Monday, December 16, 2013

A Wooden Wave

10x European Longboard Champion Ben Skinner racing on a hollow wooden surfboard built for the National Trust using timber from a storm damaged tree felled on one of their Cornish properties.

I've amassed quite a collection of images over the past year or two that I've been working with Otter Wooden Surfboards, but because they sit in a different folder on my computer and are technically "work" it has only just occurred to me to share them on here.  Technically speaking I'm James' "content manager" (pictures and words guy), shooting all of the brand's imagery and writing the Otter Surfboards blogs, newsletters and press releases.  It's a job that has seen me swimming around in the shorebreak with my camera, hoisted up the mast of a wooden pilot cutter in the bosun's chair, bivvying on the beach in the summer and trying to keep my fingers warm enough to click the shutter button before the sun's come up in the depths of winter. It's been great.  One of the best parts of my role at Otter is spending a bit of time in the workshop when there are "Build-Your-Own" courses running, meeting the customers who arrive to a stack of raw timber on a Monday morning and documenting their progress throughout the week before they emerge on Friday afternoon as firm friends with a beautiful wooden surfboard that they've built and shaped themselves.  Check out the recently released film below, shot by Tiny Dog Films at our first "AGM" (BBQ) this past October, and our appearance on BBC1's Countryfile that aired last night.  In the meantime, here below is a selection of my favourite images from a great 2013 spent shooting lovely wooden surfboards, workshops and waves for Otter:

"Man Overboard" shot from the bosun's chair hoisted up the mast of the Pilot Cutter Hesper.

James and his dog Buddy, on the search for surf and a spot to sleep on the beach.

Kingley's "Desert Island" surfboard, a 7'4" Island Hopper that he built during a workshop week earlier this year.

A 9'8" big wave gun nearing completion, built for Surfers Against Sewage for Ben Skinner to surf a wave of significant height on to raise the profile of more sustainable surfboard materials.

In the summer the trestles can be moved outside.  James guiding Eddie in shaping the rails of his surfboard.

Our Christmas bodysurfing image:  Surfboard offcuts get turned into handplanes, kind of the bodysurfing equivalent of snow shoes.

Tim joined us for a week in August to build and shape his own 9'4".

Dawn sessions in December. 

Jimmy test riding a 5'6" mini-simmons inspired planing hull, made entirely of Western Red Cedar.

I also make the tea.

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