Saturday, October 24, 2009


Last night in Bundoran a few friends and yours truly attended Tom Wegeners Irish premier of Tom's plantation. His dream of showing others how to make and shape their own alaia board. the board is very thin, very short of your used to a longboard and finless. The waves that are shown in the film and small by and large and the twists and turns done by the team riders are mindblowing.
Tom's a really great guy who is happy to talk non stop to each person interested either individually or in groups. I'm guessing he's some part Irish as he was rarely without a pint of Guinness in his hand. The whole push of this video is to sell the idea of people making their own boards and experimenting themselves to see what works. As a well known shaper Tom got fed up of shaping foam and his breath smelling of glass resin. He moved back to the alaia board using only linseed oil and natural materials. The wood he currently uses is an Austrailian Paulownia which Tom finds best. The off cuts and shavings are used around the factory for burning and compost.

Is there a sales pitch here? Of course there is the guy needs to feed himself and his family but there's also an idea. Don't just buy the mass produced plastic import, try making something yourself and experiment as you learn the feel of the water.

The kit that Tom will be selling in the future will consist of a blank, templates etc and dvd on how to shape the alaia. If needed he may start exporting the wood for the board too. He also had a kook box on display which was the first one I had seen in the flesh and had a champagne cork as a drain hole. Tom's philosophy is to surf the waves you have in front of you and where you need an alaia, kook box, longboard etc whats the point in travelling all over searching for the perfect wave only to find it crowded when you get in, just have fun with the waves in front of you.
Tom wegener nice guy and waterman with a few Teshreds candles to take home to Noosa.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The addiction

Is it the surf or the ocean that keeps us there? Nice session least night in Strandhill as the sun began to set. After an hour and a half in the water in a 3mm suit and no booties the cold started to kick in. But like a junkie after several attempts at leaving I kept going back out for one more wave. Like the proverbial late riser I kept coming up with an excuse to stay "the next wave I'll ride in" or "I didn't catch that one as well as I should have so I'll try for the next". It's always one more wave until my by now numb feet gave no more feeling at all. Plenty more were staying out in the dark to continue on their session.
I often wonder whether it's thrill of the surf or the draw of the ocean that keeps us there and I'm inclined to go with the draw of the Ocean as even with the cold and very little fish life for looking at I still stay out to long when freediving. As a friend has as his signature on a freediving forum " you have to have a good reason to come back up".