20 September 23
David Mercer from Bulli sure scored when we phoned to say he’d won our 100th subscriber board – the unique, fully hand-made, Riley Hawaiian Balsa Gun no less!
“No way! That board looks incredible! I am so stoked . . . and kinda stunned . . . are you sure?” Like we’d prank about such a beauty Dave!
A professional photo re-toucher from Bulli, it turns out that Dave had thought about making a wooden board himself. “After I looked into it though and saw what was involved I decided not to,” he laughs. “I’m a big fan of wooden boards though. And years ago I made one foam and fibreglass board, and well, never another! It wasn’t pretty. You’ve got to be a special kind of person to build boards I think. I am so stoked with this . . . and I’m wondering if I can bring myself to wax it.”
Yeah do it mate, at just 7 kilos with a foam core it’s made to be ridden – just set a line a go!
Mark Riley worked on this board across countless hours over several months, blending a combination of balsa from South America and Papua New Guinea with Australian red cedar stringers. Mark shaped it to classic Hawaiian gun templates, glassed and polished it himself, and at 9’6” x 19” x 3” and super-light, it’s a proven big-wave shape and rocker and will go like a rocket. This gun is a one-off and a labour of love for Mark and is most definitely in the collectors’ category.
“In our 25 years of building Riley Balsawood Surfboards this is the first of it’s kind,” says Mark. “It was built with passion and solely by hand. Laid-up with custom redwood/balsa nose and tailblocks, it has seven stringers using gorgeous deep red cedar. Yes, gorgeous! It’s fitted with a hand-made standard 8” modern gun shape cedar/balsa fin. The deck and bottom are finished with understated, one-off wood laser-cut Riley and PLB 100 logos.”
Over to you Dave!