Saturday, September 18, 2010

Matt and Selkie

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile, to show you what Matt has been up to with his surfboard making. Naturally, he is shutting down while we go overseas, but he has turned out some beautiful woodcraft and has thoroughly impressed me with his woodworking skills and artistry. He is making Alaias, which are traditional Hawaiian surfboards. They are very thin and finless, and surf differently than foam boards. While he hasn't sold any yet (partially because Oregon surf is not ideal for Alaias, partially because few people around here know what they are), he has had a great time building them.

Matt incorporated Selkie, LLC early this spring, and has a blog at If you are interested in what he is doing, feel free to contact him at Some of his surfboards are for sale at Gorge Performance surf shop in Portland.

Most excitingly, he has offered to send an Alaia to pro surfer Liz Clark, who is sponsored by Patagonia. Although Liz has not said yet whether or not she wants the board, Matt talked to Patagonia about storing it since we are leaving the country, and they got pretty excited about it and will actually be displaying the board in their Portland store! So Matt scrambled to finish the board yesterday, and we took it to the Patagonia store before we went to have dinner with his family last night. There were people looking at the board before we even left the store, and it wasn't even on display yet! This board is absolutely beautiful, made from Western Red Cedar and finished with linseed oil and beeswax (it smells beautiful, too!)

Each one of Matt's boards is a work of art. He gives each one an individual name and woodburned design. Most of the inspiration for the names and designs comes from the Hawaiian language or from spirituality that can be related to the ocean.

Let me show you what he's been up to:
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Cutting out his first board, Lala, in the kitchen of his old apartment.

Moved into the shaping bay at his dad's house.

My favorite Selkie board, Nalu.

Matt has also started making handplanes, used in bodysurfing. This one is coming with us to NZ:

The quiver of Selkie boards:

I can't help feeling that this is something that Matt was made to do. He loves it, loses himself in the work, and products are absolutely gorgeous. What do you think?

1 comment:

Liz Clark said...

Truly honored!! Thank you Matt and Liz!! best to you on your upcoming journey...Gratitude, Liz Clark