Description: Jim Banks and Garry Bennett’s 9’0” jarrah gun. Back from the winter at Red Bluff, down near Margaret River, former Bronzed Aussie and legendary tube hunter and shaper Jim Banks was hanging out with Garry Bennett. Bennett, apart from being a keen surfer is one of Australia’s most notable and awarded furniture designers. “Garry mentioned he had some old timber under the house,” Banks told Surf Europe, “and we talked about the idea of building a surfboard from wood, purely as an artifact. For me it was the realisation of a dream that I had had for a long time. Surfboards are beautiful, especially the bigger guns and I’d always wanted to make boards that reflected that. Not to surf, but as pure pieces of art to hang on the wall.”
Expect to pay: The board is in Garry’s Jah-Roc Gallery (www.jahroc.com) with this hefty price tag of around €12,000.
Why So Valuable? “Garry’s furniture pieces often sell in excess of 30 grand,” says Jim. “He simply calculated his normal general workshop rates for the price for Big Red. The thing is he later told me the jarrah timber we used was from a tree at least 700 years old, maybe even 1000 years old, which is pretty special. And to just get to the planing stage, doing the template, then cutting the timber and glueing the wood was a long process. I didn’t realise Jarrah is as hard as steel, it literally clangs when you drop it, but I just used my normal planer and took my time. Garry did the fins and the whole process took at least a few weeks.” Oh, and it looks fucking amazing.
Anything Else? If you buy this gun, Jim advises not to take it for a spin. “The board wasn’t meant to be surfed. It doesn’t even float. Not even Kelly Slater or Laird could surf this,” laughed Banksy. Don’t despair though Jim and Gary are currently working on designing and creating some wooden boards that you can surf. “With guitars, the older they get, the better they sound. I’m really interested in making boards that actually get better with age.” Save up that toll change and watch this space.