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Chalk Surf Board Sign
The summer I turned 14, my father took me with him for two weeks to the North Shore of O’ahu where we stayed at his friend’s beach front house. His friend had a drywall renovation project and my father always said, “Yes,” to helping his friends. This house in Ka’a’awa was a breezy, open, plantation style home and I loved North Shore, O’ahu vibes.
The sunny morning after my father took me to the Honolulu annual Fiftieth State Fair, a fellow walked into the beach house yard carrying a used Willis Brother’s Sunset Beach shaped surfboard. Some of you will remember that brand although they long since closed down. The young tanned surfer was leaving the island, headed back to the US mainland, going door to door asking $60 for his board.
My father, as was his custom, didn’t ask me but there he went to find his wallet where he came up cash short. Then, he remembered his Susan B. Anthony coin dollars left over from the Fiftieth State Fair and seeing that he came up a couple dollars shy, the young surfer smiled at my father’s joy buying his daughter, peaking out from the upstairs window this board, and said, “That’ll be enough. Tell her to enjoy the board.” He smiled up at me through the window and I smiled shyly back at him.
To get it home, my father found some cardboards scraps, haphazardly wrapping the pieces around the board and used clear packing tape to seal it in tight. Good old, Aloha Airlines didn’t even blink at the shape, they’d seen this many times in the islands before and neither did they think to charge for baggage in those days. After all, Hawaiians gave surfing to the world. They get the global credit for being the first and only people’s on the entire Earth to ride waves using Koa wood. One of Princess Ka’iulani’s few relics left displayed at Bishop Museum is her ‘mini gun’ and her favorite board to ride. You can pick up a copy of her story here. Read about her life story and how she recalls waiting on the Lanai for her friend Mark Twain to stop by between his famous trips to the South Pacific.
Eventually, the board became so dinged, repaired and water logged that it was no longer useable. No way I wanted to throw it away besides it’s not just a Willis Brother Sunset Beach board but it also is a Clark foam blank. No longer are surf boards made out of the famous Clark foam blanks they are all epoxy. Hanging on my wall in Simply Natural is the last Clark foam blank board a local shaper had in stock and used to custom make for me. By the time I was ordering this ‘ice cream’ custom board Clark foam boards was officially out of business after nearly 40 years of dominating the industry.
I thought of how to repurpose my surf board. Should I make it into a table top or simply hang it on the wall? It’s yellowed and so banged up I thought it wasn’t pretty enough to reuse those ways. I began to scan through #DIYchalkboard sign ideas on Pinterest becoming inspired and confident I could do something like that here at Hawai’i Simply Natural to advertise my specials.
Now, I can paint some simple things and you know how they always say, paint what you know so it was going to be my same age old design that i’ve been decorating my personal letters and journal with since middle school. Feel free to be inspired by my design but I’m sure you’ve got better skills than me.
I gathered the following items:
1 old surfboard
(try looking on craiglist if you don’t have one already)
1 can chalkboard paint
from local hardware or craft store
1 brand new smooth paint brush
1 can red paint
1 can green paint
1 can yellow paint
1 can white paint
1 drill bit
3 feet of bendable metal or maybe some rope would work better- you decide
This is what I did for my board’s design and I already know I’m not that talented so please do a better job on yours; lol.
Soften the old wax by letting it sit in the sun.
Scrape the board clean of all old wax, dirt or any residue accumulated while in your storage with a flat bladed tool such as a drywall scraper or a credit card.
Use the masking tape to outline the top of your board and make a boarder.
Paint 2 coats with a full dry time between them.
Carefully peel off the masking tape.
Paint over your boarders your own design or copy these. I painted these hibiscus inspired, cute, little red flowers with white and yellow accents over a green curling vine.
Let that dry.
Drill two holes evenly spaced 12 inches below the nose of the board,
Use the wire to loop through the holes, bending it into a hook for your needs.
Let me know how your surf chalkboard came out in the comments below. Post your website too, or email for further information. Join my email list to be eligible for a free copy of my memoir soon to be released.