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Rapid Prototyping:
Relief etching replacing Grip Tape

South Hand Crafted is an independent workshop and surf brand based in Boscombe, Dorset and born from a passion of all things sea and mountain.

Having grown up in the New Forest, David and his brother were talking one day about the positive effect, both physically and mentally, simply being in the sea has on people. Surfing together they were wondering why more people aren’t enjoying the sea. As a result SHC was born. Believing in simplicity and environmental impact, SHC creations had only five ingredients; locally sourced sustainable woods, waterproof glue, tung oil, time and elbow grease. Until David discovered the possibilities of relief etching at Bournemouth Eagle Lab.

Having visited the lab for a machine induction, David began to explore the possibilities of creating texture and grip using relief etching, and therefore removing the need for grip tape. Excited by the initial results, he decided to diversify from hand planes and belly boards into skateboard decks. He carefully prepared his on ply and worked backwards to create beautiful and unique long boards with etched designs on the top. Also, he has created wallet sized wax combs which double up as air fresheners.

As well as his own designs, David has worked with “Inspired by the journey” Nomadic Array professional doodler Laura to create custom hand planes and decks. Launched on 22nd April at the R.A.W. Project event (Real Art Wins), SHC bespoke products are environmentally friendly, sustainable works of art and tools. 

“A valid lesson we have learnt from this project is things take time, and the longer the better; like fine wine and cheese, taking your time makes it all the sweeter.”

David continues to offer workshops, where he shows and teaches you how to make your own surf craft, bodysurf handplanes, bellyboards and skate decks. Rather than a lesson it feels more like you’re hanging out with an old friend, just chatting and enjoying each other’s company.

Photograph courtesy of Stewart Gilbert

Bournemouth Eagle Lab

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