Prior to my retirement my principal leisure activity had been windsurfing. Finally age took its toll. The final straw was finding that my wetsuit had somehow shrunk over the winter months.

This was an attempt to remember that feeling of excitement and I had always found the shape and twist of a well set sail aesthetically pleasing.

Windsurfer online

Windsurfer manufactures kindly provide profiles of their boards and sails so getting the right shapes was just a matter of scanning the picture and enlarging it to A4 size.

Carving the board and sail were relatively straightforward. The boom made me think a bit but I finally got the result I wanted by steam bending a kebab stick and holding it in a jig until cool.

The figure was an entirely different matter and I needed a lot of help from Mike. Yew was used for the figure and the arms made separately as the grain would otherwise make them very weak. Holes were drilled to accommodate the boom first, and the hand carved around the hole. A socket was carved into the short sleeve of the wetsuit and the arms fixed in with epoxy resin. This was very fiddly and I carved several arms before I got it right.

I was concerned that the finished carving would be very fragile and unstable since the sail was only fixed to the base by the mast foot and the hands and feet of the sailor. It turned out to be remarkably strong and stable. In fact much more stable than I ever was in real life!

In writing this I have become aware that the scale of my carvings has been largely determined by the size of A4 paper and the photo copier.

I need to broaden my horizons. Perhaps A3 next time!

windsurfer two online


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