Inspired by Ocean – Designed in Wood

michael rumsey wood surfboard titled ohana with artwork depicting whales using only natural colors from reclaimed lumber
close up of wood design and mother of pearl detail on a michael rumsey decorative surfboard with whales titled ohana

Specs: 8’ 9” x 23” x 3” plus fins.

Materials and Technique: Strip-built over a hollow wood frame (similar to the internal construction of an airplane wing) with koa wood, teak, ash, mahogany, walnut, poplar, and redwood. Most of the lumber is considered reclaimed or reused in some manner. The whale’s eyes are Mother-of-Pearl. No paint, tinted stain, or kits of any kind. Because of the inability to reproduce this work, each surfboard is original, one-of-a-kind, and considered fine art.

A Word From The Artist on Artistic Inspiration:

My inspiration behind this work stemmed from an encounter with a whale during a tuna fishing trip. We were about thirty miles off-shore when we came across a lone, young, whale.

The whale was struggling.

We could see from the sonar readings that there was about 150-feet of gillnet stuck around and dragging behind the whale as he tried to swim. We immediately called in help from Sea World’s highly skilled rescue team.

When it came time to name this piece, the word “Ohana” kept coming back to me.

As part of the Hawaiian culture, ‘ohana means family; blood relatives, adoptive, or otherwise intentional extended family members who are bound together and are responsible for one another. To me, ohana means all that – and more. I consider my fishing buddies and surfing family as ohana, too.

My ohana is, at times, complicated. As everyone’s is, I suppose.

The only thing they all have in common is that I love them.

And I know most of them love me because they support me in many ways. All of them help make it possible for me to continue to create art and share it with the world.

I still wonder how that young whale came to be left alone out there without his pod. His family. His ohana.

I’m sure grateful to have mine nearby.

I have the best ohana a guy could ever wish for.

I’m a lucky man.

Ohana earned a 2nd Place and The Urban Forest Award during the 2017 Design in Wood Competitive Exhibition in Del Mar, CA.

tommy bahama wood surfboards

Ohana – Shown on display at Tommy Bahama – Newport Beach Fashion Island Location.

Please feel free to contact me, if you’d like more information about Ohana, other custom decorative surfboards, or to inquire about commissioned works of art.