Saturday, 30 August 2008

World Bellyboard Championships 07/09/08

Not long now ... get your ply ready ...

Monday, 25 August 2008

Petes Got Wood

Pete Robinson was kind enough to share the British Surfing Museums latest donations with us , Pete has amassed the most comprehensive collection of surfing in the UK & funnily enough doesnt ignore the fact people rode waves before lifeguards from Australia brought us Malibu boards !

Sunday, 17 August 2008

A Hawaiian perspective by Neal "Sponge" Miyake

Wooden Bellyboards -- Cornwall 9/92

Many surfriders in the Cornwall area enjoy riding wooden bellyboards, an apparent offshoot of the Hawaiian paipo boards. These boards have been ridden here at least since the early 30's and look suspiciously like snowboards. People of all ages and gender walk out to the shorebreak and prone all the way to shore, grabbing the top of the board for control. It was refreshing to see sixty-something year old "grommets" bellyboarding in only surf trunks in the 55 degree water. Stoke takes on a whole new meaning.
Borrowed from:

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Pushing Ply (Part 1).

Hello to you all, please find a video of some bracing British summer surf, perfect for pushing the ply.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Tiaans superhero technique

A lot of swell , a lot of wind .. summer in kernow

A days fun was spent chasing a rideable wave along the North Coast of Kernow this past Monday .. Christiaan proves a worthy role model for follically challenged young men across the South West with his derring do style whilst a young upcoming buck , John Hickman startles the surf school with his tucked up cover ups on his 1950's style ply sled ... roll on September !

Sunday, 10 August 2008

The first documented 'Wegener' alaia turn.

For those of you interested in how alaia's turn, here is Jacob Stuth performing the very first documented turn on a finless 'Wegener' alaia. This was shot whilst Jacob and I were in Japan in 2007, we were both amazed that this type of turn was possible and it shows that these craft are a very capable wave riding vehicle.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Dot (Part 2)

As i went for a slide today i was hassled by another surfer , not an overly eager grom nor a foamie toting holidaymaker but by a lady 81 yrs old .
I wasnt quick enough apparently & Dot was amped to get in the surf . Im stoked to report that the feeling never goes away & proud to have surfed with Dot .

A point of contention

Whilst enjoying a post slide luncheon, of crumble, strawberries, cake, ice cream and tea (lovely), a point of hot contention bubbled to the surface.
The title of our beloved pastime seems to have been hijacked by those marketing men, (you know those showy types) and used exclusively to describe stand up surf riding. I suspect in order to glean 'the cool' of our pastime for profit.
'Bellyboarding' (as many refer to it) was originally known as 'surfing' or 'surf riding' and as it was the only popular form of riding waves, none saw fit to question this title. Little did we know that with the advent of 'Malibu style' boards to British beaches that our prone wave riding would be sub categorised. Some feel the term 'Belly' boarding is none too flattering and prefer prone surfing, surfing or surf riding.
So I put the point to you all, what term would you use to describe our practice and what be your justification for this?
All comments are very welcome...

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Mods and Rockers

'We do have one with handles cut into the rails and a slight bottom concave in the tail.
Some of the Oxenden boards from 1920s Jersey were hand carved like traditional Hawaiian...' That's really interesting Pete, would love to see some of those details, would you be able to share any images?
What are the origins of the boards with the bottom tail concave and what kind of timber are they made from?

Andy Bick's Paipo boards are really a good example of timber shaped prone surfing vehicles, he also seems to be a lovely chap which is most encouraging. I will be visiting Andy for tea and timber talk quite soon and will provide you all with an in depth report. His site can be accessed at

Mods and Rockers:
The ply bellyboards that we might normally encounter on the beach have quite a steep rocker in the nose.
I have been riding boards both with and without this rocker and have found the flatter boards much faster. The flatter boards also seem to be thinner and more flexible (especially the non ply variety) and I feel it's the flex that really makes riding them so much more dynamic. Its possible to create a negative rocker when stuck at the top of a wave which will assist in making the initial stages of the drop down the face. I would love to hear about your own experiences of the various rockers and stiffness of timber available to ride.
What is your opinion on the rocker debate?
Could there be a perfect rocker curve for the British seaside?

Saturday, 2 August 2008

One for the ladies

See how his belly antics make him jump for joy !

finessing the curves

John and I were talking with Sally from the original surfboard company ref design. We have been riding our Wegener alaia bellyboards and Sally's ply bellyboards and noted the very different approach that had been taken in crafting the various vehicles.
The Wegener boards are shaped in a similar fashion to that of a stand up board, with subtle curves running form top to bottom of the rails and undulating bottom shapes, whereas the ply bellyboards are cut and pressed, lacking the more finessed curves of the former. It got me wondering if there are any more examples of finely shaped timber bellyboards out there, or are they all of the cut and pressed variety.
Does anyone have any information on this and would you be willing to share examples?
Cheers, Christiaan (aka: slaphead).