Lately...

We've been back from our three week road trip of camping and paddling for about a week... we went high into Montana, preferring county roads to highways and looking for lakes thirty miles off of the paved roads... We found some beauties... We paddled pretty much everyday for a couple hours, one day hitting three lakes in a day... The conditions were spectacular... High mountains, warm dry winds and surprisingly warm water... One day we were out about four miles from camp when the weather went from sublimely serene to impending mayhem in about ten minutes time... It got ugly fast... White capping with rain, lightning and thunder... We ended up sitting on rocks and logs in the water ( the shoreline was basically mountains dropping into the lake) for about a half hour until we could make at least some progress on our knees... It rivaled the time Pam and I had Tim's Zodiac in a fjord with hard beat-down seas... After Montana we dropped into Idaho for about a week again staying away from the more traveled path...Overall we had a blast... No itinerary other than asking the locals about their favorite lakes... We were never disappointed... I posted pictures on my blog...

Now that I'm home it's back to work although it is way more fun than work should feel... Tomorrow I start another Sprinter... Next I have some pretty cool front porch columns to build for a mountain lodge type of house... The lady bought one of my old boards as stairwell wall art... The guy I did that crazy Jeep for wants me to build an origami style camper top to fit on an aluminum utility bed/ box trailer he has... He might go into production with it... Love the idle rich with well thought out ideas... I have a few board building classes planned for here at home and finally, I'm exploring the possibility of manufacturing boards using CNC technology in Switzerland... A guy there is really serious about it, asking the right questions, giving the right answers and approaching it in a very detailed and process oriented way... Life stays interesting...


My most recent board is an 8'3" x 27" x 4.5"... I know you love those numbers... I took it out a few days ago into head high surf and had a blast... The wind was offshore, the swell was mixed up and lumpy, with wrapping bowls and shoulders... Not lined up and peeling perfectly... I had so much fun getting into the sets and either going prone or knee riding since the off shores made it hard to drop in standing up... I had a few screamers going prone and when it would section in front of me, I'd drop down to the trough, lay it on edge and with as much buoyancy as the board has, get pushed forward and sideways and I almost always came out out the whitewater back to the hook... It blew me away that that's what a high volume board will do... I rode about a third of the waves upright and it was fun too, but not as much fun prone... Like I say I had a blast.. Looks like a week of offshore wind is lining up and some long interval swell is in the forecast too...



2014 Road Trip - Montana and Idaho

Pam and I took a three week road trip to Montana and Idaho with no itinerary other than camping on lakes and paddling our paddleboards every day... It was an amazing journey...



More photos ---> 2014 Road Trip - Montana-Idaho.


Spa & Shed

This summer's home project...




















8'3" x 27.5" x 4.5"

This board is a modified version of a 10'4" that I sold to a friend...The board is designed to be a mid lenght, high volume, surfboard that could also be used as a SUP occasionally if the conditions are right (no one else out)...The high volume will let it knee paddle easily and given the enormous plying field our ocean is it will paddle fast...The 27.5" width sis just right given my wingspan of 75"...No alligator arm paddling for me...

To shrink it down to the 8' range the spacing of the ribs was taken from 12" to 9"... To me it seems more balanced this way...To keep the volume high and keep the rail thin so it surfs good, the deck has generous deck doming... The rails also have definitive chine in the nose and tail to create a harder edge than simply rounding over the rails...

The woods for the skins are 1/8" thick Cedar and Basswood..

To keep the weight down, blue Dow foam and cork are used for the rails... Water based contact cement was used to attack the rails...It takes a bit longer to dry, but works as well as solvent based cement...

The glassing schedule is 4 oz. E-cloth on the inside of both the bottom and deck skins...Additionally there is a full width x  50" long carbon fiber cloth panel on the underside of the deck skin, and a 4" wide CF strip down the center of the inside of the bottom skin...The exterior is also 4 oz. cloth with a 3/4 length deck patch...The rails have 6 oz. volan tape on both the deck and bottom edges...Resin Research Quick Kick resin is the only resin I use...

The hand hold box in the deck allows fingers to curl in and under and lift the 22 # board straight up easily...Carrying the board on edge it is super comfortable even over a long distance...Curling the fingers inside make the difference...

The vent is a one of a kind made by a friend in Australia...It has an integral rubber O ring machined into the screw and the vent hole is drilled into the brass screw and the board can be vented with a few turns of the screw...It does not need to be fully removed to work...The vent assembly fits flush with the deck and any coin can be used as a screwdriver...

The leash loop is through the fin box with a brass grommet finishing off the deckside hole...