Sep 21, 2011

The Wizard of Aus

Tom Wegener has lots of energy. He lights up like a grommet when he starts talking about surfing, skating, gardening, or sustainability. This is good, because it takes this amount of energy to pretty much single handedly bring back finless surfing.

The evolution of a species.

The SeaGlass Project in the middle is a new finless epoxy board that Tom has developed with GSI.

Tom is mostly responsible for the rebirth of the alaia, the basic but challenging finless plank boards ridden by Hawaiian chiefs of old. Through tons of research and experimentation, he has perfected the simplest and purest wave sliding vehicles possible.

Tom showing off some old school belly boards made of thin plywood

On top of bringing the soul and stoke back to surfing, he has brought an awareness of our sports impact on the environment. His alaias are made from Paulownia wood, which is grown in nearby New South Wales. Sustainably harvested and hand made, the wood needs no treatment before hitting the waves. Local, organic, no resin or toxic chemicals- these are the least toxic boards you can buy.

Tom with his custom longboard hand shaped with locally grown Paulownia wood

Tom has taken his mastery of craftsmanship to the next level with full sized boards made much in the same way boats are. He will hand shape you your very own eco long or short-board at his Creation Plantation in Noosa Heads.

The Creation Plantation

The ancient shop looks as if it is going to fall over from relaxation, though it holds sturdy, housing his tools and endless boards and blanks. Climbing on the roof to access the upper level, he shows us a custom he is working on. Wood shavings are much nicer than polyester.

He gave us a short tour of his Plantation, the chicken, his trees, the pond, the compost. Such a cool zone dedicated to growing surfing in the organic way.

Loren and Tom discuss permaculture

Noosa Heads is Tom’s spot. On any given day you can find him on anything from a 10-foot tanker to the finless 5-foot SeaGlass. You can find his custom boards at Noosa Longboards, and order a custom slider for yourself!

Some other links to super eco-surfing gear:

JayaWave- The Art and Soul of Trees. Santa Barbara, California

WaveTribe- Green Surf Company. Ventura, California