A talented surfboard shaper has carved a beautiful hollow wooden surfboard from a ‘Monumental’ fallen Cypress in Cornwall’s Trelissick garden.
He also runs workshops teaching local folk how to build up their own natural wooden surfboard.
James told CCN: “I’m in Cornwall Craft Association who had a show on at Trelissick Gardens.
“One day the head gardener Tom Clarke, who’s a keen surfer, came in and said they’d had to fell a large Monterey Cypress.
“When I saw it I thought I’d give it a go. I took the timber back to the workshop to dry and then went to the National Trust with a proposal.
“I make a board in seven days – about sixty hours week. This board was from a monumental tree – about 50 feet tall – really huge.
“There are about three of them left standing at Trelissick. Because of the way they grow there are lots of fissures, so we had to look hard for solid planks.
“It smelt really really nice and finished really nicely on the blade. It’s a really, really strong board.
“In a wooden board I use epoxy resin rather than polyester resin, which is used in a normal board.
“So the wooden boards are often stronger than polyurethane or fibre glass ones. Which makes them even greener.
“They surf really differently to poly boards: they’re a bit heavier and don’t flex as much: it’s a really smooth surf, they suit old style single fins and twin fin fishes.
“The last sixty years or so boards have been made with poly and fibre glass and that’s dictated how people can surf.
“But for me it’s about how the board lasts – and it being something you can keep: the wooden boards genuinely surf just as well as polyurethane ones.”
The board’s a mini Magic, 6ft 10ins long, single-fin, and it will get it’s first showing at the London Surf Film Festival.
Ben Skinner rode it at Chapel Porth a couple of weekends ago and in two weeks time it’ll have place of honour at the Belly Board Championships, also at Chapel Porth.
The idea of the board is to promote the Neptune Coastline Campaign, a National Trust Conservation Initiative.