About 2 years ago Jack Candlish combined his love of woodwork with a passion for surfing and started producing wooden surfboards. In August 2015 Jack was a part of Creative HQ’s first Lightning Lab Manufacturing programme, run out of the space now known as 1st Assembly, in The Hutt. Jack recently came in to chat waves, woodwork and getting lucky thanks to Rod Drury.
Organic Dynamic produce sustainable wooden surf craft and develop systems that will enable other shapers to use alternative materials. The overall goal of the company is to enable surfboard manufacturers to produce stronger boards, from materials that are better for the environment.
I started surfing a few years ago and was having so many frustrating experiences with foam boards. I was constantly getting dings and dents that I was unable to repair, so I began researching stronger options. I found heaps of ideas online and eventually made my own board, it wasn’t quite right so I continued to play with materials. It’s been a constant balancing act between sustainability, performance, strength and ease of production. But I’ve recently developed a process that I’m really proud of.
It’s a big challenge making the boards perform the same as foam and cost the same to produce. Because of six years woodworking in Wellington previous to Organic Dynamic, I’m fortunate enough to have a wealth of quality makers that I know. No matter what skill I need I can always think of someone great to help me out. You just wouldn’t get that offshore. However material options and supplies can be very limited in New Zealand.
In early 2015 I was encouraged to apply for Lightning Lab Manufacturing, which was run out in The Hutt. That was the first time I considered making surfboards as a potential business, rather than just a hobby. That programme gave me the resources to develop a product to a commercial level and the time to research and understand the market.
Last week I was lucky enough to be a part of Xero’s ‘Hackathon’. This gives Xero staff the chance to move from an idea to working prototypes. The Xero team helped build me a new and improved machine that will speed up production, proficiency and accuracy. This means I can employ someone else to make the boards and know that they will be made really well. This new machine will also enable scalability of my products.
For the next year or two I will keep making surfboards and prove the concept. Hopefully collaborate with other shapers and in a few years’ time start selling machines overseas while maintaining the parts supply.
For good insight into the technical aspect of the boards check out Organic Dynamics Instagram.
For more information on the boards themselves, check out our website.