Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jim Phillips and the way of the glue up!

Andrew Diengott of Jim Phillips surfboards sent me this and posted it on lb.net:
"The inception of the design is pure Billy Hamilton, a Surfboards Hawaii Stylist I, the original surfer that Skip Fry wanted to be. I've had this concept in mind for a long time, but had never brought it to fruition. A 9'9" US Blanks foam core was my starting place. When I received notice that I was being considered for the Billabong event, the idea came to the surface once again - I sketched it out roughly and then started seriously plotting it out. The decision to actually put saw to foam was the first obstacle, but as my Dearly departed father said to me many times, "The devil hates a coward.” The first few cuts were easy, but as I started to go "around the corner" this was where difficulty started to step into the picture. There was no easy way to use clamps on this layout. I have 6,8 and 10 foot pipe clamps and by butting them against the tips of the already glued sticks, I could get a bite on the nearly straight outline. When all 17 stringers were in place, I next needed to install the "sun" which needed to be mechanically accurate so free handing it was out of the question. I have several professional big routers so I made a template to route the curve accurately into the blank. The replacement piece of foam needed to be a true arc, but 3/32 nds smaller in diameter to accommodate the redwood stick that would separate it, kind of like an annulus, from the rest of the design. This was accomplished but taking a piece of old Walker Foam and shaping it to the same curve and gluing it, along with the wood into the blank. It was now time to lay the Stylist I template on the blank and put saw to foam and cutout the plan shape. With pencil on foam the circular saw was put into play and the planshape came to life. With the outline cut I would normally clean the outline with the planer, but wood grain 90 degrees to the planer was a guaranteed blow out of the stringer ends. Fortunately I have a carbide grit planer and used this to keep the outline clean and free of splintering. Once it was time to get to work with the planer, the very nature of the design had its own problems; the stringer layout made the blank very flexy in the center and the amount of stringers as well as the varied angles was another concern for the blades. The blank had to be balanced over my shaping stands in a particular way to help control the flex. To control the stringer blow outs or splintering I used the regular planer with newly sharpened blades to rough out the board and then I pulled out the carbide grit planer again to do all the finish work. After all the planer work was done, the block sanding went fairly fast for what it was - I had prepped it well and knew what was in store for myself heading into the final stretch. The fin followed the same design as the blank which I laid up with volan cloth, the same as the boards glassing, redwood, foam and pigment. It was completed in 2 days...just in time. This is not the Michael Angelo's Sistine Chapel, but nevertheless, a masterpiece by anyone’s expectations."
Concept. Glue up. Shape. Red Gloss Color. Fin. By Jim Phillips

Foam 9’9” by US Blanks.
Airbrush sun color on foam by Sam Cody.
Fin lamination and gloss by Keith Swanson.
Volan lamination by Alex Villalobos
Gloss by Brian Johnson
Polished by Tracy Evans.

The wood is old growth redwood salvaged from a 20' tall wine cask that used to be in Napa. The wood was so soaked with red wine from over the years that milling the wood gave off a strong red wine aroma. This board would go great with a 2 lbs Kobe rib eye and head high waves.

All photos by Jim Phillips

"This board would go great with a 2 lbs Kobe ribeye and head high waves. "
WHAT THE PH U C K??? Its no my intent to claim this board is a pig. Here is the deal. I respect Jim and his work. PERIOD. This board needs to be seen. Hence my post. Enjoy.

The show is over...Jims board went for ~$8400. It cleared about $5K more over the next closest. Whoa. The buyer....Rusty.


  1. That things is nuts! I'm speechless. Jim Phillips is king!

  2. Thank you Mike.

    Former gremmie, who followed his dream to do the best job possible.

  3. the thing that really rules about this board, beyond the master craftsmenship of Jim Phillips, and the insanity of the 17 stringers and the fact that he made it happen, is,.. you KNOW the board would ride damn sweet because Jim knows his shit. even if that board goes on a wall, you could take it down any time and it will be one sweet ride

  4. The only thing that can reasonably be said about this thing is "WHAT THE FVCk?!?"

    Every other surfboard blank glueup stands behind this one.

  5. A board that beautiful deserves to be on a wave at least once. That thing is so #@$!ing stunning that I keep coming back to this post to stare at it. Jim Phillips, you're a freak of nature! Right on!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!