Lignum Surfboards crafts wooden surfboards and skateboards and hand planes in its workshop in South Devon using Festool’s high-quality power tools.

By using traditional materials, superior craftsmanship and the best-in-class tools with a passion for the ocean, Lignum is creating some of the most sought-after surfboards. Founded in 2016 by Alen Van Rooyen and Harry Robinson, with backgrounds in boat making and traditional carpentry, the two have turned their surfboard-making hobby into a successful business with a small skilful team.

Every board is made and designed from scratch, taking between six to eight weeks to complete. With so much going in to each board, using the right tools to get the best possible finish is critical. 

Asked how they chose their tools, Harry comments: “We are passionate about creating fine, handcrafted wooden surfboards. Festool tools are used to build the boards from start to finish to ensure we can capitalise on the precision that modern technologies offer. I was introduced to Festool by Alen and I just can’t imagine using any other make of power tool now.” 

Alen continues: “Festool tools play a part throughout every build, from the raw material to the last sanding we do before our boards go out the door. The quality of the tools reflects the quality of the work that we can produce. We are after the highest standards and I am confident Festool offers that.”

Echoing Alen’s comments: Harry adds: “Every tradesman will tell you that the two biggest enemies are dust and sanding. The dust gets everywhere and sanding does takes a long time. Any little marks or scratches you leave on the board before you’ve finished will always come back to haunt you. 

“The Festool range is brilliant because the choice of sandpaper is second to none. We can use a variety of backing pads for different stages of the board, together with different hardness and grits. Now we’re able to sand our boards in half the time compared to when we started. It really saves us time, makes a better product and keeps us healthier thanks to the integrated dust extraction system.”

Although the Lignum team is leading the market, it is always keen to learn more. Its relationship with Festool continued way beyond the initial sale, as Harry explains: “We thought we knew a bit about sanding before, but after talking to the Festool experts we learnt that the boards can result in a much better quality. 

“Some of the first boards were verging on uneconomical and we were really concerned. Paul Kirby at Festool introduced us to the Granat sandpaper and that was revolutionary. Festool turned that around with one phone call.”