Sunday, 6 April 2008

New frontiers

John and I are making our way through the fascinating world of bellyboarding and picking up a few choice splinters along the way. I have just been in Australia speaking with the like of Tom Wegener and Derek Hynd about the merits of finless wooden craft in particular wooden bellyboards. Tom considers them to be a potential saviour for all of us frolliking around in the waves, bellyboards expand the range of ridable surf, making the most unlikely conditions stoke-worthy. Derek sums up his feelings best by stating that his goal is to find the ultimate fin-less board and make it out of wood.
On visiting Mr Wegener, he graciously accepted a gift from John of a 1950's Penzance lightweight model, he was so interested in the UK scene and made us up two of his own model boards based around the ancient Hawaiian craft. The 50's Cornish board is on the left whilst the central board is a 5'4" belly board and the larger board to the right is a 7' Alaya/Alaia style board designed for both prone and also stand-up ridng. Both of toms boards go amazingly fast. I have personally ridden the 5' 4"bellyboard several times now and it is such an involved and rewarding experience, over and undertaking those foolish enough to drop in and sliding all the way to the beach with a grin that has produced tan lines in my face.

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