It’s a beautiful thing in surfboard design when you can look back at surfing’s roots, ride old boards to see how they feel, and appreciate the storied past of our sport. Perhaps the biggest paradigm shift in the history of board design was a shift in construction materials – from balsa wood to foam. We now take foam for granted. Virtually every serious surfboard not designed for novelty (and by that I mean alaias and a handful of similar ‘alternative’ craft) is made with some variation of foam.
Some might balk at ever looking backward, but that didn’t stop shaper Josh Martin and longboard world champion Rachael Tilly from attempting to breathe new life into the past by making a high functioning balsa longboard they call the Travelette.