Tom Wegener for the Love
As an avid surfer with a passion for sustainability you can imagine my stoke when I found out I would be photographing master surfboard craftsman Tom Wegener for Nalu Magazine. Writer Hiromi Shibaski and I road tripped from Byron Bay up the coast to Noosa Heads where Wegener lives on the Sunshine coast of Queensland Australia. We caught up with Wegener just on dusk when all the colors were slowly fading to koala gray. Hiromi sat with Tom and the two talked about his new book, during which I snapped a few pics and marveled at Wegener's latest Corky board (made from 100% cork and timber). The outcome, along with lots of good vibes, laughter and interesting conversations is Hiromi's article accompanied by my photos which are featured in the latest Vol. 106 of Nalu Magazine. Below is an summary of her article originally written in Japanese, and translated here as a special treat just for you.
Tom took a break from making surfboards in 2013 and completed his PhD on the sustainability of the surfboard industry. In the process of completing his thesis Wegener found that the amazing resiliency of the surfboard industry has come from its unique culture which has been passed down from generation to generation. Wegener turned his PhD thesis into a book, “Surfboard Artisans For the Love”.
Excerpt from 'Surfboard Artisans for the Love' by Tom Wegener, as review by writer Hiromi Shibashki for NALU Magazine vol 106:
Tom Wegener's new book, 'Surfboard Artisan's For the Love', is about the sustainability of the surfboard industry and a surfboard shaper's role and responsibility in the industry. As an artisan surfboard shaper himself, Wegener introduces the origin, history of surfing and how it has evolved over the years. He covers different revolutions in surfboard making, such as the short board revolution, use of fiber glass materials, and the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
It is interesting to see how Wegener himself struggled through the GFC, and at one point for his own survival-decided to sell one of his designs to Global Surf Industries. However Wegener reiterates that his core principle and foundation for doing so, is predicated on a hope of surfing becoming accessible to everyone. He also aims to make surfboard shaping more accessible, fun and sustainable for all involved.
Wegner writes with pure love that surfboard making is a high form of art. An highly creative process which simply cannot be measured or quantified by our modern capitalist society. He states that surfboard artisans are staying true to their passions; that meaningfulness in surfboard shaping can be found in the friendships. Friendships that are inspiring new styles and designs. Wegner believes that a new surf culture is being shaped. A culture passed though the generations from artisan to artisans - which he believes is the key success factor for a sustainable surfboard industry, as well as the key to having a happy fulfilled surfing life!
* English translation edited by Chrystal Dawn
Personally I am very excited about Tom Wegener's book and have just picked up a copy for myself. If you've read "Surfboards Artisans for the Love", Or want to read it, have any questions, would like to start a conversation about wooden surfboards? Awesome! Please do comment below, and do subscribe to my blog to join the fun!
You can find out more about Tom Wegener and his amazing work as well as buy his book at: Tom Wegener Surfboards
For more from writer/chef/sustainable travel guide Hiromi Shibaski do visit: Blanco Living
To see more of my editorial work please do visit my Print page.
*all photos by Chrystal Dawn for Nalu Magazine to purchase Vol. 106 Oct.2017 click here