August 25th-26th. Playa de Berria, Cantabria, Spain
If you make wooden surfboards yourself; if you’re one of those self taught artisans who like to lock in your garage to experiment with materials and different building methods; if you’re in pursuit of a greener and a more environmentally friendly surfboard; even if you are skeptical about wooden boards or you are just curious about it, this international meet is made for you!
The Wooden Surfboard Meet isa non-commercial and non-competitive get together. Come along for a couple days to the beautiful beach of Berria (Cantabria, Spain) and meet boardbuilders from all over Europe.
Bring your boards, alaia’s, hand planes, bodyboards, surfies or what ever you have been building and having fun on as long as it is made of wood or with eco friendly materials. Just lay them out in the park, find a spot to have a picnic lunch and meet other like-minded wooden board builders, craftsmen and enthusiasts. There will be people from all walks of life just stoked to be riding something they have designed and built themselves, plenty of people who have lots of questions, stories and ideas to share just like you. Check out what others are up to, swap boards and go for a surf.
Where and when
August 25th-26th. Playa de Berria, Cantabria, Spain
Playa de Berria is a 2.2km long beach, exposed to most swells with quite reliable surf and works in most tides. It’s a 30 minutes drive from Santander Airport and 1 hour from Bilbao Airport.
We’ll meet at Berria Surf School, which has a beautiful garden area next to the beach with plenty of space. Just lay your boards out in the park, bring and umbrella or a little tent to have some shade, and may be a picnic lunch to spend a great day meeting and sharing experiences with open minded people.
Friday 25th night meeting:we’ll figure out soon the specific details, but we want to meet on friday night at Berria Surf School to introduce all the participants and share some beers and music under the stars.
Saturday 26th, day at the beach:there is no better plan than not having a plan. We figure out everyone will be surfing early in the morning before meeting at the beach park in Berria Surf School. Find a spot and enjoy the day!
The story of the Wooden Surfboard Day
This special event was a natural progression after another particular event, the Alley Fish Fry in Currumbin, Australia. Grant Newby, a shaper from the Gold Coast, brought the Fish Fry to Australia in 2005 after the ones organized in Oceanside in California. Originally, the Fish Fry was designed to celebrate a particular shape –the fish– but it really became the only environment where shapers were the point of focus and could come together, an opportunity to experiment and showcase their skills and what they were doing.
Newby had been building wooden surfboards for a while and after 8 Fish Fry’s he found there was a growing interest on wooden surfboards worldwide, but also a real lack of knowledge of how to go about it. He’s the man behind the popular blog woodensurfboards.blogspot.com , a site where people from all over the world share their work and experiments only for the love. Most of us who are into building wooden surfboards are pretty willing to share our experiences and assist each other, which is pretty rare in the surfing industry.
The Wooden Surfboard movement
And this is how the Wooden Surfboard Day was born, because there was a need for all these bunch of thinkers to meet and share their experiences. In Grant’s own words: “For somebody to bring a board along to the gathering and put it on the ground and say well, mate, that's my effort and I'm proud of what I've done, because there's an awful lot of soul searching going into building your first board. Before they're through building the first one, most people are already planning the next one because it's a real journey and a challenge for most people. There's so many things to learn and consider. When you go to build a board, whether you're shaping foam or wood, you've got to design it first, so you're challenged by all of those things that you've talked about but never really considered. So it's quite a challenge.”
There are many different ways and methods of building wooden surboards, each of them with its own difficulties and particular problems that can be solved in very many different ways. And this is the best part of this wooden surfboard movement, that by sharing their experiences all this group of annonimous people from all over the world are pushing the limits of what is possible in surfboard construction, and more especially in terms of environmental responsibility. And this in turn can serve as an inspiration for the surfboard industry: Grant Newby himself, for example, experimented with a vacuum bagging technique with paulownia skins over EPS core that did not require fiberglassing. It was so good that Firewire bought the idea off him to start their range of boards called Timbertek.
The Wooden Surfboard Day in Europe
In 2014 I was invited to the Wooden Surfboard Meet in Currumbin. The people and the extremely generous attitude I found there was absolutely amazing and I’ve been wanting to do the same thing here in Europe ever since. We organized a small local meet in Ireland in 2015, but we all agreed there was a need of doing a wider gathering to reunite all the European thinkers. There are hips of people in the old continent building wooden surfboards, there are labels and unknown individuals pushing the environmental side of surfboard construction. The time has come! Let’s meet this next summer and share our love for greener surfboards, just for the love.