Traditional Surfing Co Launches

 The Traditional Surfing Co Belly Board

Old Family Craft Inspires Traditional Surfing Business

Nearly 60 years ago Great Uncle Sidney started building traditional wooden bellyboards for his family to use on the beaches around Penwith, and now, four generations later, his passed down skills have inspired a new family business that hopes to encourage more and more people to re-discover the almost lost art of traditional surf riding.

The Traditional Surfing Co is a cottage industry in a very literal sense. The wooden boards are entirely hand made in an old fish cellar in Sennen, the bags and beach accessories, as well as all screen printing and indeed website design, is done on the family home’s kitchen table and founders of The Traditional Surf Co Gavin and Tamsin Randall say they would not have it any other way.

The Art and Craft of Surf Boards

“So much in surfing now is mass produced and plastic” explained Gavin Randall, “and yes we could be labelled as anachronistic luddites, but when you put one of our boards in someone’s hands, a board that is entirely hand made, natural and unique, people seem to really appreciate the art and the craft that has gone into its making. But perhaps more than that, our boards give people the opportunity to experience and reconnect with surfing in one of its purest and most simple forms.”

“In the 1960s and 70s surf riding, or bellyboarding as it is more commonly known, was massive” continued Gavin, “but almost overnight in the early 1980s it died a sudden death with the explosion of cheap far eastern made polystyrene and foam bodyboards. But whereas with a foam board you ride on top of the wave, with a wooden board you ride with the wave and its this more intimate connection that more and more people are now rediscovering.”

“with a wooden board you ride with the wave and its this more intimate connection that more and more people are now rediscovering”

Wooden Surf Boards

And mass-produced is one thing The Traditional Surfing Co is definitely not about. The company prides itself of the unique hand made nature of all of its products, and goes out of its way to ensure the ecological credentials of everything it uses. For instance the wood that the boards are made from is 100% FSC certified with natural plant based oils used to finish the boards, and where possible all material and clothing is organically grown and from fair trade factories.

Since launching their website at the beginning of June The Traditional Surfing Co have seen a steadily increasing amount of interest and indeed orders. And now with the business developing a line of beach accessories to complement the bellyboards, as well as creating branded boards for trade sales to surf shops and lifestyle outlets, one off personalised boards for birthdays and celebrations, and making custom canvas board covers for regular surfboards, it looks like future generations will be able to enjoy and experience the thrill of traditional surfing.

Connect with The Traditional Surfing Co on Twitter

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