Posts Tagged 'Grain Surfboards'

My Hipster Surf Quiver Is Complete

surf mat

I’ve been sitting on this post for a long time and I’m not sure why. I completed my hipster surf quiver back in January on a trip to Guerneville.

The town’s five and dime was showcasing this surf mat in its window, and I happened to be strolling by when it caught my eye.

I’ve surfed a wooden board for a couple years now thanks to my brother Chris gifting it to me after he brought it out to San Francisco with him on a trip. Now, with a surf mat, my hipster quiver is whole.

The mat’s inflated for this photo, but I’ve yet to surf on it (which is pretty hipster).

Get Caffeinated And Build A Wood Surfboard; Two Kickstarters We Want To See Backed

I’ve drank DRIP’D coffee and surfed Grain surfboards, so I can vouch for both of these products. The world would most likely be a better place with more of each in it. Here are a couple cool businesses to get behind…

DRIP’D Coffee Lab | San Francisco, Calif.

drip_d coffee kstr

Purveyors of finde coffee drinks, DRIP’D Coffee, says:

“In a city that hosts many exceptional coffee experiences, we think there’s more to bring coffee lovers and/or anyone seeking the highest-quality ingredients. So with DRIP’D, we’re offering the best local coffee courtesy of Sightglass Coffee, local organic whole milk and even certified raw milk in the future. We’re already working out the details to work with a local bean-to-bar chocolate company, as well as deliver some amazing local treats.”


Grain Surfboards | York, Maine

grain kstr

Purveyors of fine wood surfbaords, Grain Surfboards, says:

“So our plan is this: with your help, we’ll get a truck we can sleep in, and a utility trailer large enough to fit piles of tools, shaping stands, and gear, and we’ll hit the road out west. Your funding assistance will also help outfit this rig – for instance, we’ll need some mobile shop-tools, and other stuff classes require. If things work out, we’ll set this up to burn alternative fuels as well.”


Waxing Your Biscuit in San Francisco

Turns out surfboards made of wood, under 6-feet tall, are actually pretty ideal for riding the waves at Ocean Beach. Chris brought his newly built wooden “Biscuit” out with him to San Francisco recently, and waxed it up for it’s first party in the Pacific.

Grain Surfboards

And here’s what surfing in sunny California is like. Looks like a scene from The Goonies, but the wind eventually did back off and we ended up getting some nice waves on the wood board’s first time in the water.

Grain Surfboards Is Coming To San Francisco To Teach Us How To Make Wooden Surfboards

[photo via Grain Blog]

Grain Surfboards is leaving Maine for a short period of time this Fall to visit San Francisco and host their first “traveling” wooden surfboard building workshop. The guys at Grain teamed up with San Francisco Surfrider and Sustainable Surf to put on the weeklong class, taking place September 25-October 1 at the Engine Company #33 Firehouse in Oceanview.

According to the Grain blog:

York Maine is a long way to come for a lot of people, so a few years ago we started thinking about taking our show on the road. Thanks to some friends on the west coast, we’re going to hold our first Traveling Workshop in the fabled City by the Bay.

I’ve already made two wooden surfboards using the kits Grain sells online, and both boards came out looking amazing, not to mention the pride you feel from being able to make a surfboard out of wood.

The workshop isn’t cheap – tuition for the weeklong class is $1,975 – but the cost of all the woodworking tools and supplies that were needed to build my first two boards was far from free. I also had to call Grain’s shop more than a few times with questions.

They’re a good group of guys at Grain, and you can visit their classes page for more details about the upcoming San Francisco workshop. Also checkout the west coast workshop post on

The ‘Ultralight’ Wooden Surfboard

Last year I built a wooden surfboard from a kit designed by the great people at Grain Surfboards. It was my first attempt at building a wooden surfboard, so I brought my father on to help with the project. When it was all said and done, the outcome of the venture was 1) a finished all wood surfboard, and 2) the idea to build the Ultralight, a super light weight wooden surfboard.

My dad borrowed from the design that Grain used for their broad, and came up with a frame system that he hopes will be lighter than the currently constructed wooden surfboards.

The surfboard’s frame is made out of Japanese waterproof plywood, and will eventually be finished with red cedar. My father is an architect, and it’s basically been second nature for him to design and challenge the strength of building material.

Even though my dad has only tried surfing once, an attempt he claims to have almost taken his life, he feels that surfboard design is within his reach.

The Wooden Version Of Channel Islands “Biscuit”

I’m currently working on the wooden version of the Al Merrick and Rob Machado Channel Islands Biscuit. Having been completely satisfied with my first wooden surfboard, I went with another kit created by Grain Surfboards from York, Maine.

Defining the shape

As a guide to others, I thought it would be helpful to post photos of the board while it’s still under construction. This is the second wood surfboard I’ve worked on, and I had many questions a long the way so hopefully these photos will help other shapers with their boards.

The first steps are easy to understand using the Grain builder’s manual. The first step is to set up the outer shape of your board (see above) by glueing the keel and ribs to the bottom plank. You’ll need (several) spring clamps, straps and a jigsaw. Nothing too hard yet…

The second task is forming the rails of the board. You’re going to need wood glue, a spokeshave, and as many clamps as you can get (I feel the more clamps you have the better). The rails are 1/4″ milled ceder and will follow the shape of your ribs. You’ll need to trim and steam the rails in order for them to take the shape.

Rail Strips

Use a spokeshave to trim the strips. A spokeshave is a fairly easy tool to for someone not too “handy” to use. As long as you take your time fitting the strips this step will not be too hard. It helps me (a person just starting to make surfboards) begin to understand the reasons boards are shaped the way they are.

"Railing" your board

Your rails

Keep in mind that I’m just highlighting some of the major steps in the building process, skipping many little steps as I go, so if you wanted to know more then just feel free to ask. And again, this is a Grain kit I’m following, they are the real pros.

More to come as I find the time to build…

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