It's about life - not "lifestyle"
The Roger Wayland Project Gallery
" The main point I would like your readers to know is that the hardest part of building your own wave riders is getting started. Don't be afraid, there is no right or wrong way of building your own boards. You learn each time you make one. The most important thing to do is have fun building your board. Make it an adventure. Use your imagination. Let yourself go in your thought process. You have no boundaries, no rules, and no directions. Most of the time you make it up as you go. Do not limit yourself to what you know and are comfortable with. Try different things. Use different materials. The greatest reward for your hard work is going out with your board creation and riding waves with it for the first time. Wow, what a feeling. Riding something that you have made.

Tools to start. Don't worry if you do not have an entire 1500 piece tool kit. I do most of my design work with brown paper (grocery bags will also work), a pencil, a square, and a pair of scissors. I generally cut out a piece of paper that is a little larger than I want the final dimension to be. I then fold the paper in two, lengthwise. I then draw (create) my design as a half model. Once I have it sketched out to the shape I want it, I cut it out. Presto, I have a full template that is equal on both sides and ready to be traced onto whatever I am using.

Material: For handboards and some paipos I now use Marine Plywood, sometimes in 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch thickness. The lumber yard that I buy it from has the sheets pre cut in either 2x4 foot sheets, or 4x4 feet sheets. It is not cheap, usually around $15.00 for the 2x4 sheet. It is worth it though, as it holds up well in the water.

For some of the paipos or for "off the wall" first time experimental stuff, I sometimes use 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch Luan Plywood. it is cheap and very flexible. It usually costs around $10.00 for a 4x8 foot sheet. I will often times cut the 4x8 in (3) 32 inch wide by 48 inch long sheets. I then will glue two sheets together to give me a 32x48 inch base to work off. I will then lay out my design sheet, trace it onto the board, and cut away.

Tools to do the job. I like using a sabersaw to do the rough cut out of the boards. Buy extra blades as you will break a few. I also use a portable drill to make started holes for the fins and hand straps, etc. You will also need a sander. I use a belt sander as it allows me to do a lot of rough work quickly. I also use a belt sander to shape fins for boards.

Materials- Sealers, glue, etc. I use a lot of different materials for making my boards. On the Luan boards (there is always a tradeout for using less expensive materials) you need to make sure you seal all the edges very good. if not, your board will delaminate on you soon after your first or second trip to the water. After I have sanded the rails of the boards to the shape I want, I fill in all voids. I sometimes use an epoxy sealer, wood putty, etc. once I have all the gaps filled in, I generally spray my boards with a gloss enamel. Once dry, I give the boards two or three coats of a clear polyurethane sealer. I ahve on occasion used finishing resin to seal the boards. This works great but is sometimes a lot of work. I switched to polyurethane and have saved a lot fo time, hassle, and money.

Other things. A lot of the time you are going to have to improvise with materials. You get an idea in your head but will not be able to find the exact materials you thought you needed. I have found materials that I use in my boards in very strange places. Look beyond what the intended use of the product in the store is. Wall molding can be used for increasing board rail depth (creating more rocker and hopefully avoiding pearling). Once you open your mind and become creative, it will be a lot easier to obtain hard-to-get materials. I go to a local fabric store and buy my nylon webbing that I use on the top of some of my handboards. I go to a local surgical supply store and buy surgical latex tubing that is used on some handboards. A scrap piece of wood found someplace can always be turned into a fin or a handboard. Plastic milk cartons can be cut up in squares and used as spreader for the filler. you get the picture; keep your mind open.

Once you have made a board and ridden it, be proud but don't be complacent. Keep trying to improve upon your creation. Just because you have "finished" the board does not mean it is done. Each time you ride your board, learn from it. Don't be afraid to modify it and make changes. All of my boards are always a work in progress.

Conclusion: There are very few things in life that you can conceptualize, design, build, and ride in a beautiful, ever-changing fluid environment. Consider yourself lucky to have the love of the ocean in your blood. Consider it a fantastic opportunity and blessing to have the desire and ability to build something that will allow you to aprticipate in our chosen sport. Very few individuals will ever have the chance we have."

-Roger Wayland

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Photo and Text (C) Roger Wayland.