New Wooden Toy

On the last cruise with children on the boat, we developed another version of the paddle-bear toy (see related post). We were on a rare sand beach in Maine and found a few cedar shingles. I was trying to think of what we could make with them. One of the kids was already talking about the paddle bears, and I thought: surfboard, yeah, that would work. One of the kids found a black rock that was curved like an Orca fin and we set that in the back of the board to hold the back down and to stabilize the board. Then I made a surfer bear that locks into the board using a large dovetail like the paddle bear. There is no question that surfer bear is an old fashioned long board kind of guy (if the bear is too big he will just fall over).
             There does need to be a fin of some sort of heavy material on the surf board in order to keep the board upright and to hold the back of the surf board down. We also discovered that the cedar shingle got waterlogged very quickly, which made it difficult to do further testing. The concept is fun, I have limited data on how well the paddle bear may actually surf. The prototype only caught one wave before he got too waterlogged to go on.

Surfer Bear Prototype

             Further testing: I have made four surfboards out of shingles of differing sizes and shapes. The boards have been painted with hot wax, to keep them from getting waterlogged. I have also made three different size surfer-bears, and a collection of fins for the surfboards out of different materials. Three toy experts (my nephews and niece) will do clinical testing of the different combinations of boards, paddlers, and fins, in the breaking surf of long island sound. There will also be some pool testing, in part as a control, and in order to observe the differences between salt water and fresh water surfing.
             I will post the results next week. Cowabunga!

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