Tuesday, September 25, 2012

10th World Bellyboards..the celebrity boards

Photo courtesy of Mike Thomas

And this is what it's all about, folks! Sheer enjoyment, exhilaration and some good old-fashioned British Eccentricity! And speaking of eccentric, that's me in the photo, as seen in the Daily Mail Online. Probably the best pic I have of me 'in action', as it were.

As has been mentioned in the previous blog, I had a commission via Gavin of Traditional Surfing Co  to design and paint the two bellyboards he had donated, that the celebrities Rory McGrath and Will Mellor rode during filming of their part in this event. The boards were to be raffled off afterwards, all proceeds to the National Trust and the Bellyboards event.

Rather than go all prosy on you, here are some photos showing the creation of the boards with a few explanatory notes....


The brief was that the board should show a neck-down version of the old fashioned knitted costume that Rory was going to wear. The idea was that Will would have the board in front of him and a wig on, and would look like Rory. The brief specified the rotund form and skinny, hairy legs! (Rory's legs aren't at all skinny I think, but all part of the fun!

 I used artists acrylic paints direct onto the bare board. (Traditional Surfing boards are made of lightweight marine ply.) My own board was decorated over a year ago using these paints; no varnish protection at all. I've used it in all sorts of surfing conditions and the painted image shows no sign of wear.

 Waiting for the paint to dry a bit more, the board's propped up near my own board; you can see a bit of it in the photo. Time for a cuppa then!

 The finished board!

 I'd just done Will's board, when the call came to do Rory's board as well. The brief was that it needed to contain his favourite elements of Cornwall, he being a good Illogan boy, so I set to and arranged a series of images from pints to pasties.

Unfortunately I was running short of white paint and had no time to run into Camborne for more so I experimented with some acrylic lino printing ink I had on a scrap piece of wood. This was no good, it turned out not to be waterproof, so I decided to wing it with the acrylic I had left and work round it. As it happened the tube lasted right to the last brushstroke! Lucky or what....

 Late hours were worked.....

 Until finally.......

 Playing to the camera.... Will should have just stood and held the board beneath his chin, would have worked better, but never mind...............

Yeah, well, why not? Me n Rory...

 and with Will.....

 Looks cold out there.........

A bit of advice from an old hand

Rory to the left

Will's turn...he's looking nervous!

 A soak in the hot tub. I was grateful for them, after my event, too!


  1. Sue, well done on all counts! Great surfing pic of you - so brave of everyone involved not to wear wetsuits, the sea looks bitterly cold. But what a good idea those hot tubs are. Lesley x

  2. brilliant! well done, the boards look great