Getting Wood.

As the title suggests...
Sure, I get wood. Well, I thought I got wood until I got wood. Oh and the time I got wood like this was one of the tenderest moments of passion I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Over the summer while working at Noosa Surf Lessons, I had the fortune of an egyptian feline to make aquaintance with John Brothers & his son. John, a vernerable old chap & surfer from waaaaaay back, had purchased the 'pick of the litter' - one of only five of these boards made during 2005 by legendary Australian shaper, Bill Wallace.
If you can imagine how it must have been to attempt to give someone a surfing lesson on a 3m long wooden board in thumping 3 foot of whitewater... We were both frothing at the end of the lesson - student: frothing the ingested foam of a couple of heavy wipeouts and me frothing to paddle this log out the back at wind it out on a few of the sets.

About the Bill & the Board
"Born in Bronte, Sydney, Australia, Bill Wallace built his first surfboard 63 years ago (1942) at sixteen years of age. ..But it was bulding surfboards and other surf craft that became his true passion in life as well as becoming his lifetime business."

"In the forties, Bill Wallace and Gordon Woods together dominated the surfboard market in Sydney. The Bill Wallace surfboards were a ribbed, hollow construction in various timbers that included Hoop Pine, Cedar and Maple. Some of his early models were up to 15 feet long (5.25 metres) and 23 inches (58.5cm) at the wide point. With its multiple timbers, the Okanui was a beautiful hand built board with varied wood colours and a high gloss finish, it had one big year of success while Australia waited for Balsa and later the transition to foam and fibreglass."

"One particularly classic model that emerged from the Bill Wallace workshop was his first Australian Malibu. The 1956-57 model (pictured). This hollow, ribbed board is 3 metres in length and 58.5cm across the wide point. (9 feet 10 3/4" and 23")"
Excerpt from a fact sheet by John Brothers, Dec. 2005.

Ok, got all that? Wood, Hollow, oiled and glued - no fibreglass or resin. The only metal fittings were the stainless steel tether on the bung up on the nose and the screw for the timber skeg on the tail.

I was contacted by JB a few weeks later to see if I would like to take it out on a small day at Noosa's first point. After I'd regained consciousness I gibbered some kind of affermative.

The day I took it out was misty and overcast but the glassy 1-2 footers peeling with ageless perfection at one of Australia's iconic righthanders beckoned like a siren. It was high tide and the water was right up to the rocks... did I mention that this board (on it's second surf ever - I shudder to think of the monetary price tag) has no leash? Uh-huh, and I've never stepped the deck of a style this vintage before...
"...just keep it off the bricks, mate", says JB.
Yeah, yeah... (oh, sweet jaysus).

Heavy as buggery on land but once it hit the water the hollow construction gave it a bouyancy that was startling. The speed generated with just a few strokes was amazing. From that first bottom-turn I knew this was something I stow with my fondest memories.

Yeah, I got wood.

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