The idea for GRAMPY TEDS SURF SHED came about whilst enjoying some time on Perranporth beach with my family, especially my Grandson, as we were accustomed, annually, to do, myself being an erstwhile native of Perranporth and having spent the larger part of my childhood playing in the waves there. In the 1960’s, all the kids at the local school had polystyrene “Floatina” surf-boards (unfortunately they gave you a rash after a while, where they touched your skin) and with these boards we all learned the concept of “catching a wave”. It was seen as a natural progression to “move-up” to a wooden Belly-board and I recall that it was in the mid 60’s when my father cut a piece of left-over ply-wood into the familiar shape (I think the wood actually came from the back panel of an old piano that my Dad was chopping up) and I proudly set off for a day at the beach, during the summer holidays, with my new board tucked under my arm. This first board of mine was merely a flat piece of ply-wood, cut to shape and sanded off, but, to a lad of seven, it symbolised that I’d “moved up” amongst the beach community that I frequented at the time. I used that board for years, and it only got put aside when eventually I moved, with my parents, away from the coast.
Remembering all this, and seeing that the “young-bloods”, who had, until recently, been avid “body-boarders” using the cloth-covered foam boards (something that came from Australia, I think) had suddenly decided that wooden boards were “cool” again and wanted to try something different. The memories peeked my interest once more and I decided to make myself a board, and one for my Grandson too, over the winter, ready for our next foray to Perran’. The following spring, having completed, and personalised, as was the custom in the 60’s, the two boards, I loaded them into the car and set off for the beach. As soon as I got into the breakers it all came back to me, and in no time at all I was back to riding the surf as if I’d never been away. Whilst chatting to other surfers using wooden boards, and taking an interest in the various styles and innovations that have come along over the years I thought that I’d try to reproduce some of the more complex board styles that I’d seen, and adapt them to suit my own preferences (being a keen hobby wood-worker, and having a shed!).
The idea of grampy teds surf shed really came to me when I got some really nice, and encouraging, comments about the boards that I’d made from other “Belly-boarders” whilst on the beach. One shop owner even offered to sell some for me. However, having been in a similar situation previously, I didn’t want to get myself into the situation whereby I was setting myself deadlines, quotas and the like, as that just takes all the enjoyment our of what is essentially a hobby. So I decided to just make as many as I wanted to, when I wanted to and to take from any sale that I might make only the actual cost of making the board, so that the hobby could effectively pay for itself.