At any time of the year Gavin Randall will be riding the waves off the beautiful Sennen Cove in Cornwall testing his latest design of belly board as the surf drives him in towards the beach. Gavin has been improving the speed and performance of belly boards since he founded the Traditional Surfing Company in 2011 to manufacture these traditional boards for the world market.
With designs unchanged for 50 years Gavin and his Makita power tools have substantially improved performance of the boards to the point where he claims that the Rocket, his latest design, “is the best performing board in the world.”
Before there was surfing, where you stand upright on the board, there was traditional surfing on belly boards. This is pure surf riding where it’s all about the thrill of the slide as the power of the sea carries you along. The shape of these traditional belly boards had remained largely unchanged for 50 years and the method of manufacture a closely guarded secret.
High quality marine ply is the core material but the secret to performance is the shapes embodied in the board. Makita power tools have enabled Gavin to achieve radical shapes and high quality finishes that are vital to increase speed and stability.
“Since using the Makita tools I have been able to achieve advanced designs that use some of the innovations on advanced racing cats, just like those used in the recent America’s Cup. The fine details of these hulls are to generate speed through the water and that’s what I have been building into the Rocket with the assistance of the Makita tools. Getting intricate and precise shapes and dimensions in making the boards needs modern, highly accurate power tools and there’s nothing better than Makita,” says Gavin.
Using Makita’s Lithium-ion battery powered 18volt jigsaw and planer to cut and shape the overall design Gavin uses the Makita BKP180 1/2inch mains router to refine the intricate shapes and contours of the boards.
Gavin is full of praise for the cordless Makita jigsaw: “Without a cord it feels so free, but perhaps most importantly this Makita saw allows me to cut more boards, more accurately, with the added benefit that heightened accuracy makes a great belly board. The RP2301 router is seriously powerful but silky smooth to use. I love these tools, they make work fun!”
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