“Takeaway’s” for 2018-Foils!
A major “takeaway” so far from 2018 is that much is changing quickly in both touring/racing shapes, and in the surf scene, with the influx of foils, where both prone paddle and standup paddle surfers are now flying foils. An upside to learning to foil surf is that some otherwise un-rideable surf is now available to be ridden and is desirable in many ways. Slightly onshore or side shore winds are much less of a negative once the foil is flying. Although we haven’t “officially” launched our new foil specific board line up, it’s easy to see the direction foil boards are moving in terms of size….smaller is the key word here….the smaller the better. Of course, you still need to be able to paddle the board and foil, into a wave, so there is a practical limit to how small of a board any of us might be able to paddle.
We continue to promote the use of paulownia wood for building strip planked SUP’s and other hulls being built using strip planked construction. I sometimes feel a bit guilty about voicing the merits of paulownia wood for strip planking in that Clearwood sells paulownia to many of our customers. But the fact is that paulownia wood is simply the very best material available if you want to build a light and strong hull. The weight to strength ratio is exceptional as well as its “workability” in the woodshop environment. We have found paulownia wood to be an easy to work wood that both cuts and sands cleanly. If you would like more information on paulownia tomentosa you can find it here: http://www.wood-database.com/paulownia/
Paulownia tomentosa plantation
If you would like a free sample of paulownia wood, please contact us and we’ll get one right out to you.
Surfboard Grade Paulownia Planks
What is “surfboard grade” paulownia?
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Surfboard grade paulownia is the currently available grade of clear, dry paulownia wood available from China. This is the grade I use for all of the Clearwood Paddleboards built projects that you see here on the Clearwood Paddleboards website. The planks are typically made up of two strips of paulownia glued into one plank, and all of the strips that I mill for customers come from this stock. In a perfect world we would have material that is not created from glue ups, but even with the glue ups this is super nice material that will yield a great finished product.
Standup Paddleboard Building Tutorials
We don’t want summer to end too soon but we do want to plan for the inevitable change of the seasons. The fall season here in the Northern Hemisphere is when many woodworking enthusiasts are planning winter projects, and building a hollow wood SUP (standup paddleboard) or surfboard is a great way to spend some of those long, dark nights and wet, cold weekends…and you’ll end up with a beautiful new board to use when you are finished! http://clearwoodpaddleboards.com/why-build-hollow-wooden-boards/ When we launched Clearwood Paddleboards in the fall of 2013 we had built quite a few strip planked hollow wood boards and we shared our knowledge of the process with our customers and others interested in hollow wood paddleboards. Much of the process remains the same for us but some things have also changed. We’ve a learned some new tricks and ways of creating these watercraft and want to share that knowledge. The best format we’ve found for standup paddleboard building tutorials is a series of video, times lapse sequences and still images with text overlays that highlight the entire process, start to finish. We’re going to make this information available through our website and our YouTube channel, and are nearly ready to publish our first few episodes in the series.
Building a Lightweight Board
Building a lightweight hollow wood board of any style can be a challenge but, in the end, not that hard if you choose the “right” materials. The very best wood for building hollow wood boards is a species of wood called paulownia tomentosa. Pauownia t. has the perfect blend of weight and structure. Availability of this species in North America is limited but it is available on a limited basis (I import and resell paulownia t. on my website at http://clearwoodpaddleboards.com/product/paulownia-lumber/). I always have it available for those hollow wood board builders that value a lightweight board. Paulownia tomentosa is approximately 2/3’s of the weight of many other commonly used species for strip planking hollow wood boards.