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Philippe Martens: surfboards maken

Philippe Martens: surfboards maken

Hi, my name is Philippe and my urban craft
is making surfboards. I’ve been surfing for nearly 16 years now
and I still remember the first time I properly rode a wave and the first time I managed to stand up.
It’s the kind of kick you never forget. It sort of changed the rest of my life. And the kick is all the more intense if you
can ride that wave on something you created yourself. You’re being propelled by the force of nature
itself, on a board that, by now, I’m trying to make out of almost natural materials. In the beginning I made boards in the traditional
way using composite materials but something didn’t feel right. You’re in a natural environment
and that thing you’re standing on is so far removed from nature that it’s actually harmful to the environment. But if you look now there’s no more polystyrene. Instead, you can clearly see
the grain of nature running through the board and merging with the waves. My motto is ‘tree to the sea’, so you’re trying
to return a natural element to the sea while creating a harmonious whole and that does feel right. My background as a product developer was extremely
useful for making wooden surfboards because of the challenge involved: a solid wood surfboard
is simply too heavy. So you try to find ways of making the board lighter, you keep evolving
and searching to try and get as close to making the perfect board as you possibly can, and that’s a light board with flex. I’m still improving with every board I make.
I’ve started using cork for the sides of the surfboard, I’m using new resins and other types of wood… Because the board is hollow it is slightly
higher in the water, and on average the boards are 10% heavier but for a certain surfing style that’s
not so bad. For longboarding it’s actually an advantage. I’m not just trying to make very beautiful
objects; I also want to make boards that surf great. Sometimes you’ll look at a piece of wood and
you can tell what you’re going to use certain parts for, like, that piece right there is a fin. You’re
scrutinizing, and when it works out, it’s… fantastic


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Ik krijg er gelijk inspiratie als ik naar jou filmpje kijk! Om weer aan mijn houten surfboard te bouwen. Ik had een vraag. Voor de rail wil ik abachi gebruiken maar ik twijfel of dit wel sterk genoeg is, omdat abachi best wel een zachte hout soort is en kwetsbaar voor het stoten. Groet Joost

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