We have run into Grain Surfboards before. They are a York, ME-based shop that builds – and teaches the building of – custom wooden surfboards. Makes you go “hmmm”, eh? Surf shop… in Maine… and wooden? Well, its true, and the results are impressive (check out their Grain Gallery) – remember that boards were originally solid wood.
The Grain boards use a “rail” internal structure (a single longitudinal piece with spaced frames) and then effectively strip-build the board on this frame (though they don’t follow the exact approach one would use for a kayak or canoe – the deck strips are much wider). We don’t surf here at Chine bLog – perhaps we should – but I love that these guys are running this shop and teaching others along the way.
I was reminded of Grain again with a nice article in the latest Outside Magazine. One of their writers joined a class and wrote about the experience. He had done no prior building and portrayed himself as fairly un-handy in general, but he had the boatbuilder’s eureka moment at the end. Its a good read.