Port Elizabeth, a few hours lay over, then the Big Flight to London Heathrow…. but for us, another 6 hours in the car to Cornwall.

Already 4.00pm, and out for diner with friends at 6.00pm, and the waves look so good I have to have one last “Play”….CIMG7556 I did not get any photo’s of the “Last Surf”, it was all a bit hectic. ….but it was good, a little crowded, as the whole of J bay knew it was now “On”. Wall to wall sunshine and head and a half high, in perfect conditions…. I do Love J bay.

Now it is all over, well at least for this trip.

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J Bay trip almost “Done and Dusted”

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Well another South Africa sojourn is nearly over. 5 weeks seems a long time when you book, but when it is time to come home…. I want to stay longer.

Especially as SA is now coming into autumn and the swells are becoming noticeably strong, if not much bigger, but the midday sun is still high… and more importantly warm on your body. CIMG7521

The days here drift into one another, the usual routine is up early, check the surf. If it is looking very good, grab a board and go, if it is looking small and good, maybe drive to the point to check, and decide “Now or Later”, as different tides can affect the size a little, and the morning crew will have had their fill, leaving a more empty line up later.

Home time it is, even if I am not keen, but hey, I have boards to shape and people to see, so it is not all bad, and I will soon be home, and into the swing of my UK life, up early, check the surf and plan the day, “Surf or Work” always a tough one!CIMG3695

The order books are slowly filling up, UK summer is just around the corner, so call me if you need/want a new ‘mal, and we can chat. I do not have any new magic idea’s after this trip, but I am refining my bottom curve a little after borrowing a “Locals” board over here…. should be able to introduce a performance board with a little more Old Skool Trim and Glide flavour.

In the meantime I have just a couple of days left to surf J bay….. ahhh!

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A quick trip to my favourite place…..

Jeffreys Bay South Africa.

It is my favourite place, I really like it here. The waves can be great for Short board and then just down the point is Longboard heaven, and this changes almost on a daily basis.

The weather is also a factor…. hot and summy much of the time, even the “Winters” here can be like UK Summer.CIMG7201

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But it is not “Perfect”, there is political instability, nasty big things in the water, and in certain areas, racial tension….BUT overall, it is a stunning place.CIMG7236

When the swell arrives, and the local weather is calm (which is most of the time) it can be Nirvana here if you are a surfer. Hours and hours of water time, and yes it is more crowded than it used to be, but it is just not that busy when you factor in the quality and quantity of waves.

I tend to stay here to escape the UK Winter, so Jan Feb Mar and April….. yes I am “Living The Life”, but I am old now, and have worked all my life to achieve this.

I have a house here, which I throw “Open” to Friends and Family or potential or past “Customers”. I run my home on a Homestead basis, yes I charge you money to stay, but it is WAY LESS than the local going rate, and you get some other advantages……Like staying with someone who knows the area, and knows where to be and when, has a car for the trip to and from the airport and the all important trips to Cape St. Francis when the conditions are not so good in J bay. If you fancy a trip to J bay….. get in touch for more info, might be the best Surf Trip you will ever have.

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Getting ready for Longboard Season 2018

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The Summer still seams a long way off, BUT….. if you want to be ready to surf that special small clean day when it comes, we need to get ready now.

Whether that is de-wax your board, get those dings fixed… or even a new board…. it all takes time.

I have had a few orders lately, which is unusual in Feb…. maybe because I am usually “Away” at this time of the year. Even in the winter, it takes 4 weeks from order to collection for a new Longboard. I do not like to “Rush” the factory, better to let the board take it’s usual time to go through each proceedure, this way…No Mistakes and a fully cured board, ready to ride when you collect it.CIMG6139

Most discussions I have from customers is about the “Performance Nose Rider Model” Nothing much changes, fads come and go, but most guys including me, just want a board that turns well off the tail and still allows you to Noseride.

I have done a more “Performance” tweek to my Old Favourite Model…. same template but a revised rocker.CIMG6052

The New Performance Noserider has more general rocker especially in the tail…. BUT be aware…. this board is better for some guys,. but not everyone. It requires a little more effort to catch waves, or a later take off, and it likes to be “Surfed”. By this I mean it does not Glide quite so well. It is also glassed “Lighter”, so more “Feel” to the board, but it will not be so strong.

So…. if you are the type of guy who values putting in more effort and getting more rewards, this is the one for you. However, if you like your surfing a little more on the mellow side, go for the Older Model.

I spend much time with each and every new customer to make sure that they get the board best suited to them…..so don’t panic about “Which One” just drop me an e mail or make that call.

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UK Winter….. More Dreaming

J Bay via Kristian

I find myself in unfamiliar territory this winter….. I am here in the UK!

I usually close down my Board Shaping Operation after Christmas and travel to the sun…. usually South Africa. It is cold here, and warm there, PLUS the amount of business that I do is very spasmodic between Christmas and Easter… so it is a Win Win.

This year was different, a family matter has kept me in the UK, and I had forgotten just how Cold and Miserable the UK winters can be.

I have been surfing, but only on the good days, when the waves are “Just So”. I do not like the Ice Cream headaches, nor the serious punishment that one can get in the “Stormy” conditions that we have been having since the start of 2018…. so I have only ventured into the ocean a couple of times, most of my time is spent….DREAMING.

Dreaming of my favorite surf spot in the World “The Point” in Jeffreys Bay (See photo above, sent to me by my friend Kristian, who was there a few weeks ago).

I will still be going, but not for a little while, and not for “The Whole Winter”. So Dreaming it is, and the purchase of a new Winter Wetsuit.

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Back Home, and straight into the “Shaping Pit”

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Back home in Newquay, and straight to work… well almost!

I did this one before I left for my Morocco Sojourn, a 10′ 1″ BIG BOY Longboard, with Nose and Tail “Woodies”.

For “Steve” who has had a Bike Accident and is still recovering, he needs just a little more time to get to his feet. I will ride my Bikes more cautiously from now on!!

Back to work….

“The Shaping Pit”, as I like to call it is like a 2nd home for me, I can relax there, put those “New Ideas” that I have had on the trip into practice, or at least into “Foam”. Talk with the Factory Crew, about waves I have scored, and days I had missed here…..etc. etc.

It is a place where I can express myself, and in my work…. how good is that!

I like my life, and I feel it shows in my product.

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I did finally “Break out” the new Longboard that I had shaped for myself, I was not too sure about it, mainlty as it was “Off the machine”…. sadly I felt little or no connection to it, but after the 1st wave…. WOW.

I had 2 guys try to buy the board after my 1st session…. I told them… “no way”, this one is a “Keeper”, it is that good. I did take an order or 2 though!!

It is The Best Performance Mal I have every ridden…. and it is on a Computer File….. So if you want one, let me know. It will be easy to “Adjust” it for size, and keep all the dimension relationships true! Am I entering the “Computer Age”?

No I am not, I still intend to Hand Shape most of my boards, but I had been struggling to get a replacement for my Go To trusty Old Yellow Mal…. now I have one, so I am really a “Happy Bunny”

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Almost time to come home!

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Life is good in Morocco.

The weather is mild, if not hot and sunny some days. The waves are generally “Cooking”…. and, if you know where to go, the crowds are not excessive.
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I have been up and down the “Central Coast” checking out the obvious, and not so obvious spots…. and scoring all manor of good waves. Beachies, reefs, and of course the Points that this part of the world is famous for.CIMG6953

I have ridden small waves, big waves and all that is in between, whilst riding shortboards…. and my trusty mal….

It is all Good in Morocco…. but now it is almost time to come home….. and plan my next adventure….I cannot wait!

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Morocco …Again!

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This place always delivers the goods.

The right hand point breaks of Morocco are legendary, and you know why when a decent size swell, with a good period hits the coastline.

The winds are pretty calm, offshore in the mornings and light cross in the afternoon….. it is the crowds that are the new problem….. just so many guys want a slice of the Moroccan Pie!CIMG6866

On the bigger days I am “Shortboard” but by way of a crowd equaliser I often ride my new Performance Longboard, which I have to say is going really well.CIMG6875

The shots above are just a Slice of the “Moroccan Pie” action…. a true reflection of how the waves are if you can be bothered to look, it needs a little “Whats around that next headland” approach, and you do not always score it good, nor alone…. but as I said…. the sun is always shinning.

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Resin Tints…. just love ‘em.

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Another Resin Tint, with Nose and Tail Woodies.

This is the Performance Board to go to Morocco, I have checked with the couriers and they will not take it…. Oh No, this means that I will have to take it myself… the things I do for my customers!CIMG6589

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