Somerset Times

My Personal Project – Will Barry

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 3, Term Two, 2019

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My name is Will Barry and I am a year 10 student participating in the Middle Years Program (MYP) Personal Project. My project is about making the perfect surfboard for my surfing style, body type and surfing ability.

As soon as I moved to the Gold Coast in 2015, I was drawn straight into surfing. Surfing is not just a past time to me but a way to relieve stress, meet new people and be part of a community with a rich history. When I first heard about the Personal Project in my first full year of school at Somerset in 2016, I automatically knew that I wanted to shape my own surfboard.

The way a surfboard is able to float someone on top of a wave and be able to move water in way that that it is controllable fascinated me. When I actually started to begin the Personal Project journey last year, I realised that I would have to do more than just make a surfboard, I had to do something else to make it more challenging and relate to one of the MYP’s global contexts. So, I decided to relate my surfboard to the global context, scientific and technical innovation, and make it perfect for my surfing style, body type and surfing ability.

Throughout the design and production of my surfboard I have learnt a tremendous amount about shaping, painting and glassing a surfboard. As a base for my research interviewed a shaper I know of, Dave, who helped me design the specifications of my board and talked through some techniques and skills that I needed to know before I started. Shaping the board through the year, I have taught myself many of the techniques I needed to know by slowly trying different things and figuring out what tools I needed to use in what situations.

Unfortunately in recent weeks whenever I have had the time to be painting and glassing the board, it has been raining. Wet weather is an issue because I need to spray paint and glass the board outside to minimise the toxic chemicals I am surrounded by and I am going to use a catalyst in the resin that makes it only set when it is exposed to sunlight giving me extra time to perfect the glassing stage. I have now started the painting stage and have completed one of the four colours I need to paint.

I am excited to finish my board and be able to test it out in the water.

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