About the Workshops

Sharing the Stoke 1:1

A big part of Tree to Sea philosophy has always been to “share the stoke.” Which is basically another way of saying to educate.

What I aim to educate about, of course, is the good of wood, water, and wave, But sometimes much more.

There are many reasons to want to build and surf your own wooden surfboard. Perhaps you’ve seen them online, or in the lineup, and have been seduced by the warm wood tones, or iridescent grain patterns. Or maybe you’ve noticed the way wooden surfboards tend to coax out more graceful motions from their riders. Or perhaps you like the idea of their natural sustainability. Or maybe you want to better understand surfboard design and dynamics. Or perhaps you simply want to socialize, and be a part of a like-minded community. Or maybe for you, like me, it’s all of the above. To fulfill the mission intrinsic to “share the stoke”, I have launched the T2S Workshops.

“I can’t express the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment I feel when I look at the board I shaped” — Mike, B. Mass

Wandering Workshops: Locally hosted, weekend-long workshops that are instructed by me, but come to you.

Affiliated Workshops are integrated into ongoing educational programs. They happen at community colleges, boat building programs, woodworking schools, vocational programs, artist studios, university surf clubs, etc. The duration of these workshops conform to the schedule of the affiliated venue and can be anywhere between three days and one week.

Hosted Workshops are arranged by people who also participate for free in exchange for setting up the venue (or offering their own space) and promoting it within the local community. These might be held in someone’s backyard, basement workshop, community centers, camping areas, beach parking lots, studio space, surf shops, etc., and they tend to resemble a backyard barbecue. They are typically two or three weekend days in duration.

Demos & Collaborative builds are short notice and impromptu gatherings of HWS builders where I’ll build a board and people participate in a hands on way. These can happen at surf industry conferences and or competitions (or on the periphery of them), at festivals, arts and craft fairs, block parties, etc.

A small backyard BBQ

Wandering Workshops are 2 or 3-day workshops, usually a weekend, that are instructed by me but come to you. Venues include a “Backyard Board-Building BBQ” version that are hosted by a local builder at their house/barn/backyard, or the “Instructor Training” versions that are hosted by woodworking teachers at their local schools. (see Springback for my free, in-school training program). Wandering Workshops also include any impromptu versions that are designed to have low environmental impact by bringing one person (me) out to the local community instead of bringing a whole group of people in from afar. This has the added advantage of making them very affordable (because participants are local, no lodging is required).

Nick shapes a fin

Each day begins with a short informal seminar on board design, instruction, the daily agenda, and a little inspiration. It can be pretty intensive so we work as a team and in buddy groups. In all workshops except the demos and collaborative builds, each person builds their own board and brings it home ready for final sanding and glassing. There is no heartbreaking coin-flipping or straw-drawing for who gets to BUY the board at the end (man, that must feel like giving up your own child).

Wandering workshops are instructed by me, but hosted by a local HWS builder. The host will be your in-country point of contact and can advise you with local knowledge such as directions, parking, shopping, glassers, secret spots, and where to get good burritos.

To learn about hosting your own workshop and take it for free! see the “Host a Workshop” page.

Workshops in Warm-n-Wavy Places: Build your board barefooted & on the beach (or close to it)

Warm sunset, palm fronds & tropical breezes

Workshops in Warm-n-Wavy Places are vacation-long, build-n-surf experiences in exotic surf destinations. These are typically packaged with lodging at eco-surf-travel type venues and have both a carbon off-set program and a strong element of giving back to the communities in which they happen (see the Springback page for our carbon offset and local training programs). Because these workshops are longer in duration, we’ll have more time to explore the history and nuance of surfboard design, as well as the advantages of the Strip & Feather method. We’ll get to know a new culture and gain a new group of friends. We’ll adjust our clocks, and our attitudes, to “island-time” so the experience will be fun, informative, and intensely relaxing. We may also have a limited selection of wooden boards to try out. We’ll take our time and get the Zen out.

Warm-n-Wavy Toe-in

Each Warm-n-Wavy workshop will have a specific set of options that will be announced on the workshop bulletin. When you sign up for a workshop, you’ll receive an email with your deposit receipt and a link to download more information including the required forms. There will be sunsets, wave sets, and sand between your toes.

What is/isn’t included:

Wandering workshops and Warm-n-Wavys each have different offerings and requirements that will be announced on their specific bulletins.  But in general, here is what is and isn’t included:

Sorry, hula girls not really included

Typically included: One of Rich’s design templates (or custom designs are available for $50 arranged ahead of time), pre-cut internal frames, all the wood that you’ll need (sustainably harvested Paulownia and cedar), a rocker table, all tools (but participants are encouraged to bring their own if they have them), all instruction, board vents, and hula girls.

Typically NOT included: Food (bring your own stuff for the barby or buy locally), lodging, fins/fin boxes (I assume you’ll be glassing on your fins and but can advise on fins and fin placement. You may use excess wood for shaping fins, but fins/fin boxes are not technically included).