Day 3: Building a Wooden Surfboard with Tree to Sea


By Day 3 everyone was a bit worn out but our excitement kept us going.  The boards were freed up from their rocker tables and the final shaping could begin!  I was surprised how light my little fish was and I have to say that the Palowina wood is just amazing stuff to work with.

Rich gave some instruction on traditional hand planes and how to use them properly and Mark showed everyone the modern power plane and its benefits.  By dusk pretty much everyone had their boards rough shaped and looking great!  Some fine tuning still needed to be done but there was no question what you had in your hands.  

After 3 long days we were all walking away with ridable art; hand made hollow wood surfboards and the life long knowledge of how to make them whenever we want!

Personally, I took a lot away from the class and feel that there is no price tag too large for the knowledge you get in those 3 days.  We started with flat stock and ended up turning it into a smooth, hydrodynamic shape that we can ride for a lifetime.  I also walked away with a bunch of new friends that I know live locally, are into surfing, and building wooden surfboards.

With this first Tree to Sea workshop beta test complete and under their belts, Mark and Rich are busy refining and organizing new workshops as well as updating the Tree to Sea sites.

Below are some options they plan on offering and I would highly suggest reaching out to see how you can get involved.

Artwork, glassing, and an open water test are still in the works for my little 5’11” fish and I will continue to update you guys on the journey of the Vola!

As always, thanks for reading and be sure to tell a friend…

– Shaper

Tree to Sea Happenings:

Wandering Workshops: Going ‘glocal‘ with weekend-long Strip and Feather workshops. In other words, using locals, globally, to “host” workshops that Rich would teach just like the one highlighted in this article. T2S “Hosts” will attend the workshop for free in exchange for specific duties. In general, hosts are expected to organize a workshop in their local communities Like Mark did for this workshop; Rich will provide all they need to get started.
“Workshops in Warm-n-Wavy Places”: This is the idea for doing extended workshops in exotic locals and allowing indigenous locals to participate for free. Then those locals can use Rich’s method, plus their own indigenous wisdom on local materials and techniques, to craft destination specific boards for sale to surf tourists. The goal is that they can make a living and support themselves off of the surf industry.

T2S Instructor Certification: Upon successful completion of the first workshop, qualified hosts may become eligible for T2S instructor certification and then be able to run their own workshops using the T2S brand and proprietary Strip & Feather method. The T2S instructor certification is in place to ensure woodworking and educational quality are there as well as the shared environmental philosophies Rich hopes to relay via T2S.
T2S in Schools Springback: This workshop idea should work well in high school woodshop settings. The idea is that a woodshop teacher hosts the workshop with Rich and then use the Strip and feather know-how to get kids interested in building during the school year. It is a free educational program to offer to underfunded schools.

This entry was posted in Boards & Shapers, My Dream Quiver, Surfboard Shaping, Surfing, Surfing and tagged , , on by .

About Garage Shaper

Garage Shaper is a nickname here at as well as a good description of Garage Shaper's favorite hobby…next to actually surfing. Garage Shaper has been surfing for many years and always had an interest in how boards were built but was always too timid to try it himself. He finally broke down a while back and got hands-on; the foam dust hasn't settled yet and he's getting new ideas every day. Being mostly self taught, Garage Shaper says he's had my share of mistakes. His goal is to build unique boards that ride well and share projects with surfers that will benefit every waterman. Look for more cool projects from the Garage Shaper soon!

2 thoughts on “Day 3: Building a Wooden Surfboard with Tree to Sea

  1. Dan

    Great article on the board building class Shaper! I want to organize a build of my own and will be giving rich and mark a call!!! Happy holidays

  2. Pingback: Day 3: Building a Wooden Surfboard with Tree to Sea – | Surfboard Deals And Tips

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