We caught up with Mr Mell post board test and asked him to run us through some key moments of the trip. Enjoy in his own words as you peruse through the following lovely images from master lensman Grant Ellis.
JARED MELL: Borrowing templates and getting help from your friends who are more experienced. There is such a authentic and natural way of progression when knowledge is passed around freely to help those grow in a passion that keeps us doing what we love.
JARED MELL: Making sure it looks even and waiting for the ok. All of us mostly drew our outlines on the grass. One of the carefree things about being together with your friends is they’ll give you the ok and help you along the way but let you work out what you need to be able to figure it out for yourself.
JARED MELL: The shaping bay, ultimate freedom to create what you want. Essentially no rules, that’s why we’ve seen beautiful surfboards and terrible ones come out of there.
JARED MELL: It was so fun to be doing your thing while someone from the group would come down for a chat. Everyone wanted to get in there as much as we could with the limited time we had. We would take turns using planers in the day and the hand tools during the evening and night to maximize shaping time.
JARED MELL: This would be in the night as I laugh probably at someone trying to get in for their turn. We would heckle, help, and just hang around talking stories. This is way we learned from our elders to share knowledge to better ourselves, shaping, surfing and become closer in camaraderie of the surfer brotherhood.
JARED MELL: Getting use to your tools, learning the way they feel while taking the layers back to get where you want. The more you use them, the more familiar you become. It almost becomes like muscle memory and then you begin to learn little tricks to make it even more fun.
JARED MELL: Nothing but laughs and good times as we all gave our two cents. We would stay up and just hang out in there. Taking turns shaping, critiquing and enjoying our moments at the shed.
JARED MELL: Putting in final touches with the surfoam. Ryan Burch showed me a couple pointers on final details for this fish. He also was kind enough to give me his template and some other helpful tips.
JARED MELL: The final look before taking her in to be glassed. Surfer wanted to get a final shot of each of us with our finished shape and a little input before we drove up to San Fransisco to the glass shop. This was behind our shaping bay.
JARED MELL: It is very satisfying seeing your board finished and how everything came together. As well as exciting to think about how it look when it comes out of the glass shop. Thinking about the your first session and where it will be, the waves you will get to try it in.
JARED MELL: “And when the fog's over and the stars and the moon come out at night it'll be a beautiful sight.” ― Jack Kerouac
JARED MELL: An exciting moment as we walked into the glass shop. We were excited to see how they were going to get all of our boards done in two days. I think mine was glassed in one day as I left the night after for the Vans duct tape invitational in China.
JARED MELL: Taking it easy and feeling it out for the first time at one of my favorite waves in Bali. This wave was where I tried out one of my first single fins I ever shaped. In this photo the wave looks very playful but can be a bit more critical on the right swell. When you start to work out where you can push the board and how it feels on rail it starts to get even more exciting to think about where you can go from there on something you made.
If you wanna read the full story of the Handmade journey head over to our friends at SURFER.