How Grain Makes Wooden Surfboards

The Grain Surfboards team have been great customers of ours, buying epoxy and many consumables from JD to help with their surfboard building program. You can order yourself a ready to ride surfboard, or get your hands dirty building your own custom creation at one of their many workshops. And we think if you like building wooden boats or admiring them, that you’ll be an automatic fan of Grain’s wooden surfboards. 

And while it’s faster and easier to just order one from the York, ME builders, they know that the feeling you get when you ride atop something you hand built yourself is like nothing else.  So they offer a number of opportunities to build your own board under their leadership in their 4 or 7 day workshops.  The Grain Shop has even expanded their home base outside of their woodsy Maine setting, to Long Island where their newest shop is building and teaching on the surfy South Shore in Amagansett, NY.  In fact, half of their board sales are comprised of kits they sell for the DIY shaper, or these “Come Build with Us” workshops they offer.

Co-owner, Mike Lavecchia, came from a fairly traditional Mainer wooden boat background and as such, had the skills in wood construction and shaping that has driven the business and his vision to major success.  The Grain shapers are all as masterful as any wooden boatbuilder at using the required hand tools, like the spokeshave and the hand plane. They are also very pro at the art of mixing, using and pouring epoxy on fiberglass which coats and protects these wooden beauties from the elements. They paint on an enviable epoxy “gloss” topcoat that shines like a mirror and enhances the grain of the board.

The labor and commitment it takes to build a wooden boat or board make using it more meaningful when you can ride it on the waves – be it board or boat. And the Grain guys knew this when they set out to help surfers carve their own dreams out of wood. Their popular “build it yourself” workshops are sometimes a road show but most recently are based out of the Maine woods where the trees bare the wood for the boards. These multi-day workshops are nestled on their Maine farmstead with a campy program which is popular for much of their customer base who would prefer to shape alongside the masters, rather than tackle the Grain Home Grown kits in their own workshops, basements or garages.


3 responses to “How Grain Makes Wooden Surfboards

  1. A tour de force tribute to wood and skill. Some comments;
    Wood (can) exhibit rather good strength to weight ratio. However, small strips of cedar accentuate natural defects unless laminated. Also, CNC routing truss jibs does not follow grain direction.
    A goretex breather will stop liquid water but not water vapor. I am guessing the mildew resistance of cedar plays role here?
    UV stabilized epoxy is OK, but why not use a two part epoxy/polyurethane that has better intrinsic UV/abrasion performance?

  2. have you opened up an old one and seen the wood’s condition? I was surprised the interior surfaces were not epoxy coated to prevent water absorption.

    is the outside epoxy UV proof?

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