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A Paipo Interview with Tom Wegener

Relearning ancient wisdom

A Paipo Interview with Tom Wegener
May 1, 2010 - Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia.
Questions and telephone interview by Bob Green.

Originally from Palos Verdes, Tom moved to Noosa Heads, Australia, where he established a board building business. Over time he began experimenting with wood surfboards, both the long olo and the shorter paipo-style board. Tom's boards have been inspired by boards he saw in the Bishop Museum, Hawaii.
1. When and where did you start surfing?
In 1976, when I was 9 or 10 years old at Palos Verdes Cove. Palos Verdes is a little quiet town just out of Los Angeles, but it does have PaddleBoard Cove which was very famous in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, as it was the top surf spot even before Malibu became famous. The Cove has gentle rolling waves and it is the closest thing to Waikiki that California has to offer. So all the surfers would go there in the 1930s and 1940s. Tom Blake was there, Doc Ball was there. That’s where they surfed and that’s where they took those photos of these guys riding planks (the cover of the book, Time of the Terrace Land). That’s what enamoured me with surfing, just the thought, the smile and the energy of these old black and white photos.

Tom enjoying a Noosa righthander lying down.
Photo courtesy Tom Wegener.
You described still being haunted by this photo of people on planks.

To me that was what surfing was all about. That’s what surfing was to me. None of the competitiveness and aggression, just the sliding into a gentle swell. I was really young. Getting into the wave early was really important then, it still is. Before the swell breaks the wave moves faster in the open ocean. You can see a swell drag along the bottom and slow down as it breaks. The earlier you catch the swell, the faster you are going and you are really moving across it when it breaks.

It all comes back to speed.

I love speed. Speed is everything.

Tom bottom turning at King Island

Photo by Sean Davey.
2. When did you start making surfboards for a living and what sort of boards were these?
When I started making surfboards, like 1979 to 1983, I was pretty young. I always wanted to make my own boards, my own types of surfboards. I think I had a different experience than most. I went backwards in time. The whole surfboard industry was going one way with the Mark Richards twin fins, that ripped. There was nothing wrong with those boards—they’re great—but I could go to Dewey Weber’s surf shop where there was a wall of longboards from the 1960s that you could buy, basically with lunch money. For example, for $21, I bought a Greg Noll balsa pig and a really nice Hansen Waimea gun for $68. If you could buy a balsa board for $21, for $9 you could get a regular board. You could get a really nice Dewey Webber, a Wardy, or a Noll or any other board. You could walk in with pocket change and walk out with a really nice 1960s longboard.

You could retire on those boards if you kept them.

Well I kinda did up to a point. I absolutely destroyed my surfboards, I did really lousy ding jobs on them. I sold my balsa board for $500 and I thought that was at the top of the market. That was way wrong.

Who did you learn your shaping craft from or were you self-taught?

I was self-taught. I looked at those boards at that time and I said, “These boards are absolutely glorious. And they work great." When I was 16, I could drive to Malibu, ride these old boards, watch “Endless Summer" and surf empty Malibu. In the early 1980s, Malibu, San Onofre, Trestlesthese spots were empty, there was nobody there. When I was tired of riding these boards that I could get dirt cheap, I could still go to ET surfboards and buy a blank, shape my own board and glass it. I got to know the old boards well enough and I wanted to create my own designs. I wanted to pretend the shortboard revolution did not happen and continue on as if I was back in 1969.
3. Your introduction to paulownia has been fairly well documented. I was curious to know after you had that contact with Paul Joske around 1998, what you have learnt about paulownia? For example, I’ve been asked what is the best paulownia species to make a surfboard?
Well there is Tomentosa, Elongata and Fortunei. The Tomentosa is a more dense variety and it is good for very thin boards, veneers and things. But I find the Elongata from Northern New South Wales, that Karl Seahouse is growing, is absolutely the best. Karl is the guy that really planted the trees, and carried the ball through the dark ages of Paulownia, and still does. Now, Karl Seahouse is working for a much bigger company planting paulownia all over the world for carbon credits.

Tom with a 5' x 20" paulownia bellyboard made for Bob Green.

Photo courtesy Tom Wegener.

And it is a fast grower too.

Paulownia can grow very fast when the conditions are right and they are given enough space. I have read that it is the fastest growing tree in the world.
4. I’ve read about your trip to the Bishop Museum, in 2004, and that you were wanting to research the very long olo – but what captured your imagination was the shorter, thinner alaia? What was it that really caught your eye about those boards?
I just looked at the boards and they were foiled so perfectly. Just so perfectly. When you see a really good surfboard, you just see it, it speaks to you, When I looked at those boards I just dropped, “Oh my god.” Why would you do that? Why is the deck as important as the bottom of the board. Each board was different from the next with varying rolls on the top and bottom. It was just so clear to me that they had an importance, a purpose. When if you look at a tri-fin it has a purpose, blah blah blah. But you look at those boards and they are infinitely harder. You could make probably a 100 foam shortboards in the time it would actually take to make that koa alaia. The ancients by fluke have left us 13 surfboards and they are all so different. Your mind bends to see what they were thinking about.

The craftsmanship was pretty incredible.

The more you look at it, the more you buckle. The koa is a very hard wood and there were knots in the wood grain. The ancient shaper somehow made perfect curves right through very hard knots in the wood. I would shiver with my modern tools if I had to do the same. I think if Paul Joske and other wood board builders went back to see the ancients work, we would be more impressed than ever.

Bishop Museum boards (left to right). Photo #1 (left): a kiko'o, three alaia, and one paipo. Photo #2: a paipo (or perhaps a small alaia, depending on your definitions of both), a kiko'o, and an olo.

Captions by John Clark, photo by Bud Scelsa.
5. The other thing I am interested in is how you got into bellyboards. You went from these really long boards to bellyboards. Had you had much exposure, seen or done bellyboarding before?
I actually had. Where I grew up in California I never liked crowds. I can’t actually handle a pecking order.

I know what you mean.

I lived in many areas of Southern California and there always seemed to be a few really shallow reef breaks. The breaks really went dry like Hospitals in La Jolla. I always like surfing these waves because there was no crowd, but it took a while to learn how to do it. The boogie boards seemed to me to be too slow, but then I never had a new stiff one. I liked the old fibreglassed body boards from the 1960s. But there was another problem with the buoyant boards. I would get sucked onto the reef with them. Then I went to the basic McDonald’s tray, or low volume board, and found that was the best. When the wave closed out I could go through the wave to safety and not get dragged across the rocks. It was like body surfing but going really fast.

So you had a background in fairly neutral buoyancy bellyboards back in those days?

Oh yeah, absolutely. It was kinda out of necessity, I guess, but I love neutral buoyancy bellyboards.

That explains a bit. Were they fibreglass boards you were making or wood boards?

Back then, in the 1980s you never had to buy anything because there was so much good stuff just lying around. I had people literally throwing stuff into my yard because they knew I was really into the old surfing equipment. Like I’d wake up in the morning and go down by the driveway to get the mail at my parent’s house and there would be 1 or 2 old banged up boards there.

So you’d make a bellyboard out of the old longboards?

Well actually, I was given two nice 1960's body boards.

Ok, that would be a bonus.

It was crazy. I mostly rode a Bing belly board that had a fin on it. It was in mint condition, but soon broke the fin off on the shallow reef. When I paddled back out on it, it rode better without the fin. That was it. It was a monumental moment for me when I realised that this bellyboard rode better without a fin.

"1963 Bing Bellyboard, 2'' balsa stringer"


Photo from:

And you don’t necessarily need a fin.

You don’t need a fin at all. A fin doesn’t do anything for you if you are going prone.

A finless Bing bellyboard (decal is on the bottom side, flowered deck is topside)


Photos courtesy Carl Tanner.
6. That leads onto the next question I was going to ask. You’ve described flex and a hard rail edge as making the standup alaias work. How important are these design principles when riding an alaia or a bellyboard prone?
At this point I always put concaves in the bottom of all my alaias, But I don’t actually think it is all that important for short alaias. Mike Stewart found he liked the convex bottom, so I don't want to second guess him. I like the little bit of lift I get from the concave. What is important is the flex. Bending the board into the face of the wave makes the board faster and easier to control. I like the square rails like the boards I saw in the Bishop museum. Round rails really slow the alaia down.

I was going to ask you about flat bottoms to produce speed. Where do you put the concaves, near the tail or the nose?

The boards in three sections. The back 2/3’s is concave and the front 1/3 is convex.

That sounds very much like a fibrelass board that Larry Goddard from Hawaii described to me. It has the same bottom configuration.

Yeah, it’s the basic, there’s nothing new about the design. Some guy from Australia went to Hawaii early on and brought back four boards, and two of them had concaves. Two of the boards survived, one board disappeared and one of the boards with a concave is in somebody’s mantelpiece, somebody’s fireplace.

I think Beaurepaire was the guy. The board was down in Victoria somewhere.

Yeah that’s it.
7. The other thing that intrigues me is that a lot of people will know about your paulownia alaia boards, but that not many people will have heard of your experiments with plywood bellyboards. How do they differ in design and how do they perform?
Plywood is OK. The ply bodyboards found all over Europe are actually super fun to ride!!! Also, with the ply you can get the nose to bend up. I found this to be a very comfortable feel in the water and you get reverse rocker very easily by just pushing down on the nose. The more reverse rocker gives you more speed. The scooped up nose was not for looks, it is a real design innovation that has been lost with modern surfing.

Tom Wegener and John Isaac (UK) at the 2009 'Wood world bellyboard championship" [see Note 1]

Photo by: Marge Wegener.
There is a long history of ply bellyboards.

They’re good really. What I really want to say is you can’t stand on a plywood board. It doesn’t have what it takes to stand up on it. But for a bellyboard, ply is good. I think the paulownia is better but the ply is very good.

Finley Wegener, "world champion"

Photo Marge Wegener.

Do you think they ride differently?

The paulownia is lighter so you get a little bit more flotation and you can shape a paulownia board, so you put in a little bit of concave in it. And I really think that either a little bit of convex curve or a concave makes the board alive when you are angling across a wave. The flat bottom is more for going straight toward shore. That’s what they did in UK, Spain and stuff for 50 years. They’d stand in the water and head for shore, but when you start riding in the tube and start angling a bit, stall and work the board, a little bit of curve in the bottom really starts to suck the board up the face. I think the plywood is great and it is better than foam. No doubt about it. If you were really going to start to surf the board in the curl and angling across waves then a little bit of roll doesn’t hurt. Then the paulownia gives you the opportunity to change the shape of the bottom while ply is flat top and bottom.

Are the ply shapes the same as the paulownia boards or are they based on the UK designs?

I base mine on the UK designs. I just love them. I think they go great. I surf the UK design quite a bit and they are really good until you see a really good section and want to pull into the tube and actually make it. Then you go back to the ancient Hawaiian designs. You go right back to the Bishop Museum. You have a roll on the bottom, a rail that is 3mm thick, roll on the deck and you have this board that will flex into the wave. Again, the ply is good, but then if you want the real deal, if you want the ultimate surfboard you go back to the BCM. You look at it, study it, study the ancient boards and you go, “Wow, they knew what was going on.”
8. I see the difference in the style of surfing that makes it pretty clear. The other thing I was going to ask you was that you’d mentioned that you had been amazed by the bodyboard’s capacity to produce reverse rocker and Tom Morey’s vacuum rail. Do think those concepts have any application to wooden boards?
They do. You know I’ve struggled. My hero is George Greenough. I got real lucky that I know him pretty well and I call him and talk to him. I’d like to do an article, you should do an article on him. I’m sure that he has the same torments that I do, that is reverse rocker goes faster. There is no doubt about it. Reverse rocker goes so much faster, it’s mental. My team rider, Mat, I was videoing him and he took off on a wave and the board is broken in half, but not totally in half and he had reverse rocker in it and I’ve never seen anything that moves across a wave like that. My god. You take a board that is broken, not totally broken, but creased and you have that exaggerated reverse rocker. Oh, does it move.

What about the vacuum rail. I’ve heard people say the hard rail on boogie boards was a stroke of genius. The vacuum rail, how does that apply?

There’s a story about this. I’ve actually researched this. When I was in California one and a half years ago I went to Tom Morey because I had made my first Tunas. I said, “How did you invent the vacuum rail?” This is what he told me. He said, “When I needed this board to hold into a wave I was surfing in Kauai at the time, there was a little wave, a right and a left.” He was surfing this little wave and he said he wanted a soft board that would ride this wave because he couldn’t actually get foam soft enough back in the late-1960s. He couldn’t get any materials other than wood on the Big Island of Hawaii, so he started fooling around with these foams and he made a boogie board kinda shape and he was riding it upside down. He didn’t say this, but George Greenough was supposedly there and said, “Tom turn the board upside down, you have it upside down” and it actually worked better the other way. I heard this story from a good friend of George's. But Tom Morey told me the story that he said that he looked at that rail and said, “I want to make a Vee bottom like a Hot Curl" because he was actually around when the Hot Curls came into fashion. He said, “you have the flat bottom boards and you put a Hot Curl tail on it and they really hold into a wave. So he thought, I’ll just put two Hot Curl’s on a boogie board. I’ll just put a Hot Curl bottom on that rail and on that rail and it will hold,” and bingo. It held. But his idea for a vacuum rail is a Hot Curl. That’s what he told me anyway. [For more information on the vaccum rail see Note 2.]

They’re both interesting stories. I like the George Greenough story.

George is the man. He has an understanding of things, that is, just well, it’s amazing.
9. We’ve been talking about design. What also interested me was a comment that you made that riding a prone board well is very different from riding at a beginner level. Most people dismiss prone riding because they just see someone lying down. When it comes to big waves or hollow waves there is a lot of technique involved?
Oh yeah.

What skills or techniques from your perspective are involved in riding prone at that more advanced level?

First, Mike Stewart and the really good body boarders, they have got Pipeline sewn up. As far as I am concerned Pipeline was meant to be ridden on a bodyboard. They surf it better than any standup guy could, they get deeper in the tube, often in giant waves. For the rest of us, who don’t surf Pipeline on a regular basis, who live in regular community centres, like where all of us live, Los Angeles, here, Perth, Biarittz in France, and the rest of the world, we surf small waves all of the time. I think that on a 5’5” thin bellyboard, if you ride these little waves, all of a sudden the magic of it comes, a good prone rider can make a section and kinda come off these little sections, it is beautiful but it is not easy to do. It’s bending the board so it gets as much speed as it can. What I know now is that the speed you get from altering the rocker in your board is phenomenal. Just the incredible difference in speed you get. This is what George Greenough is saying all the time. Greenough. He’s been saying this forever. You have to get reverse rocker. That’s why he bellyboards, so he gets that feeling of speed. Once you do get that feeling of speed everything else is dead. You come into a little section and it can be only waist high, it can be onshore slop, you pull up on that board and get reverse rocker and you get that speed. It’s a gas. The people that can do that are beautiful to watch. But I just don’t think anybody has ever seen it. Me and my little micro crew here I force them to paddle out to surf the waves and then watch it, it’s absolutely glorious. Nobody’s ever seen it, I don’t think anybody has ever seen the way to bellyboard a wave properly. It’s really good. The way we have evolved surfing is that we haven’t actually seen a huge percentage of surfing. Nobody has visually seen a person on a toothpick, ride a proper Waikiki board that was popular for 70 years, never seen anyone ride a proper paipo. These boards that nobody has ever seen before and they are huge parts of surfing history.

Mike Stewart and Wegener quiver

Photo courtesy Tom Wegener.

You’ve touched on a raw nerve. I’ve been sort of trying to convince people in Hawaii to photograph people or take video of people like John Galera, Larry Goddard who rode Makaha in the 1960s/1970s, and Sean Ross. There’s just no footage of any of these guys.

If you didn’t photograph it, it didn’t exist. It never happened.
10. I think you have answered my next question, "What was the attraction of riding prone?" Speed seems to be a common denominator.
Definitely, in my experience. Prone surfing is far faster, absolutely faster than standup surfing, we cannot go faster. You’re just an absolute missile because you get reverse rocker. When you are standing on a surfboard you are stuck with that rocker, that is all you are going to do. With the vacuum rail, you don’t have to go down the wave, you can hang in the lip--you can be up in the lip the whole time.

The vacuum rail of Tom's latest project.

Photo courtesy Tom Wegener.

That’s where the speed is.

It’s all happening up there. That’s the thing. With a bellyboard you can stay in the curl, at the top of the lip, way up there. Whereas as soon as you have a fin on your board you have to point the nose toward shore. Why are you going that way when you should be going, that way. With the toothpicks you don’t have to drop down the face of the wave. You’re already here at the top of the swell, driving across the wave and there’s no drag and you don’t have to drop down the wave to get seed again, as you already have as much speed as you can possibly can.
11. Of all the waves that you have ridden are there any waves or surfs that have really stood out when you have ridden prone?
Coming from the Noosa points are incredible. From Nationals, when you try to make it through Johnsons, there is a very long section there. It’s probably 70 metres and it is fast. I’ve never actually seen anyone really make it except on finless surfboards. When you are on an alaia, this is five years ago when I was bellyboarding a 7’ alaia. I said, "Why am I am going to standup when I can bellyboard it?" When this wave was totally clean still I preferred to bellyboard because it was actually more fun to bellyboard, lying down on an alaia. The whole standup thing is a little weird because bellyboarding on an alaia is the best. Coming through that section at such a speed that if somebody dropped in on me I would clip them and would just go past them. There was nothing there. The speed was so much when you fell of your eyes get peeled back, your mouth gets filled up with water. You hurt when you fall off at that speed. But if somebody drops in on you they don’t even exist, you pass them. The speed on an oiled board, because I’ve been screwing around with these glassed epoxy boards, I’m making them to ride like an alaia, the only big difference between the boards now is the oiled surface, is 10-15% faster, hands down. A properly oiled surface that is the only difference between the boards, the drag factor, at least 10—15% faster than a glassed surface.

Tom Carroll 'rehabilitating'

Photo courtesy Tom Wegener.

Are you still sticking with same oil formula?

When you put the vinegar, linseed with the gum turpentine, you just keep oiling it with linseed oil. That’s the fastest. I don’t think linseed oil is magic, I think any oil would work. The combination of oil with salt water just gives you that release that you don’t get with foam.

I’ve used tung oil--it’s like a natural varnish. But it’s a bit expensive.

People say, “Tom, why don’t you use tung oil?” You can go to any place and use linseed oil. It’s cheap. You could use olive oil. It’s all oil, from my impression anyway. They’re all about he same, providing your board isn’t dried out and your board has oil on it. Go for it. I don’t think it is that big of a difference.
12. Are there any new directions or ideas that you are thinking of in relation to prone boards? Reading your story, every few years you seem to take a different turn. Is there anywhere you think prone boards could be heading?.
No, I think we just need to figure out what the ancient Hawaiians were doing. We just don’t really know where prone boards have been.

So it’s rediscovery more than new directions?

I think it is rediscovery. Almost nobody rides prone and I can’t believe it, almost nobody rides prone. I’m at the point and how painful is it, when you see the perfect tube and some wanker is standing in front of it. You are like, “Why are you there, how come you’re not there, how you come you’re not in the tube? My god, what are you doing?”

It’s harder work and you don’t like pecking orders, but we are at the bottom of the pecking order except under certain special conditions.
It’s stupid. We are all human beings. When I paddle out and I’m on my prone bodyboard and somebody drops in because they think I am a kook, you know what I do, which is horrible, I paddle in and I get my 16-footer and take every set wave. It’s real bad. I look at that same people and say, “you just dropped in on me and I’m going to take every wave now." It’s sad. In my mind, the shortboard revolution and you can quote me on this, is that the shortboard revolution is supposed to be this great enlightenment, and the only thing that the shortboard revolution has taught us is that the guy on the biggest board gets the next set wave. It’s a very weak revolution.
13. What have you learned from George Greenough and how do these ideas apply to prone boards?
He’s so good at surfing. He’s truly a guru in the surfing world. What he did speaks louder than his words obviously. When he had his camera on the back of his board, when Lennox was absolutely pumping. It was big, big Lennox. He was telling me how big Lennox was that day when he shot that footage. He took off on his finned board and it actually was too big to properly ride a finned surfboard. So he paddled out at stupidly, ridiculous Lennox, with a half inflated mat and the mat rode better. That actually was the proper board for the day. To me that’s hard thing to sink in.

It would take some courage.

Oh God. I’ve personally never seen Lennox like that but I’ve seen glimpses of that hollowness. That serious strength thrown at you. To think he’d say, “yeah, a bellyboard. I’m going to ride a half inflated mat.” I don’t think anybody in the surfing could even come to terms with that, to do what manoeuvre he did, he’s so far ahead, that even now nobody could come to terms with that manoeuvre that he did.

There’s a real pioneering spirit there.

He’s courageous. He’s a little guy, he’s not a big strong guy. A small strong-willed guy. He’s no Laird Hamilton.
14. Any final thing you’d like to say?
I’d like to say something about David Rastovich. I’ve spent a bit of time with him. Sometimes I get a jaded toward professional surfers and all that, but Rasta has gone through all the hoops to get him where he is today. We were talking about the ancient Hawaiians and this is right after he had come back from Hawaii and he surfed Waimea Bay on the alaia. He was kinda saying, speed is everything and he said “the ancient people before there were cars, you had to ride a horse to go fast. There was really no other way to go fast other than surfing. You can slide down a hill or you can surf. But, there is no other way to go fast.” I just thought that was so insightful. The other vast majority of our history is without cars, without going fast. That’s where the sensation of speed comes from.

An interesting observation.

David Rastovich is the real deal. He body surfs and prone rides better than anybody. You just don’t ever see him. He is the king.

You should try to get some footage.

I want to, everybody is trying to.

You just don’t see paipo footage anymore.

I heard an interesting story about when Duke Kahanamoku came to ride those waves, he wanted to surf at Manly but couldn’t because there were too many bellyboarders in the water so he couldn’t surf there, so he had to go to Freshwater. I was looking at the toothpicks at the Manly surf club and I said I had to make two surfboards in the future. One a paulownia bellyboard and the other a toothpick. You’d cover the entire range of surfing better than anything else with those two surfboards. One is 16 foot long and one is 5 foot long. That’s it, you don’t need anything else. If you had the wood you could make them for peanuts and they would last you for your entire life.  One more story. When I went on the King Island trip, on the finless thing, with Derek Hynd. Tom Carroll and everybody was there and I asked over dinner, "Which of you guys ride boogie boards?"

You would have got the death stare.

I got the death stare. Derek said, “Oh my god, an oversight.” It was so black and white. What are you talking about finless surfing without a boogie board being here. I’ve seen Warren Pfeiffers’s footage and that was some of the best surfing of the whole trip. Warren is the man. Jack McCoy and Derek were giving him so much cred. What he does is not easy. It looks easy, you go and do it, it’s not easy. You take the average surfer. I walk down the beach with the alaia and everyone is looking at me funny. I say,
“I’m going to get to my feet and ride this board across the waves and have a really good time. I would bet my entire house and my mortage, that you could not do it even in an hour. Even a hot little grommet, you couldn’t do it."
There’s a lot to it. I’ve make surfboards for a few people, I’ve even made boards for people who can’t stand up and they know they can’t stand up anywhere. But they want to put a fin on because they want to look normal. I say, “Why do you want to look normal? I can make you a nice board that you can ride prone just fine.” Of all the ages of surfing, 1985, when longboarding was at it’s lowest ebb, there were seven of us, we could go somewhere and surf these insanely perfect waves and there was nobody out. That’s where prone surfing is right now. We can go to places great for bodyboarding and there is nobody there. It’s high tide, the points are going to be good at low tide. So there are a 1,000 people waiting for low tide and right along the rocks there is this little right hander that’s breaking in about 2 inches of water and it smokes for abort 100 metres. I’m on my bellyboard and get about 40 waves and I go in as the tide is going out and I’m going home.

Tom tubed at King Isand

Photo by Sean Davey.

Note 1: For more information, see the World Bellyboard Championships in MyPaipoBoards.
Note 2:
See the article describing another application of the vacuum rail in the following article:
Wegener, Tom. (2010, month). To Catch A Tuna. Pacific Longboard Magazine, 14(2), 73. Tom Wegener's long and winding fin-free journey from paulownia plank to the polystyrene Tuna.

Other Items of interest:
  • Tom's webpage, Tom Wegener Surfboards
  • Videos:
    • Wegener Surfboards: Alaias. By Tom & Jon Wegener
    • Tom Wegener Surfboards Promo: One. This is a promo piece made a few years back by Nathan Oldfield for Tom Wegener Surfboards. Music by Mike McCarthy.  
    • Tom Wegener Surfboards Promo: Two. This is a promo piece made recently by Nathan Oldfield for Tom Wegener Surfboards. Music by Purplene & Mike McCarthy.
    • Wood is Good (4 parts): Tom Wegener at Patagonia Surf Shop Cardiff. On Saturday, October 11, 2009, after the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo, surfboard shaper Tom Wegener gave an evening presentation at Patagonia's Cardiff Surf Shop. Tom spoke about shaping surfboards from Paulownia wood, specifically classic single fin longboards, hollow surfboards and the traditional Hawaiian alaia design which Tom and his friends help reintroduce to the surfing world. See the videos: Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4 

Feel free to send me suggestions, comments and additional information to: The Paipo Interviews

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Last updated on: 03/28/11