My business is surfboards and it can actually take me far away from the pure fun of surfing. Belly boarding the Surfie or the shorter alaias bring me back to my inner child and my first love of surfing.
It was a real buzz to hop on stage and accept the Living Smart Solutions Award for a green surfboard factory producing the magical Alaia! Ten years ago we said there must be a better way to make surfboards other than from foam and toxic resins. Our pursuit led to the discovery of paulownia’s astounding application for making surfboards, “It is like God made this wood specifically for surfboards,” says Tom.
Finley was 5 years old when I was pushing him into tiny reforms on little alaia. I would watch him from behind and I could see his head going towards shore. One whitewash reformed into a wave with shape and I hoped he may angle across it. But, I just about had a heart attack as I saw the shadow of his head through the wave go so fast that I thought he would for sure get hurt. I wasn’t expecting that at all! Such is the speed of the prone alaia.
1951 to 1971 vs. 1991 to 2011- Thoughts from the Byron Bay Surf Festival I recently spent the weekend at the Byron Bay Surf Festival with my son Finley and good friend Sandy Haynes. We piled up the van with a load of new wooden surfboards and alaias and hit the road south. The festival theme, “Surf Culture Now!” is a great concept and one that struck a chord with me.