Friday, February 28, 2014

New 7-3 Widget...

EPS/Epoxy Widget, 7'3" 15-1/2" x 22-3/4" x 16-1/8"  2-7/8" Blank is 1.7lb EPS from Marko Foam and glassing is by Lucke Glassing in Camarillo, CA.

I'm very excited about this shape. I've been refining this shape for more than five years. My initial design was essentially a 6-8 Fish with a diamond tail instead of a swallow tail. Later I added a double-bump tail to get the board to turn better. Then I moved the wide point back to center. This made them a little more "egg-ish". I made them as short as 6-8 but no longer than about 7-10. Last year I built a 7-2 Widget for Sean that I called the "Zinger", a name I later discovered was used by SD shaper Mike Eaton for one of his shapes. So, back to the Widget name. My design of Sean's board was heavily influenced by some of Rusty's thoughts on "big boy" shortboards. Namely, that width is the big guy's friend. I also incorporated a sloped rail as a way of keeping the rails thin in an otherwise 3"+ thick board. In the year that's past since I built Sean's board I've been on the computer designing, and redesigning a Widget for someone, my size and age. That would be 5-10, 190lbs and 66yr. (I may be short and stocky, but at least I'm old!!)

First, I moved the wide-point back about 2" behind center. This widened the tail and narrowed the nose.
This gives me more planing area and volume in the back half of the board where most of my body weight is located while paddling. It also creates a nice "hip" in the outline which serves as a focal point for turns. While I kept the thickness to 2-7/8", I still utilized a sloped rail to keep those rails nice and thin. 
I kept the low-rocker design I've always used, giving the board both paddling speed and wave speed. 

The bottom contours were modified to include slight belly in the nose to shallow single concave through the middle, and then progressively wider and deeper double concaves through the fin array and out the tail. There is also V in the last third of the tail. Unlike the more common double concaves that end just behind the front fins, these double concaves are not designed to provide lift. There's already plenty of lift generated by the 16-1/8" wide tail. These concaves are stricly for water flow management somewhat akin to the Campbell Bros Bonzer design. 

I like to build the Widgets with a 5-fin configurations as it allows for maximum experimentation with fin sets. You may have noticed the unusual quad fin set I have installed. These are the cutaway keel quads from Shaper's Fins that I mentioned in an earlier post. These low aspect ratio fins will compliment the action of the water-funneling bottom contours in the tail.

I ordered this blank with a 4mm ply Applecore stringer, Knowing that I would be using the color red in the rail scallops, the red-natural-red basswood t-band gives the board an added "customized" look. The glassing schedule was also a deviation from my usual 2-layer deck/one-layer bottom. On this board I chose to use 2, full-length layers of 4oz cloth on the bottom and a staggered, 3-layer deck using all 4oz. One full length layer, one 2/3 length and one 18" length on the tail. The idea was to minimize weight by only putting glass where it was needed. I'm a heavy rear-footed surfer, so there's 3 layers of 4oz where my back foot goes, 2 layers where my front foot goes and one layer where I should never be standing.

I hoping that this board will give me a little more "performance" than my 7-6 Nomad egg. I'll bet a Widget would be just the ticket for more than a few of you out there.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pick-up day for Kirt...

Kirt arrived at the shop today to pick up his new Nova Hi-Perf Noserider. This is a very unique custom board, something you won't find at your local surf shop.

 The EPS blank was special-ordered from Marko Foam with a cedar-basswood-cedar T-band stringer. After shaping, the board was glassed in a 2-tone red and blue epoxy resin tint, "shabby chic" style. After lamination the board was sanded and polished to a deep shine (impossible to take pictures without reflections)


Wide nose, narrow tail, nose concave and ultra-light weight make this a shape that can be surfed off the tail or on the nose at the highest level of longboard performance.

Shouldn't you have one in your quiver?

Last month, Ray and I celebrated our third anniversary of building quality surfboards  together.

Ray Lucke (L) and  Thomas Patrick (R)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Nova Daily Driver...

Over the last few months (since the 2013 Holiday season, actually) I've come to the unnerving realization that, as my weight has crept up towards 195lb, I just can't compete for waves on a 9-6. This is especially true on a typical day at my local break, where the waves are a mushy, waist-high. The 10-0 Classic I used last summer was OK, but felt, well, a little log-ish and one-dimensional. My 9-6 Nova Speedster needs shoulder-high or better surf before it hits its stride as a fast, responsive LB. This 9-9 Nova is my attempt to achieve longboard Nirvana, that is, one longboard for all occasions, big or small, fast or slow.

 Dimensions are 9'9" 18-5/8"x23"x14" 3-1/8" I kept the rails a little full, wanting to maintain some of the volume that my 10-0 offered. The tail is a pulled-in, mini-square tail, which I believe is the best tail shape for a "performance" LB. I added a little extra "V" in the tail to compensate for the lower 3-5/8" tail rocker. This LB should be both fast and responsive. I added a half-length, blended nose concave with a beveled-rail, a la Infinity Rad NR, Stewart Hydro Hull, Walden Magic. The beveled rail is believed to make trimming from the nose a little easier, but we'll see. I did it more as a shaping exercise, having never done one before.

The board has a t-band center stringer and was finished with a beautiful, resin-tint Ice Green bottom and rails, and an Ice Blue resin-tint deck inlay, set off by a red pin line. A red "wishbone" pin line sets off the bottom concave. Gloss & Polish, of course! The price for a board like this is a reasonable $890 (without fins). Contact me and lets talk about your next "one-board-quiver".

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

More magic from Lucke Glassing...

Every shaper knows you're only as good as your glasser. Ray Lucke makes Thomas Patrick Surfboards look as good as they surf. Case in point, a 9-0 high-performance noserider for customer Kirt in San Clemente, CA. This is epoxy resin and S-glass over an eps core (from Marko Foam), with a cedar-basswood-cedar t-band. Light, strong, beautiful. I just love building custom boards!! Let me build one with you!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feeding my fin fetish...

As many of you may have noticed, I have a weakness when it comes to surfboard fins. I'm always looking for that magical fin set-up that will move my surfing to the next level. This time, I may have discovered the ultimate 2+1 fin set.

Manufactured by Shaper's Fins in Australia, and distributed by Block Surf here in Ventura County, these fins are made using state-of-the-art composite construction. The fins pictured above have a honeycomb foam core, with carbon fiber base and leading edge. The trailing rear-half is fiber glass. Shaper's calls these fins "Carbon Stealth". The end result is a light fin that has a variable flex pattern from base to tip, and from front to back. Surfing these fin in slightly overhead conditions at my local point break, I was amazed by how smooth and fluid my turns felt, but with more than enough drive and hold.

I was so impressed with the performance of these fins that I ordered a quad-keel set for my new 7-3 Widget (big brother of the Mini-Widget) I shaped that board last week and now its waiting its turn at the glasser's.
The wide base and upright rake of these fins will give it plenty of drive and a more "pivoty" feel. The cutaway base will also help reduce the stiffness normally found in low aspect ratio fins. Shaper's Fins are available in either single-tab (Futures) or dual tab (FCS) styles. Get the full story on these fins at

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Marcia's Mini-Nova...

Smaller riders need smaller shapes, right? Seems obvious, but try to find an 8-6 modern longboard (not a funboard or an egg!) at a surf shop and you'll immediately see the benefit of ordering a custom board. Case in point is the this 8'6" Mini-Nova that Marcia ordered. A petite young woman by anyone's description, Marcia wanted a modern longboard shape that she could actually get her arm around. The Mini-Nova has the same outline and bottom contours as the Nova, but is scaled down in width and thickness to match the height and weight of its intended rider. In Marcia's case, this was 8'6" x 22" x 2-7/8". And because Marcia wanted maximum versatility, she chose a 2+1 fin configuration.
The red fins compliment the Ice Blue resin tint job with red pin line. On smaller days, she'll switch the 2+1 for a 8.5" single True Ames California Classic in red (of course!)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Mini-Widget for Dan....

This blue beauty is Dan's new 5-8 Mini-Widget five-fin. The MW is the ideal small-wave shortboard. At 33L, it has plenty of volume for even the smallest conditions. Dan asked for a little more flip in the nose than the standard MW, and why not? It is a custom shape.

The full outline and flat rocker of the MW get it up and planing quickly, while the bump-wing tail and tail-V allow short-radius turns. Unlike traditional mini-Simmons shapes, the Mini-Widget is designed for surfers who want more "performance" in their small-wave equipment. Not that the MW is limited to small waves. Customers have reported that this shape works well in shoulder-high to head-high waves as well.

Don't wait for summer to get your Mini-Widget, order one today!