Making My Own Wooden Surfboard – Surf Forever Dude

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The Surfboard PlanI remember saying this many times growing up in beautiful southern California. Or at least some version thereof. “Man, I’m never gonna stop surfin’!”…  “Yeah man, let’s surf forever!”… “Hey dude, if one of us stops surfin’ then the other one gets to go over to the other dude’s house and kick his ass!” Note to self: Install surveillance system or at least a peephole for the time being.   

Although I consider a complete knee replacement procedure grounds for temporarily suspending my surfing forays, everyone knows surfers are, for the most part, half a bubble off. There’s the background for the Surf Forever Dude title. The Nascar hater in the family suggested an alternative title for this blog post: “Art Meets Fart – An Old Man Decides to Make a Wooden Surfboard.”  Obtuse, lacking structure, and too long – this pathetic suggestion was put in the circular file.

Yes, I’m Going To Make My Own Surfboard

So yep, that’s what I want to do. Make a wooden surfboard. Tackling this mighty task can’t be done alone, so I enlisted the efforts of one James, aka Jimbo, aka Bubba, (and the list goes on) Adair to be my trusty sidekick. Plus it was his idea. He said he would pay for the plans, but if I could just put it on my card he’d pay me back. Surfers. I still have an IOU for a leash that was borrowed and then returned in two pieces with a note, “I’m good for it, Mark Kasbergen.” That was in 1971. Kasbergen now lives in Hawaii, out of reach.  Surfers.

The cool thing is, I work at a cabinet shop. This means we have wood. And lots of it. Steve Miller, owner, former surfer, and force behind Miller Woodworking, has graciously donated fall offs from completed projects for our one-of-a-kind wooden surfboard. In return, I just have to feed the Miller Family fish, dog, and guinea pigs for the rest of my life when they go out of town. A few years younger than me, he now is in dire need of a new hip, so I’m thinkin’ we could get a group deal on peepholes. I just had to make that pact with someone, didn’t I? Surfers.

So now we need a plan. This is where I shine. I’m the plan man.

The Plans I Bought for Building the Surfboard Possibly Could Have Been Better

The plans that Jimbo found, and that I paid for (Surfers.), consist of a 40-page PDF document that I’m invited to print out myself on my own paper.  In all of those pages, what you get is a somewhat overall view of how to accomplish the ultimate goal of building a beautiful wooden surfboard that actually surfs.  Hmmmmm…. I kinda wish they had sent maybe some more detailed instructions in certain areas, but hey, what was I thinking?  Surfers.

I’m looking at websites with wooden surfboards and seeing some amazing things of beauty and craftsmanship. My brain is working overtime trying to figure out a design with different types of wood, and imagining what would look good and all that, when I notice step one is to make a table to work on. Are you kidding me? A friggin’ table? I’m all ready to be as one with Duke Kahanamoku, and you want me to make a friggin’ table?  Man, what was I thinking?

I now see this could possibly turn into a semi long-term project. No biggie, it’s February – I wasn’t really keen on surfing cold water anyway. Summertime, baby! That’s the key. Another cool thing is that Marc, our esteemed HF editor, has given me a number of tools to review for Home Fixated, and they will come in really handy on this old fart project. Wait…

Off in the distance I hear, “Art Meets Fart…” in kind of a Nascar-hating twang…

I’m gonna show her… Oh yes I am.

More to come.

Photo of author

About Brad

Brad Baker is Vice President of Operations at Miller Woodworking in the Los Angeles area, designers and builders of custom cabinetry and interior millwork for the rich and famous. They make the impossible, and their work has been featured in fancy schmantsy architectural glossies more than a few times. All that high end creative stuff aside, he maintains a strong spiritual belief that the real sign of a good woodworker is all 10 fingers. He and his wife Ann Baker co-write for HomeFixated. Ann is CEO of Publicity Pros, a firm that provides “All Things Publicity” services and training for small businesses. She’s a hopeless nerd who revels in anything and everything having to do with the technology of attracting attention. And, no joke, she loves to bake.

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