Living the Wellmade Life

Jesse Raymond

This guy grows Balsa trees in Ecuador and makes hand carved surf boards.

Jesse grows balsa wood and hand selects it for its light weight yet incredibly strong characteristics. His surfboards are custom built and hand-shaped utilizing a hollow chambered design similar to that of an airplane wing. Balsa wood is a fast growth wood that is easily replenished. Each board is about 2 trees, which occupies less forest space then that of your average bathroom. It is recognized for being one of the lightest and strongest building materials on the planet. Jesse believes in using natural materials that have minimal negative environmental impact and minimize the amount of waste wood. He will be planting hundreds of new balsa trees in Ecuador to replenish the groves that he harvests.
  • WMJ
  • What is the oddest job you had to take along the way to get by?
  • JR
  • The concept of a job in General seems Odd.
  • What is something an employer of yours did/does that really made an impact on you ?
  • "Put down the tools and take a surf break when the waves turn on. Grab the boards and hit the mountain when it dumps, or run the river when it's flowing. Gotta keep the priorities strait."
"Cultivate your own version of the dream."
  • WMJ
  • Many of us have done interesting and weird things before we got to where we are now. What were some of your past lives? How did they lead you to the present?
  • JR
  • River guide in West Virginia. Make a split second decision, and go for it!
  • What’s the best part of your job? What's the worst?
  • The best part is surfing your own creations in exotic locations.  The worst part hmmm...dengue fever.
  • WMJ
  • What are the goals you are still working toward?
  • JR
  • A lot of the work that I do can be accomplished by non electric hand tools. Energy independence and  is a goal
  • What/ who are some of the biggest inspirations on your aesthetic ?
  • George Nakashima, Neil Young, Louis L'amore, Jerry Lopez.
  • WMJ
  • What are a few things in your line of work that would really make an impact on the planet, if people started implementing them today?
  • JR
  • Composting organic waste materials
  • What are you working on these days? Anything else you want to promote, share, write about in our blog ?
  • Soultree surf retreat in Sebastion Florida is on it's way. We have surfing and standup paddle boarding 365 days a year on one of the pretty stretches of atlantic coastline in the US


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