Thursday, March 08, 2007

Plant a Tree Program Note

PROGRAM NOTE! Rich will be overseas from March 10-26th and so will not be able to process orders until March 28th (I'm filming a story on Zebra for National Geographic).

Tutouna Bada!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Announcing the Tree to Sea Planting Fund

Hello friends of Tree, Sea, and Me.

Last fall on a perilous collecting expedition to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, I harvested a surplus of cedar seeds. OK so it wasn't all that perilous walking around picking up the cones and shaking out the seeds, but I did have to dodge the management (why I'm not sure). Anyway, Spring is just around the bend (hallelujah!) so I'm gearing up for another round of plantings. This time, I'm asking for a little help. Exchange a little green for a little green, if you know what I mean.

Please participate via the buttons to the right --> .

PROGRAM NOTE! Rich will be overseas from March 10-26th and so will not be able to process orders until March 28th!

Clicking on one will bring you to my PayPal page where you can use either PayPal or a credit card (100% secure guaranteed).

If you’re a builder, this is also an opportunity to get a free set of templates while you’re at it - more details via T2S builder’s forum here.

Once the ground thaws, I’m on it and I’ll post pics and stories as they happen.

Side Note: Did you know cedar trees can live to be 400 years old!.

Peace out.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Check out the T2S Builder's Forum

Hey Folks, Thanks for visiting my Tree To Sea Blog. After you sniff around here, I suggest you check out my T2S Builder's Forum for the nitty gritty of building your own beautiful wooden surfboard.

Stay warm!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

delay update

Sorry for the delay on this the moment, professional life is making it's demands felt. I'll be back to building asap. Finally had the chance to see "An Inconvenient Truth" Now I gotta get back to trying to save the world... my buddy snapped this photo of me hard at work
Ps - Hope you guys are planting those seeds I've been sending.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Growing up green

Remember these little guys from seven months ago.

Well here they are now, happily photosynthesizing in the summer sun.
Soon they'll be on their own, out in there in the big open world.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Born on the 4th of July

I just can't stop thinking about a new design - a thin 9' hi-performance longboard I've been dreaming of. So today, I sat down and started to sketch out templates.
Stay tuned, in the coming days, from conception to completion, new webcast instructional videos will begin to stream...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Exposed roots

Want to glimpse the roots of Grainsurf? Check out the July-August issue of Wooden Boat Magazine for an AWESOME article (on newsstands now). I think it really captures the essence of those formative times. Thanks Sherry and Matt. Very cool! Read it here page-by-page: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.

No doubt about it, reading it made me miss those early days - the good parts anyway - like the seemingly unshakable camaraderie, sense of community, and the feeling that we were doing something truly organic. Those ideals persist, just with different faces and ambitions I guess. Hope all is going well Mikey, your shop looks awesome.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Curious device

I've been thinking about building a new 9' design. It has always been a challenge to try and transfer shapes from an existing board to a paper template that can be used to guide frame shapes. Usually I'd use computer software to generate and print out an original shape. But this time I'm thinking I want to "reverse engineer" an existing board that I really like.

On a hike I came up with this little idea for a tool:

It's a set of curve transfer calipers. The rounded ends rest on the board and gauge it's thickness at any given point. The other end has little felt tip pens installed in threaded holes that will draw the shape to scale on a piece of paper. I only need half and then mirror it for the full frame shape. When that shapes are traced and cut out of marine ply, presto, perfectly shaped renditions.

The idea is to slide the tool perpendicular to the keel at 8" intervals (one for each frame). The elastic band keep constant pressure on the contact points.

I haven't actually tried it yet, but if I do I'll let you know how well...or how lousy they worked. If anybody out there has a better idea (or knows of an existing tool) feel free to leave a comment.

Now I'm sure you just can't wait to try these yourself. Feel free to download the full size plans here. and make your own set.

Good luck!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Feels good...

... to finally finish a project and have it come out well.

After the delivery of the MB's Striper (left) I got to work on the 6'9 "Shingle fin." Here's a happy family photo:

The "Shingle Fin" has very little rocker which makes it easy to paddle and launch into waves, and makes it really slick down the line.

A nice "Rising Sun" single fin made from recycled cedar shingle. Nice halo (that's the whitish outline).

Here's the view I hope to have soon.. just in the line up! I'll keep you posted on how it surfs.

Up next? A nice 9' "Wing" longboard. Stay tuned for that.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shingle Fin Fin

Almost forgot a photo of the Shingle Fin's namesake.

No doubt about it, fins are A LOT of work (design, mill, glue parts, assemble, glue, shape, sand, coat, shape, sand, laminate, sand, make halo, glass halo, sand halo, laminate, sand, tack to board, lay roving, glass roving, shape, sand, laminate wings, sand, sand, hot-coat, finish).

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Shingle Fin

I've finally had a chance to get back to work on a board I started this winter. It is a 6'9" Channel Islands Inspired "single fin."

Since it's a revisited board, the rail construction method is the "old" cork and bending ply type. It still works really well so I'm stoked. The bottom countours of this board have pretty extreme double concave in the exit - hard to pull off but I'm very happy with the way it came out. This board catches waves like a dream so it could be my new daily ride.

Here's a few photos:

The fin for this board is made primarily from recycled cedar shingles I salvaged off a construction site (hence the name).

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mission Accomplished...

Hey MB, your board is ready.

Next up, a 6'9" single fin.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Striper Update

Finally warm enough (and dry enough) to get to laminating the deck of the MB Striper. Optimally it would be 80 degrees and very low humidity. Otherwise I risk making the finish cloudy.
The first step is to cut the glass cloth to size.
Next, pour out the epoxy mixture onto the surface and gently squegee it out, working it to saturate the cloth.
Much time spent saturating the cloth around the rails. This is the one place where the weave overlaps.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Fin Supervisor

This weekend, even though I wish it was a little warmer, I had the chance to work a bit on MB's Fins and glassing.

I find the hardest part of the process to be making fins.

So I hired a supervisor.

Now she's always looking over my shoulder to make sure they're perfect.

Can't complain though, she works for dry food.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Back to building...and surfing

After a few bumps, we've finally come to rest.

For me, building (and surfing) these wooden works of art has always been a labor of love. So I'm psyched to announce the new home for this blog and the "Tree to Sea" Wooden Surfboard Builders Forum. Here people wanting to try and build their own can post questions, see the process (video clips coming soon), get advice and inspiration - all for FREE!. I'll answer any questions I can.

I'm no longer a part of GSb, but be sure to check out the beauties Mikey is building in his new shop at Grain Surfboards. There you can order a custom built board and see some quality craftsmanship. I wish you all the luck in the world Mike!

Had a great little sesh at Welfleet the other day. Surfing alone gives one the chance to worry about "charlie" (sharks). But at least it was warm and sunny.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Striper in the lineup

Just finished the latest Striper 6'4. Check it out...DT your board is ready!

More photos are available via the Builders Forum.(navigate to the "Projects" thread).

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Winds of change

As I write these words, a low-pressure system is churning its way up the North Atlantic latitudes. Under an ominous sky, strong winds offshore whip the Gulfstream into a fury of confused seas. All of us ashore can feel grateful that we are not in a small boat at sea.

But in the context of a huge ocean, all storms are local and ephemeral. Time and fetch sort out the chaos and mellow the drama. Within a day or two, things will be different. Here on the coast of New England, we’ll enjoy warm sunny skies, light offshore breezes, and clean green trains of swell.

And so it is too, that the winds of change have arrived at the shores of GSb.

Over the past few months, it has become clear that Mike and I have tended to gravitate toward different aspects of the business. So, we’ve come to an amicable agreement to separate our efforts. We’ve decided it would be best if Mike focused solely on building and selling custom boards, while I direct my energies only toward developing kits, plans, and instructional media for the home board-builder. We feel this agreement best fulfils both of our common desires for the future of Grain Surfboards and frees each of us to get back to work doing what we love.

This site ( will continue to be a point source for wooden surfboard enthusiasts. The homepage will serve as a portal through which both buyer, and builder can access what they want. So keep checking in during the coming weeks for more good news.

One thing is certainly clear; both Mike and I care deeply about wooden surfboards and the supportive community that has sprung to life. To maintain all of the stoke it deserves, I intend to enthusiastically promote and encourage Mike’s side of the business. I will now direct all potential board buyers to him (please email Mike directly for all new board orders). I also genuinely believe we will each do our best to keep the spirit of GSb alive and well. We are pretty psyched on the shape of things now... and to come.

In the meantime, I think it best to try and capitalize on some of the current offshore ocean fury. The buoys are reporting 10’-15’ groundswell now making its way in orderly succession westward. If the timing is right, I hope a few of those waves have my name on them. Mikey, I hope to see you in the lineup too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

GSb on TV

GSb is featured on a short spot airing every couple of hours on CurrentTV (Al Gore's venture into democratizing television).

Click above to watch it.

Personally, I'm pretty stoked that they are promoting the "green" side of things.

The piece was produced by Andrew Chapman of AC Imagery.

Let us know what you think.

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Festivus for the restivus

According to their website, "Vermont Family Forests is a non-profit family forest conservation organization that promotes the conservation of forest community health, and when appropriate, promotes careful cultivation of local family forests for community benefits... VFF promotes management which provides for human needs while preserving the forest's capacity to maintain itself as a healthy, natural ecosystem."

Next week they are holding their 3rd annual Beltane Community Forest Festival.

"Come all ye lads and lassies, join in the festive scene.
Come dance around the maypole, that will stand upon the green."

Not sure I'll dance around the maypole, but this sounds like the kind of party for a tree hugger like me. See you there...
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