Stephen Halpin – Wooden Surfboards

First Board?
A beat up old 7 foot 3 inch Single fin Swallow tail from the Seventies is the first board, trimmed across a wave at Tea Tree Bay Noosa it was a borrowed board. I then rode my Brothers 8foot 11 inch triple stringer square tail mal that had a terrible twist in it.

My first brought board was an Impact shaped by Steve Jory of Noosa; it was a 7 foot 1 inch x 2.5 foot x 2.5 foot Thrusta big boy short board. I have progressed a long way from those but I do love the feel of a old style 70’s Single fin and the ease and glide of a Malibu but if the waves dictate I will ride anything from a high performance shorty up to a mega gun or even tandem board and SUP’s.

What do you love about surfing?
I love how it takes you away from all hassles and worries of the world and any problems you might be having disappear, the feeling of being free and it is the fitness you gain from a workout that you enjoy. The people and friends you meet and share with as well as travel and experiencing new places and waves.

Favourite Surfspot?
I have a few some I won’t name as they are too secret but the ones that stand out are a couple of Island on The Great Barrier Reef n Queensland

Double Island – Sunshine Coast QLD
Noosa’s Point Breaks – Sunshine Coast QLD
Old Woman Island - Sunshine Coast QLD
North Mid Coast - NSW

My Favourite is where it’s with a couple of mates, nice waves and not to big a crowd, I’ve only surfed in Australia on the East Coast and want to surf overseas so the list above could change!

All of the places of traveled to?
I’ve traveled all of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Northern Territory through the Torres Straights and almost all the Islands in the Great Barrier Reef chain plus I lived in Paupa New Guinea as a child so I’ve seen s o many amazing things but the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef Islands is enchanting plus here is some sick waves if you know where and when.

Education?
I only completed my Year 10 level education I could not wait to leave, but wish now I could have done it differently.

First job?
Tree Loppers Assistant as a 15 year old, sweat shop pay and bloody hard work gave it away after 6 months.

Current Job?
I’ve been a Security Guard for several years now just a little weekend work at a restaurant bar in Noosa and work through the week as a Plastering Trades Assistant. Making Custom made Wooden Surf Boards and doing ding repairs on boards for surf shops and for friends is what I love doing but I need to do the other 2 jobs until the wooden surfboards take off then hopefully I can become a full time Surfboard Shaper.

Who/What inspired you to begin shaping wooden boards?
I have always loved wood and was up for a challenge the who inspired me was Steve Friedman of Friedman Flyers he makes some beautiful Balsa Boards and Legend Bill Wallace is a great man and inspiration he was the first n Oz to make a hollow modern style board of the era.

Did you mow foam first then move into wood?
Yes I did mow foam first then move into wood but saying hat I used to carve wood style surfboards before I surfed, as a little kid I would stick a toy soldier on and surf it down the gutters outside in the rain.

How did you get into the position you are today?
I had made a couple of hollow wooden boards, and then had Bill Wallace give me a few tips. After a few issues with local council for making foam and fiberglass boards and doing ding repairs at home I started doing a couple of wooden boards again experimenting with shapes and style of construction. Using different types of wood whilst trying to keep the strength in and the weight down, I have come up with a process I am happy with. My peers have said I have found my niche with these wooden boards and I have had some great feedback. So I have set up a website and face book page and moved onto property to pursue my dream, my wife has been instrumental in helping me do this.

Where can we find you?
You Can find me @ www.woodensurfboardsshapesbysteveo.com.au
Or on Facebook

I do all shapes and sizes from Alaia, Short boards, Minimals, Guns, Malibu, SUP’s and any custom made or copy of existing favorite board.

These boards go as good on the water as they look on the wall and have had just as many people ask to have one for there wall.

I like to use sustainable plantation timbers or recycled wood ONLY.

 

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Posted by: Troy Roennfeldt, on July 21, 2013
Categories: Interviews

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