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Walking on Water

In a return to craftsmanship practices of the past, Australian furniture designer and surfer, Peter Walker, is on a mission to create working wooden surfboards.



BY jesse

April 30th, 2008


Although timber was made temporarily redundant in the surfing industry after the advent of foam and fiberglass, Hawaiians in ancient times surfed on boards made of timber planks.

American surfing pioneer Tom Blake in the 1930s, discovered the timber boards and replicated the shape, drilling hundreds of holes in the wood before sheathing the hull in marine plywood veneer and creating the first hollow surfboard. Walker is now continuing the story of the timber surfboard, transposing contemporary design onto the natural material and traditional technique to produce hollow wooden boards that are both fully functioning and examples of fine craftsmanship.

Walker, working out of his studio at the Jam Factory in Adelaide while on his break from being Associate Professor in furniture design at the Rhode Island School of Design, recently exhibited his boards at Design inTENT in Canberra as part of the Canberra Biennial in 2007.

Peter Walker
pwalker@risd.edu


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