XPS foam and Eco friendly Paulownia/cork: no fibreglass board build.

Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
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Sunny Coast Qld Australia
Local shaper Hugo from Hughies surfboards has been doing eps with Paulownia decked cork railed boards for quite a while now. Some of you will be familiar with Grant Newby's Paulownia builds from Swaylocks and the Aussie fish frys and these have been an influence for Hugo.
He's been moving towards making more boards without fibreglass and resin. He uses multiple coats of marine varnish to seal the Paulownia and the cork deck pad gets a lanolin coat to make it tacky when wet and to help guard against water soaking into the cork. The lanolin needs to be re-applied periodically.
Hugo has constantly updated me with pics throughout the build and done various tweaks as he went after consulting me.
Was originally going to have a single box as well as quads but as I went with less thickness than the first computer file the tail thickness meant that box placement wasn't optimal so that was scrapped and we left it as a straight quad set up. Should be able to put in a set of twin keels to try as well. He was keen to put in a centre box for a nubster but I reckon straight quad should be good as his boxes are set far enough back for plenty of hold in the wide tail.
Went 6'6" x 22.5" x 2&5/8". It's an old guys groveller/cruiser. Triplane bottom with chines.
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Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
4,788
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Sunny Coast Qld Australia
IMG_2893.jpg

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Just need a bit of finishing off and a leash plug and she should be ready to roll. First pic of the blue machined blank was taken on Tues. It's Thursday now...that's a speedy build. No waiting for it to get glassed or cure.
Here's a link to Hugo's website if you want to have a look at his other craft. The demo page has some cool alternative sleds. As you'll see he mostly does Paulownia deck and bottoms but I asked him to do a cork deck pad so I wouldn't need to wax the board. He does do full cork decks but mine's an experimental 2/3rds cork deck pad over the Paulownia.
 
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Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
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Sunny Coast Qld Australia
That thing is beautiful. Big for me but oh so beautiful.
It's fish nose and diamond tail with the wide tail is carrying the influence from great boards like the flying manta, Fowler V machine and a Southcoast surfboards (Victoria, Aust) DT slider model I used to own. Wanted that planing area for the weaker, high tide days and with paddle length without going full midlength 7' plus.
 
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Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
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Sunny Coast Qld Australia
Picked up the board today. Felt good under the arm. Weighs in at 3.2kgs (just in case anyone is interested). Peaky windswell in a bay not far from Hugo's (the shaper) place so took it out for a test paddle. Paddle was fine. Waves were peaking and then backing off before hitting a low tide sandbank and throwing into mostly walled up/borderline close outs. Not at all the kind of waves in the board's design brief at but that wasn't going to stop me.
Stubbornly held out to try to find a decently shaped first wave I wasn't going to get pitched on. Some of the sets were head high and the smaller ones were backing right off so it took me quite a while to eventually get a few. Didn't click straight away like most boards. Instead I bogged a rail on my forehand on one and felt like the tail disengaged on another. Wasn't getting any speed and board felt stiff when trying to turn. Yes...I was kooking it.
Knew my foot placement was off so caught a backhand wave which felt better due to my back foot being closer to the wide tail.
I was starting to think I had really stuffed up with the design elements of the board until...a head high right peak came through with a nice tapering wall. Took off and set a high line and the board just took off. Had a levitating feel underfoot with the rail engaged and the speed was exceptional. Got a nice bank off the end section where the right met the left.
Ok...faith restored a bit. Got another wave not as good as the previous one but still got that the speed and feel again.
I was using a set of Shapers (Australia) Hybrid quad which look very much like the Machado Seaside quads except they have a chamfered leading edge on all the fins and are thicker and stiffer than the Machados. The trailers are 50/50 whereas the Machados are flat foiled.
Hopefully I can get some cruisey higher tide waves in the next couple of days to get a better feel for the board and maybe try some other fin combos.
 
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Waterlogged05

Michael Peterson status
May 14, 2005
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that's incredible, I would love a durability report after more time in the water.

I was worried about the marine varnish but then remembered duh closed cel blank, worst case scenario dry it out and reapply
 
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Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
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Sunny Coast Qld Australia
The cork deck feels good underfoot and its intergrated into the top of the rail perfectly. Coated with Lanotec. As you can see I should have thought about the rail where I put my hands on the deck for pop up but no doubt Hugo can add a couple of strips of cork there at a later date if I want to avoid using a small amount of wax. Could even put some slots in it like the louvres on the bodywork in the 70's muscles cars.
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RTP

OTF status
Nov 10, 2010
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Really like the outline and idea in general. Anything used to cap the fin boxes? What is used to bond the skins to the core?
 
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Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
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Sunny Coast Qld Australia
Clean little knee high peelers this morning. Popped in a set of Rasta keels to try. Felt like a 20% improvement on ease of general paddling which also carried over with much easier wave catching.
Fins felt great and the board zipped across the waves with a nice loose feel to do turns. A couple of crew I know were also out. One on a flat earth and the other on a Glazer he was trying out. I was having the most fun by far.
Best wave I got pumped down the line with a few banks over sections and a re-entry to finish right in front of Gaz (from the local surfshop not Goodfish's mate Gaz). Sun was in his eyes and so he didn't realise it was me until I was right next to him and he was making his way out in the shallows.
He reckons board was flying and he didn't think at first it was going to make the sections so stocked about that. Keeper he reckons. 20211006_071534.jpg
Good thing is board let's me do much more on the face than just trying to hold trim which is what I would be doing on my fish when the waves are that small.
Local council's beach front lawn needs attention. Bloody bindies every spring.
 

waxfoot

Billy Hamilton status
Apr 21, 2018
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Board looks ace @Retropete.
Fckn bundies, I had a whole left foot covered in the bastards yesterday after walking over to a neighbours house. Is that out front of Maroochydore?
 

Retropete

Miki Dora status
Jan 20, 2006
4,788
2,076
113
Sunny Coast Qld Australia
Board looks ace @Retropete.
Fckn bundies, I had a whole left foot covered in the bastards yesterday after walking over to a neighbours house. Is that out front of Maroochydore?
Too funny when I walked into Beachbeat the young guys that work there were, "Heard you've been ripping on your new board." Ha ha, don't worry they are saying it with a laugh...Sutto (you probably know him) had been talking it up. Onya Sutto! Got it out of the van for them to check it out. They were tripping on the tail width. One of them is keen to order a board as he's seen another guy going fast and having fun on one of Hugo's fish in marginal conditions.
Pic was at Geriatrics: Just North of the Alex surf club.
 
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BrownFish

Michael Peterson status
Mar 5, 2005
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This is one of the best Design Forum Posts of the year. Reminiscent of Pre 2010 when people were actually showing new designs and concepts, not just talking about the latest Lost model (not that I have anything against Lost or new models). Experimenting in thier own garages and sheds. Not to say Hugo is not a pro by any means. He's a true craftsman. This is right up the alley I was thinking of starting my new experiments. Thanks for the motivation!