Crafting a surfboard from salvaged Ventura pier wood

 by Scott Manninen


As a woodshop teacher at Buena High School in Ventura, I try to inspire my students by working alongside them. My favorite things to build are wooden surfboards, combining my passion for surfing and woodworking, neither of which I am an expert. I often tell my students one of the great rewards of building something is being able to use what you make; it gets even more rewarding if it is something you design yourself. Over the years I have built boards from fence wood and salvaged barn wood, but I was always looking for that really special material that would make for a good story. Then the Ventura Pier got smashed by big waves on Dec. 11th, 2015. I grabbed some of my tools and my friend Byba got her camera gear together. We had to go down after 5 p.m at golden hour. We salvaged two pieces of bracing that were about 10 feet in length. After letting the wood dry for a few months we began the work.

This short film is not a how-to, nor is it about me. It is a short film about the process of giving a piece of wood new life as a surfboard, thus the title Reclaimed Surf. Just as I am not an expert woodworker or surfer, I am far less accomplished as a filmmaker. I have the utmost respect for those that can tell a good story with pictures and sound. I hope this short film inspires the viewer to create something they can use, especially if it’s made from reclaimed material. Thanks for reading and watching.

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