Wood Paddle Boards

Handcrafted and Shaped to be Ride-Worthy – Artistically Designed to be Display-Worthy

Custom-built and hand-shaped hollow wood paddle boards are my way of honoring the past and paying homage – or tribute – to those who have paved the way for so many of us.

Tribute I – Sold
Tribute II – Available for Sale (see below)
Tribute III – Coming Soon

From the ancient south pacific watermen, to the native Hawaiians who first surfed on solid wood olo and Alaia boards, to the early 20th Century Anglo Surfers who popularized both the sport – and the lifestyle – on California’s beaches. Tom Blake was one of these early surfers, but he did more than popularize the sport. He revolutionized it.

Tom Blake’s invention of the hollow core or chambered interior frame for wood paddle boards was quite possibly the single most significant idea which changed the art and accessibility of the sport of surfing. That is, up until the point when Larry Gordon introduced the world to PU foam boards (more on my custom surfboard tribute to Larry Gordon below).

Here is more information on the two handcrafted Blake Inspired boards I’ve completed thus far, Tribute I and Tribute II, with another to come later this year. Tribute I sold immediately. So, I built Tribute II and it is now available for sale. See below for details.

surfboard artist shaping wood paddle boards decorative surfboards
As a surfer and shaper, Michael Rumsey cares about the integrity of each board’s shape with respect to the correct rocker, dome, bottom contour, thickness and shape of rails, etc.

wood paddle board nose with brass vent

Close-up shot of a brass vent or plug on the nose of Tribute II, a Blake inspired paddle board.

wood paddle board tail with decorative tail block

A close-up shot of the ornate tail block on the Tribute II, a Blake inspired paddle board.

To add one more special element specific to these two works (Tribute I and Tribute II) I’ve also incorporated some red wine-stained staves reclaimed from a huge redwood wine tank formerly in use at a California winery in the 1920s. It is the naturally occurring tannins from the red wine providing the deep burgundy hues to these two custom pieces. This wood is incredible. Straight grain. Red wine permeated. It seems to glow from within. As a bonus for me, while shaping and sanding this wood, I also enjoyed the faint aroma of the permeated red wine.

Tribute II - Specs, Dimensions, and More Details

Dimensions: 9’ 10” x 21-½”

Materials and Technique: Old growth redwood staves reclaimed from dismantled wine storage tanks used to ferment and store red wine, basswood, and flamed redwood. Handcrafted using the “strip-build” technique – one strip of wood at a time – fastened to a hollow wood or chambered internal frame structure. Embellished with a historically accurate brass vent on the nose of the paddleboard.

Additional Information: Finished with a clear epoxy resin resulting in a satin finish.

Price & Availability: Yes. Tribute II is available for sale. Price upon request. Shipping fees are additional and vary depending on overall size and destination, however if the hip-to destination is within my delivery area, I have deliver at no charge. All surfboards and paddleboards ship as fine art, your piece will be protected in a custom-built wood crate and insured as art.

Please contact me here for more information about my art, if you are interested in a commissioned piece, or want to discuss delivery options.

Tribute I - Specs, Dimensions, and More Details - SOLD

deck of tom blake inspired hollow wood paddle board by mike rumsey

Before applying the clear epoxy resin finish, this is what the raw wood looks like on my Blake Inspired works.

Dimensions: 10’ 10” x 23-½”

Materials and Technique: Old growth redwood staves reclaimed from dismantled wine storage tanks used to ferment and store red wine, basswood, and flamed redwood. Handcrafted using the “strip-build” technique – one strip of wood at a time – fastened to a hollow wood or chambered internal frame structure. Embellished with a historically accurate brass vent on the nose of the paddle board.

Additional Information: Finished with a clear epoxy resin resulting in a satin finish.

Price & Availability: SOLD.
Note: This piece went to a good home in Denver, CO and is now gracing the walls of a luxurious home theater and game room.

Most Frequently Asked Questions About My Wood Paddleboards

Can I hang or wall-mount your wood paddle boards as art for decorative purposes?

Yes. The majority of my clients and collectors purchase and display my work as art. Being that I am a surfer and a shaper, all of my boards are correctly designed, handcrafted, and hand-shaped with integrity. My boards are meant to be both ride-worthy and decorative.

Do you apply paint, tinted stain, veneer, or laminates to get all of those colors and designs?

Never. All color comes naturally from within the wood. My designs are created with hundreds of small strips of different types of wood. On occasion, I’ll inlay turquoise stone, abalone, mother of pearl, or small seashells as decorative elements.

Some other people just wrap or laminate a large photograph around foam surfboards and call it “art”, but you don’t do it that way. Why not?

Because wrapping a pretty picture around something shapely does not qualify as original fine art by any stretch of the imagination. My clients appreciate the true artistry and craftsmanship that goes into every one of my original works of fine art. And they can rest assured they won’t see another anywhere else in the world. Each piece is one-of-a-kind.

What is inside? Are your paddle boards solid wood core, foam core, or hollow core?

Hollow. All are strip-built over an internal chambered frame similar to the internal construction of an airplane wing or an old wooden boat hull. The wood spine and ribs provide shape, flexibility, and strength without adding weight. In addition to keeping the boards much lighter in weight, hollow-core is also historically accurate for Tom Blake inspired wood paddle boards.

Can I take your wood boards for a ride on the water?

Yes. Providing you follow the directions related to the brass vent/plug and the other areas where I’ve drilled very small holes to help regulate internal air pressure changes. Most clients consider my work as fine art and choose only to display them as art / wall-hangers.

I want to buy an original Michael Rumsey work of art. How much do your boards cost, how much do they weigh, and can they ship directly to my home or office?

There are many variables that go into the pricing of each original work of art. Although these do not weigh as much as most people assume, they do all vary in weight. The shipping fees vary based on the dimensions and weight of the item being shipped. The destination also comes into play on the shipping fees. If your destination is within my delivery area, I deliver. For Free! If not, I’ve shipped my artwork to just about every corner of the U.S. and also to Canada. Please feel free to shoot an email to me – or a text message – or call so we can talk about your needs. All of my contact information is listed on the Contact Page.

As mentioned above, I’ve also handcrafted a surfboard as my tribute to Larry Gordon and his family. Although I never had the opportunity to meet Tom Blake, I consider myself a lucky man that Larry Gordon was my friend. Surfing family, really, and I continue to work with the next generation of professionals at G&S on a regular basis. Here is my Larry Gordon tribute surfboard titled One Long Ride.

If you’d like to learn more about Tom Blake, as he was much more than a surfer or hollow wood board creator, here are two videos you may enjoy. He has several inventions credited to his name, many of which he patented.