Geoff Moase - Dovetail Surfboards
Update Sept 6,2014.
RIP Geoff Moase - We've just heard that Geoff passed away on Friday the 5th of September whilst surfing in Lombok. Aparently a fisherman found him in trouble of Sorga Beach in Lomok and CPR was administerd on the beach but sadly Geoff passed away. Our thoughts go out to his family.
When did you first start surfing?
We lived close to the beach in Woy Woy on the NSW Central Coast. We used to go down the beach with mum and dad and just hassled them until they bought me a foam board then spent the next 5 years screaming at them to get me a fibreglass board. I would have been about 11 when I got a proper fiberglass board. I was fascinated with surfing right from the word go. I was awake and on the push bike before light to get to the beach.
What is it that you love about surfing?
At least half of it is just being part of a postcard like scene. I love sitting out in the water and physically experiencing the natural environment. Surfing reminds me that I'm lucky to live in a country thats free.
What is your favourite surf spot?
I live on the Gold Coast and,it sounds weird, but the Gold Coast lacks surf. That is, there are some of the best point breaks you will find anywhere but at least 100,000 recreational surfers fighting over it and the beachbreaks are generally poor quality and inconsistent. I like to get down the mid-north coast and find a quiet beachie. I try to get out of the Gold Coast as much as I can to surf.
Tell us a bit about your work and what you do?
I basically supply Paulownia, Balsa, Cedar and other suitable timber to the surfboard industry. I also shape hollow core and foam core wooden surfboards as well as handplanes and wooden bodyboards. I design surfboard build packages for people wanting to make their own boards which include all the materials needed to build a wooden board, and I also run different workshops for alaia building etc. I still do a little carpentry work as well to supplement income.
What made you want to follow this path? Is it a growing industry with the recent resurgence of wooden surfboards?
I’m a carpenter and joiner by trade and a surfer so building a wooden surfboard was a natural progression. I guess I’ve always been a passionate carpenter in that I love making all kinds of things from wood and maintaining a high standard of quality. I had kids and mortgages etc., so once I got the mortgage out of the way and once the kids stopped wanting to hang out with me I started building a wooden surfboard. I didn’t think to google it or research it, I just had it in my head how I was going to go about it then I just came up with a method of building one and I remember shaping the rails on my very first one and just couldn’t believe it, out of a couple of planks, a power saw and a planer, I was creating a surfboard. And that was it, I was just hooked. It became a bit of an obsession.
When my paulownia supplier retired, he needed someone to sell his timber so I thought I’d give it a shot. I found a premises and started selling the timber and making things in between. It's early days but I'm surviving.
I think wooden and alternatively built surfboards are underrated. People just have a preconception that they are heavy or they are for hanging on the wall but we make high-performance boards, fish,singles and longboards which are definitely competitive with any foam board and they are more durable.
Are there any other wooden board shapers who you think are doing some good work?
There are a lot of great craftsmen out there making incredible surfboards using wood. Jason Oliver on the Sunshine Coast sets the standard I think. He uses a lot of recycled timber and makes boards that work. Another is Pat Lyon on the Goldie. Sensational work. Like a lot of these guys they're not big on marketing, these guys are quiet achievers, putting some of the big labels to shame.
What do you love about your job?
I just love creating things and I love seeing people frothing over their new board. They really appreciate my work and I meet heaps of great people. There's a lot of monotonous and uninteresting work to do as well but I always have a new creation of some kind ticking away in the shed (or in my head).
Making a living from handcrafting/producing anything in Australia is always going to be a tough gig. The general surfing consumer takes a long time to come around to new things. The multinational surf marketing machine is a powerful thing but I just keep plugging away at them.
Where can we find you online?
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Posted by: Troy Roennfeldt, on January 16, 2014
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