So, it took us more than two years to finally finish our first racing board – so far the most complicated wooden paddleboard that we’ve ever built
I haven’t seen any strip-built wooden paddle boards faster than Ayrton. I mean, I haven’t even seen any designs – as far as I know this is the fastest wooden SUP board ever built. Now, when our first Ayrton 14′ is ready I can say that this was a hell of a time building this board. Pretty common, but always meaningful life lesson – the harder the path, the better the joy of making it.
More than 2 years ago we’ve contacted Randy Bogardus from Clearwood Paddleboards to sell us their 14′ racing board plans. Randy designed that paddle board together with brazilian designer and paddler Rodrigo Velasquez. Surely I knew that building this board would be a challenging quest, but I never knew HOW challenging that would be. After the first 4-5 months of working and a number of alterations I’ve only built like 40% of the hull. The contours of the board were so complicated that I had problems with bending and fitting the strips. Ayrton was all I’ve been working on that winter and that affected other projects and other boards. And still, I wasn’t even close to finishing the assembly, not mentioning fiberglassing, epoxy coating, sanding and varnishing. So I had 2 options – finish Ayrton as fast as I could with all these little f*ck-ups or put this project on the shelf until I have enough time and experience.
Choosing the second way was a smart move! I’ve kept this paddle board on a shelf for 15 months, during which we’ve built a number of boards, including a couple of completely new designs. We rethought and optimized some operations, improved our crafting skills, so I decided to get back to Ayrton in April, 2021. This time building was a pleasure, not a torture. The process still took all the dedication I had because of the complex geometry of this board. Any tiny mistake would result in a visible gap, so I had to be 100% focused.
We’ve faced some challenges during the further steps of a building process, but this time it was kind of fun solving them. So, it took us more than two years to finally finish our first racing board – so far the most complicated wooden SUP that I’ve ever built. And I can’t wait to start building another one – there were a lot of lessons learnt and I need to apply that knowledge 🙂