The Balsa Board

While living In Biarritz, France, and working at Monsieur Barland’s factory in Bayonne, he allowed me to build a balsa board.

His factory was then state of the art, and from my dusty memory had things like rolling glass rack’s (unheard of in the early 70′s), a wet wall that caught the dust from the sanding room fan (still haven’t seen anything like that even to this day.) Well he had an engineering business and with that came access to some amazingly light balsa from Madagascar. The board I built was chambered and with the long balsa fibre, it always felt like I was riding waves smooth as velvet. I still think balsa has the best surfing feel of any surfboard material. The pattern marks around the tail are from when I forgot to tie it down onto the top of my Citroen and it blew off into the front of a Porsche, (opps).

Travelled with this baby all through France, Spain Morocco, Bali and then back to Australia. Anyone knowing when this board is I’d like to know. Some pics below of it’s travels.

Thanks to photographers Grant Dwyer – Morocco, Dick Hoole – Bali, Ted Bainbridge – Bells