One of the leading surfers in the world is helping the surf industry thrive in Cornwall by educating the next generation of industry experts.
Professional surfer Ben Skinner is sharing the talent and resources at his Newquay-based company Skindog Surfboards, with degree students from Cornwall College Newquay, giving them a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience of building a custom board.
Working in partnership with Cornwall College, Ben and his team at the Skindog factory are helping FdSc Surf Science & Technology students to design, shape, paint and finish their own custom surfboards as part of the ‘production methods’ module of their specialist foundation degree programme.
Eleven times European longboard champion Ben Skinner, explained: “We are really excited about doing the boardbuilding course with Cornwall College and it’s something that we all find interesting; teaching and passing on the knowledge that we’ve learnt along the way. It’s been a great process building our factory and being able to offer our services to Cornwall College and give the students the experience of getting hands-on and having a custom board built is great.”
Few students in the world can boast they are learning directly from Ben Skinner and his team of industry leading professionals, which includes Ben’s business partner and expert glasser Jason Gray, sander Charlie Catling and sprayer Jesús González Verdi from Spain.
Surf Science Programme Manager Ruth Martin from Cornwall College Newquay, said: “No other college in the world offers such a unique opportunity and experience as this. Our students will each get to spend an entire week learning the skills of the industry, working side-by-side with Ben and his talented team at the factory, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects associated with surfboard construction.”
The board build experience will include students learning about the entire process of creating a custom board, ranging from Commuter Aided Design (CAD) and client analysis to the practical skills of board building, laminating and finishing.
Surf Science & Technology student Daniel Priddle is “counting down the minutes” until he can start to make his own board design with the Skindog team.
Daniel said: “I’ve been a huge fan of Ben Skinner not only for his company and surfboards, but for his career as a professional surfer, so being given the opportunity to meet him, let alone shape a board with him is amazing!”
Daniel continued: “I’m so excited to work alongside Ben and the team and to soak up all the information and knowledge I possibly can from them. You can see they’re keen to make sure we get the most out of the experience which is really nice to know, especially as it is a serious consideration of mine as a potential career.”
For more information on the Surf Science and Marine Sport Science courses available at Cornwall College Newquay visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0845 22 32 567.
Skindog Surfboards produces the highest quality, hand crafted custom surfboards in Cornwall. Visit their website at www.skindogsurfboards.co.uk