Friday, March 23, 2012

Project Hand Plane: Pt. 2

After some thought and conversation with friends I decided to look and bodyboards as inspiration for the rails on "The Sled" hand plane. The chiseled 50/50 rail apex has never let me down. Below are images of the process I went through in shaping so far. Picking up from Pt. 1, I found the center of the rail and drew a center line and then found my front and rear rocker line. 

From there I grew a center line on the bottom and basically made a grid to find reference points while shaping. The two most important intersecting lines are of the noes and tail.

There is no going back now! I slowly started removing wood with a spoke shave that is in need of sharpening. Once a general shape started to emerge I moved to a block plain then sandpaper. I was going for a little belly in the noes dissipate the big block. I'm hoping this will allow it to plane easer in the curl of the wave.

The top rail gently slopes down at a lower angle much like a super bladey hull while the bottom comes up at a high angle like a bodyboard. I left the apex sharp. After some research I found that Tom Morey came upon the 45 degree rail by looking at old Hot Curl boards that did not use fins. Works for me!

Here it is all sanded. I'm not sure that it's done yet. I may put more concave in the back and I need to decide on how it will be held. Do I figure out a strap system or cut a hole though the top?

I'm making this for the less than ideal small and mushy days. There is a lot of volume for a hand plane so who knows, it may be a dog in the water or it could fly! Keep in mind that I have never shaped a hand plane in my life. I'm just going on feeling.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Greenlight Wants You - To D.I.Y.

I'm not interested in shaping.  It's best left to the experts.  It's too much work.  There's no place to shape.  It's hard to get blanks and supplies around here.  There's no one to teach me.

My kick-ass Honduran super lets me store and repair some boards in the basement of my Brooklyn apartment building, but no way am I going to get away with mowing foam and glassing a whole deck down there.

Enter Greenlight Surfboard Supply, known by word of mouth to surfers on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coast mainly as a place to order supplies.  Having heard from some Philly surfers about this cool dude who runs it out of New Jersey, Brian Gagliana, I ordered some resin and a few odds and ends last year from his tiny 500 square foot warehouse to repair my boards.  Little did I know they had bigger plans for 2012.

Now at a new Manasquan location, with a showroom, a shaping bay, and ample space for everything from finished boards, blanks, supplies and lessons, if you're within striking distance of the northern Jersey coastline, the argument against at least trying your hand at shaping is pretty much devastated.  For around the going price of a new board, you can get a blank, materials, space, plus one-on-one instruction, and shape and glass your own.

Matt Henderson (photo at right) explained how this process encourages people to experiment, and shape things you might not find on the racks of your average surf shop.

"It's nice, because we get to try out a lot of stuff.  For example, Kevin Rider (photo above) has been shaping double stringer shortboards, and you don't see a lot of that out there. Everybody's trying to add a little something else."

What I saw in the shop would seem to bear this out.  Such as this fruity double bump number.  True, it looks like a popsicle (do they still make the "Bomb Pop" that used to rule back in the pre-GWOT days?) but check out them rails!

Some chunky old school single fins, fins with winglets, a fat Simmons-style quad, a gorgeous step-deck log, and even an elegant asym model give this place a refreshing experimental feel, like a handmade east coast Skunk Works, minus the military industrial aroma.

The one thing they're missing is a teleporter to skip the turnpike and tolls (course given all the juice they'd pull, it would be a hard sell to my super without a third in Tegucigalpa).

Let's face it - this place freaking rules.  Let a thousand backyard shapers bloom. I wonder if they'll let me pitch a tent in their parking lot.

You can find out more at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lovelace ThrougHull

Lovelace ThrougHull. 6'4" by about 21 or so inches and about 2 3/4". 
Ryan says he shaped it for east coast conditions. From the feel of it I agree. I have some fin options to play with for various conditions. Phil at Glide says the ThrougHull loves to be barreled. I look forward to finding out!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Glide Surf Company

Last weekend we packed up the family in the car and drove over to Glide Surf Company located in Normandy Beach, New Jersey. Looking at their website I could tell I would enjoy this shop and the emphasis on curating quality boards and merchandise.

I must admit that my motive for going was to feel up some Lovelace boards. It's hard to know about a shapers boards without actually giving the boards a once over. Once we arrived we were greeted with a warm hello from Phil the owner. We immediately started looking at boards and talking shop. It's clear that Phil loves surfing and is knowledgeable about the boards he carries and the shapers he works with.

The racks are stocked with a nice selection of quality boards great for surfing the local breaks. Shapers currently in the racks include: AJW Surfboards, Christenson, Peninsula Holding Co., Ryan Lovelace Surf|Craft and Sea Tribe Shred Sleds.

It's all in the details and I was really impressed to see the surfboard horse waiting and ready for business. All I did was ask about a board and Phil enthusiastically pulled it from the racks and onto the horse. It's heartening to be in a shop that cares about the products they carry and the customer experience.

In the surfboards category Glide gets an A+ for quality of selection and a working knowledge of the boards. In the clothing category Glide also scores high offering stylish picks for both women and men. The proof is in the pudding because while I was busy drooling over boards, C was shopping and it was not just for a new T-shirt. She scored a nice sweater and some cool leggings. I plan on shopping for cloths on the next trip. 

Glide gets it right by catering to both the core surfers and your everyday beach goer. It's a nice change of pace from the average shop that is filled with all the same stuff from the same big companies. Boutique shops can sometimes alienate the average everyday surfer by not offering enough variety in products and with a snooty attitude. That is not the case here.

I found Glide to be warm and welcoming. They offer everything you might need from wetsuits, fins, wax, leashes, tail pads and so much more. You don't have to ride a longboard or a fish to feel at home here. I of course took home a new Lovelace ThrougHull which I'm very excited about! My experience was a great one. I enjoyed the vibe of the shop and meeting Phil who is a great guy filled with stoke. Glide feels the way a local shop should. Go check them out!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Joel and Sam's Excellent SB Alaia Adventure

Long overdue, thanks Joel!

Hey Dude,

We made the board mostly at my dad's shop. Finished and oiled it up here. Took it out twice that week with my bro and it was cool. the board felt good, and got slippery in the water. I caught a few prone, and Sam caught a bunch and stood on quite a few. many times when he started to stand up it would do a 180 by the time he was up, but he was able to ride it normally on a few. Then we reshaped in Fallbrook again last weekend. Made the curves underneath more pronounced, and gave it a fish tail. I took it out on Tuesday, I think in some fun shorebreak at pesky's(in IV close to campus). I was paddling into some, and jumping in to others. Then on a nosedive it hit sand, and when it came up there was a chunk missing from the nose. It broke at a weak spot we knew was there. Anyway, I'll cut about a foot off the nose, and it should be about my height 6'3". After the first day we tried it, Sam wanted to get started on the other blank to make a board about that long with a fish tail, but decided to wait and ride this one a little more, And I've been eager to try a shorter one too, so I think it's fine. Sam's in one of these pictures. There's also a picture of a bar of surfboard wax Dean(my dad) and I made from pine resin we collected around the property, beeswax, I think that my dad got from the property too, and some coconut oil. It's not supposed to plasticise the linseed oil on the board the way regular wax can I guess. It says"wholesome goodness" from the cat food container we cast it in. Ha ha.