G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Andy Gere's Wood SUP & Paddle

"If Giapetto would have been a stand up paddleboarder, Pinocchio would have been a paddle." SUP Brother John Ashely made that "Twainian" observation on his excellent SUP blog which is where I first heard about Andy Gere and his home project. I was somewhat surprised to learn that Andy lives in Santa Cruz, and stoked to learn that he lives only about 20 minutes from my home.

We hooked up at his house Saturday morning where I spent a very pleasant and enriching three and a half hours learning about Andy, meeting his family (wife Nancy who also surfs, SUPs, kayaks, etc., etc., eat our hearts out fellas; and his two gorgeous little ones, Jillian age 5, and very energetic and cute little guy, Bob, age 3) and talking about all kinds of things related to surfing, SUPing, and the ocean, all related to our lifestyle as waterpeople.

Andy is as hospitable and generous as he is intelligent, articulate, analytical, energetic, positive and skilled. He learned his woodworking skills in the best possible way, under the watchful guidance of his Dad when he was a youngster. Andy isn't at all intimidated by taking on a project from scratch (this isn't a kit). He's got the confidence and the skills. He showed me a "cradle" he made for his daughter which is a complete dinghy (which you could actually use in the water, i.e. it's a real boat) hung on risers and tied into place as if it were on a ship ready to be launched...of course it rocks (in every meaning of the word).

While he may not be intimidated by a first time project of this scope, he isn't cavalier about it either. His analytical mind, thoughtfulness and past experiences all play a part in his thorough exactitude when it comes to thinking out everything before putting his skills into action. Prior to meeting on Saturday Andy asked me to bring two things; my Angulo SUP and a piece of the Clear Grip material so he could 1) take fin placement measurements and take pics of the bottom and rail configurations on the Olohe, and 2) check out the Clear Grip for use on his wood SUP as he doesn't necessarily want to cover up all that pretty wood with a deck pad.

This is actually a two part project. The SUP and the paddle. The paddle is complete and is testament to his wood working skills and ways. Like most all good wood workers, nothing goes to waste. His paddle was made from left overs and scraps. Total cost? $30! He doesn't really know what the final cost on the SUP is going to be, but you can bet it will be significantly less than a production or custom PU or EPS SUP, and way, way less than a custom wood SUP.

I'm excited about and looking forward to tracking Andy's progress and I hope I can be with him in the water on his maiden voyage. I will no doubt selflessly offer to paddle it around or at least get in line to do so as I'm sure Nancy will have first bid on that honor.

Andy sent me a couple links to a website where he is posting re this project. I include them here for those who want to follow his progress also. Link 1. Link 2.


  1. Gary, thanks for the kind words. It was a pleasure to meet you in person, and I look forward to doing some SUP surfing with you and the rest of the Angulians. Perhaps if I borrow enough of the Angulo design for my board, I could be made an honorary member of the tribe.

    For those of you who have not yet met Gary in person, he truly embodies the aloha spirt of surfing, and I was glad for the chance to pick his brain about board and paddle design, waves and surfing.

  2. Andy
    So...this means you ARE going to invite me to your maiden launch eh bro'?

  3. Gary,
    Without a doubt you will be there, and I'd be stoked if you would be willing to volunteer as water photographer for the event in exchange for some rides on the Waveyarder. But I've still got a lot of work to do between now and then...I've got enough planks milled for the bottom, and got started roughing out the next stave to make the top planks. Hit or miss with the tank staves. Some real nice stuff inside some of them, and some plank killing flaws inside others. No matter, I'll need rail strips and it will all go to good use. We had a family bonfire and marshmallow roast in the backyard last night, and you can guess where the kindling came from.

  4. Andy
    Consider the water photographer assignment filled! I would also love to take some pics of the application of deck and bottom when you get to it. Keep me know where I live and you've got my number.

  5. Hey great post SRFNFF- I really enjoyed reading this piece, you nailed it! I linked my "Giapetto Report" to what you're doing here- keep us all posted!