Hello, Red Leaf - Wooden Surfboards
A reaview into Mooana's past and Seasoul Shelter Blog:
On our recent surf trip to New Zealand, we took the long road to the Far East and remote side of the country to Gisborne to visit our friends Lorna, Phil and their 2.5-year-old sparkling little son Findlay. Gizzy– as it’s fondly known – is a total laid-back town, deeply connected with the Maori culture but mostly known for its charming coastal character, beaches and world-class surfing. It is also the first city in the world to greet the sunrise each day.
One morning whilst having a pleasant time discovering unspoiled and empty point breaks, Phil making his living as a photographer introduced us to his friend and shaper Pete in the lineup. Pete is the founder of Red Leaf Wooden Surfboards, built to rip and last. Originally from Dorset, Pete fell in love with Gisborne so much that he decided to stay a few years ago. Over the time passionately building those wooden surfboards Pete experienced such good feedback and interest that he decided to offer shaping workshops with the idea to teach and help clients build their own wooden surfboard.
“It all started when Phil wanted to learn and shape his own board.” Pete says. “ He (Phil) asked me to really pushed the boundaries of what is possible with wood in his design. But we made it!"
His wooden short board possesses all the cutting edge contours you would expect from today’s progressive shortboards.
Why shape and ride Red Leaf Surfboards? "We have been surfing for many years and have come to understand just how toxic and petrochemical dependent the majority of surfboards are today. As lifelong woodworkers, it struck us that we had the perfect skills and understanding of timber to develop an alternative method of surfboard making, one that has minimal impact on the environment. It was really important to us that there should be no compromise in the performance characteristics of a modern surfboard whilst returning to natural materials. We spent two years developing and testing techniques that mean we can now build surfboards that don't require fiberglass or foam. We use lightweight timbers, which are strong enough to last a lifetime in the waves. The boards we build are full of integrity and soul; we know you’ll love riding them as much as we do.”
To give you the possibility of experiencing the amazing feeling of building and surfing your own board, Pete and Phil will be pleased to have you join their upcoming workshops. For more information follow our blog, we will keep you posted.