Since the late 50s Sir Terrance Conran has pioneered the changing aesthetic of modern British design. The Conran Shop is has always been the treasure trove of all things beautiful, combining radical new design with crafted traditions. We are really excited to have been asked to create a range of boards for The Conran Shop, each is signed and numbered in editions of 10. Guns, Logs and short boards to choose from available at their London and Paris stores. We wanted to create a series that showcased sterling British shaping and also relates to the furniture traditions that Conran has always supported. This is a peek into some of the production on the guns, a master class in tail block mitering and rail spraying, courtesy of Mr. Fluin at Phoenix.  


12 amazing prizes - don't miss out on your chance to win - buy tickets here:

All money raised will go towards protecting the UK's oceans, waves & beaches.

The raffle draw is on 18 December 2013


Swami's X SAS - work in progress!

A Swami's collaboration with X-ray photographer Hugh Turvey (artist in residence at the British Institute of Radiology)

"I've collected shells from all the beaches I've sat and surfed on over the years, to me they represent the fragility of the ocean and a celebration of the good times too.
For me boards are always a combination of art, skill, shaping and finish. Surfing's unique, an art form in it's own right and that's always inspiring.
Having worked with Bro and Paul (Pheonix Glassing) for 5 years we've made some fairly unique boards, you're in the hands of masters when you're with them"
Swami's founder, Giles Dunn.

Outputting the prints, which are dye-sublimated onto rice paper, photos: Stephen Kemp (The Print Environment)


These are some shots of the board, shaped and glassing up, pre-sanding and finishing.  Images: Paul Fluin, Master Finisher (Phoenix)





We haven't got lost in the blogishere but a little someone came along and has distracted us for a while.. Keeping our regular inspiration blog going is on hold for a bit. Please bare with us as we keep developing things and refine our juggling act with new editions in the world of Swami's.

Kumbh Mela 2013 : Humanities Largest Gathering 

The Kumbh Mela at Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, India happens once every 12 years with 2013 being considered the most auspicious gathering for 144 years. Allahabad, situated at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers is complimented by the mythical Saraswati river to form one of the most sacred places in Hindu belief and philosophy. A dip at the intersection of rivers known as the Triveni Sangam is considered to purge sins and assist one on the path to Moksha (liberation)

A “pop up megacity” as a research team from Harvard called it, the Kumbh Mela is well known for its spectacular gatherings of pilgrims and congregations of saints, seers, philosophers, gurus, preachers and disciples. An estimated 80 to 100 Million people visit during the festival’s 6 week duration beginning in mid January with the most auspicious bathing days attracting more than 7 million bathers along the banks of the rivers.


Saunton, normally the reserve of styling mellow longboarding - this was the scene on Sunday. The best Fall swell to hit, double over head on the big sets - we had fun, big fun! 

Photos: Thanks to Magicseaweed

This is a special commission done as a one-off for a client but I'm so into the heritage of this board that we might bring it into the Swami's line.

It's based on quite a rare 70s template that our shaper dusted off. Single fin only keeping it pure to the era, rich resin tint finished in our usual double glass layered wraps and what we call a Swami's dipped nose (top 1/3rd gloss polish, bottom 2/3rd wet n' dry)
Clotted cream with chocolate decal - Yum! even tastier in a shoulder high swell.

The shortest but sparkiest in the rack this little 6.0" Fish with quad setup gives exceptional drive and maneuverability proving that it's possible to have one foot in the past but still surf progressively.

Shape + finish supreme in tobacco soaked double wrap with dipped gloss / wet n' dry split.

This has to be my favorite colour - built to caliper perfection for gliding Autumn swells.

Throughout the course of building Swami's, there have been few projects that we've been prouder of than Portrait of a Surfer.
Alan Aboud and I had been friends from our days at St. Martins School of Art, he's a creative director who has worked with Paul Smith for over 20 years. Coincidently through the Swami's x PS collaboration project we crossed paths on a work level for the first time.
I'd always wanted to make a surf movie that felt a little different and could give a more personal account of what it means to be a surfer. I'd mentioned this to Alan and whether or not he knew of anyone we could work with, to my surprise he said that he'd love to be involved. We'd been working with Sam (Bleakley) for a few years and for me I couldn't think of anyone that epitomises the committed life of a surfer / writer than Sam, he was the perfect person to build the project around and we were very stoked when he agreed to be involved.

Alan had been collaborating on some amazing film projects with the director Steve Langmanis, as soon as we saw his work we knew immediately that they would create the most incredible film. Steve has a natural sense of story telling and a very inquisitive nature, we talked through some ideas together and set about planning the shoot. Time wasn't on our side, we were all super busy and finding a slot to schedule the shoot in was getting tricky. So it wasn't until late November that we actually got the chance to get down to Cornwall. The shoot was scheduled for 3 days, it was going to be a challenge, we needed sun and hopefully some swell to at least create the sense of a fading summer.

Due to the limited time we'd have at the location Steve recommended that we should storyboard some ideas. Ilka and I went down a few days before to prep the shoot and hang out with Sam. Alan, Steve, Stefan (the steadicam and second camera) and Ian (Steve's assistant) arrived a few days later at sunset. We walked down the hill and straight to the house. Everyone was amazed by the location, the light and landscape, everything.. The house, perched right on the headland just above the beach was a mind blowing situation. I presented the script, he glanced over it, laid it down on the table and politely explained they needed to be much more free form..
They wanted to embed themselves down at the beach, get up at first light, capture everything they could, embrace the atmosphere, the elements, the colour etc.. the script was out but we had complete trust in both Alan's and Steve's vision, we could see that they were super inspired to be there and for us that was just about perfect.

The crew spent the next three days filming non stop, jumping from one scenario to the next, planning scenes as they went along. So much of what we could do was based on the weather, we were as far west as we could be in England and the weather and light changed almost every minute. Having been raised on the headland Sam could literally tell us when the best light would appear and miraculously it seemed to. Everything turned on including a great hefty swell to boot. After 3 days of filming they had cans of footage and we wrapped, packed the van and left for home, cautiously optimistic.

Previously I'd contacted Julius Brighton who Sam had introduced us to. Julius is the most amazing wild life photographer and we commissioned him to capture the surf footage that we wanted to weave into the film. They'd waited for the right swells throughout October and connected to film some beautiful slowmo footage. The board which we'd made especially for the shoot was finish just in time, in fact what you see in the film is the first session Sam had ever had with it.

Over the next few months the film was carefully knit together, the editing process saw the film come to life and miraculously made all the spontaneity of the filming flow seamlessly together, there had been a plan all along!
Sam's narrative brought an honest and personal tone that was amazing. The icing on the cake was the sound design created by Steve's brother Andrew at Radium Audio.

Our aim with everything to do with Swami's is to create ideas and products that come with a high level of integrity, thought and passion, that's what lead us to work with Alan, Steve, Sam and all the other photographers, designers and crafts people that we work with. Portrait of a Surfer went beyond what we'd ever expected as a film and somehow captured what we're attempting as a brand. To date over 34,000 people have seen it and I think it's a testament to the skill and passion that went into making it. We're very proud and grateful to everyone that was involved.
With many thanks,

Ilka and Giles


Alan Aboud, Aboud Creative 
Steve Langisman, Digital Pro
Andrew Diey, Radium Audio

left to right: Sandy and Sam Bleakley, Stefan Krt, Stephen Langmanis, Alan Aboud and Giles Dunn.

Chalky looking Quad Fish with birch ply glassed in fin set and what we're calling a Swami's dipped nose (gloss polish and wet n' dry split).

The glassed in fins are completely buoyant so there's no added weight to the board, also giving increased drive.













Behind the scenes look at our Tee shirt production.
What is it about the smell of fresh screen printing ink?! I can't describe it but hopefully this series of stills gives an idea.
To me watching things come together at the production stage is always really inspiring: films output, screens made, colours mixed by hand, bright inks on squeegees, all of which are done by hand and sometimes in quite rudimentary ways which always seems reassuring to me especially in the hands of our master printer - Thanks Anita for your print perfection.

If you find yourself in Braunton, North Devon this summer, pop into Surfed Out. Great surf shop with choice boards including a few of ours. Thanks, G and D

The first in a new range of resin tints. 9.6" single fin based on a classic 1960's Californian template - glide delux!

The finish on this is deck is supreme, combining gloss polished on the nose down to wet n' dry on the lower 2/3rds to the tail block.
She's a beauty for sure, onroute to North Devon...


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