Weekend projects #47 (fun wave special DIY)
Andy Powers, surfer-musician-guitar builder, has blended a classic ‘Simmons design’ with and the Alaia to create… well, something … hem, whaw, mmm …
(read on to get inspired with next weekend’s project…)
With two small finlets on the corners of a wide square tail, parallel rails, and a concave bottom borrowed from Simmons’ designs, it’s constructed from thin, flat, flexible and not-very-buoyant wood, similar to an alaia; light balsa wood with redwood rails, weighing in a bit under three kilos.
“My brother got the idea to try one of these, so I bought some wood for him to make one. That first one didn’t ride too well for me, but it was fun enough to try to make some better ones. What I’ve been riding lately is a combination—a real mutt of a board! I’ve been laminating a blank of balsa and salvaged redwood, like the old Pacific System Homes boards. They are thin and flexible like an alaia, but with the bottom contours of a Simmons-built spoon. My favourite one even has two small “finlets,” those little elliptical fins you see on the Simmons. The bottom has a long single concave, almost the entire length of the board, with a bevelled rail.”
“The rails have a hard corner onto that bottom bevel, then gradually blending into a very turned up rail near the nose. The whole thing is pretty small, about 6’3” x 15.5” and a little less than an inch thick. It is a ridiculously fun thing to ride on a small glassy wave; you can feel every little flex and movement. It feels like you are flowing with the wave. It is a really dynamic kind of experience.”
“The rail contour seems like the important part. It has a chamfered bottom with a hard rail in the tail, slowly tapering to a very upturned rail in the nose for some forgiveness,” says Andy.
“The template on my current version has a pretty smooth curve, but a slight concave in the middle of the board’s outline. This seems to really help the tail stick to the wave and hold a clean trim.”