I’ve gotta dream…ever since I visited Grant Newby’s 5th Annual Wooden Surfboard Day at Currumbin Alley last August I’ve been fantasising about gliding across pristine glassy 3ft peeling waves at Flat Rock Ck, Gold Coast on a piece of wood harvested from a sustainable forest.
Yes me, my recycled plastic boardshorts a natural wooden surfboard and Mother Nature, the closest I would ever get to a pure surfing experience.
Since speaking with Grant and other wooden surfboard shapers who encouraged my idea of holding an expression session including their master pieces the fantasy has been nurturing.
I thought since I’m the organiser of this event I must stop fantasising and just do it!
Today 1st of March 2014, 7 months of dreaming night & day my beautiful vision was excruciatingly destroyed.
All of the difficulties I’ve heard about and totally ignored came true…don’t laugh, you try it. Have you tried..let us know how you went. I could have sworn my experience would be more like Dave (Rasta) Rastovich when he reminisced the story of when he paddled out on an Alaia at Sunset Beach to the locals disbelief, when he side slipped down what the locals were calling eight foot, dug the rail in, shot down the line being blown out with the ocean spit.
The conditions that I attempted breaking my wooden surfboard virginity were very different. Onshore winds, low tide mush, no locals out (that was to my advantage) and my imaginings fast diminishing. I paddled with armpits around my earholes due to lack of buoyancy out the back, duck diving was easy the board slices through the waves, only does the same when you’re trying to paddle onto the wave.
Once I’d realised the only way I would ever have a chance of propelling this sliver of a craft in the direction I wanted to go was to wait for whitewater to thrust me forward. At that point with still a semblance of mind’s eye the rest crumbled before me like the crappy wave I’d selected. To maneuver this finless Alaia was impossible and by the time I managed to get to a standing position I was on dry sand. Failed…my cherry popped and unsatisfied I slunk off the beach, head down taking no notice of looks from passers-by at my unusual selection of surfing craft unlike my initial proud emergence onto the sand prior to my reality.
So on Sunday the 16th of March 2014, 9am to 1pm at Tomewin St, Currumbin Beach for the Eco Challenge Gold Coast wooden surfboard expression session as part of the Bleach festival I’ll be taking keen notice and guidance from the experienced surfers & shapers advice on how to appreciate a fuller wooden experience.
All proceeds go to Surfrider Foundation Gold Coast Tweed Branch, “Rise Above Plastics” project.
Thanks to Geoff Moase from Dovetail Surfboards for the loan of the Alaia
working with the planet
Climate Wave Enterprises