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Travel to Papua New Guinea and build a balsa board

Mark Riley from Balsawood surfboards foray into the wilds of Papua New Guinea.

Video from the 2016 trip - click here


Mark Riley owner of Riley  Balsa Surfboards visited the balsawood farm and factory in PNG from where he sources his balsawood and then took a group surfing to Kavieng staying at the Nusa Island Retreat, which is the capital of the New Guinean Province of New Ireland situated on the northern tip of the island in April 2016 and 2017. 

Mark has been building Eco friendly Balsa boards for the past 20 years and originally sourced his balsawood from Ecuador, but 5 years ago discovered a much better quality wood in PNG, and since then has been importing containers of balsawood from PNG.

Mark and his party traveled to PNG by Air Niugini direct to Nusa Island on the same day.

The whole adventure was recorded and documented by Ian Hamilton from Lime light Studios. They have edited a stand alone video that highlights the ecological benefits of using balsa instead of PU foam and also the work carried out by  SAPNG and  PNGPTA.

 SAPNG - SURFING ASSOCIATION OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA. They have developed a unique and sustainable foundation upon which the surfing resource is developed and managed for the collective benefit of its traditional resource custodians and SAPNG affiliated surf clubs and commercial operators. The rest of the world needs to take note.

The inaugural adventure in 2016 was to meet and surf with the locals and to build boards with them and create great new friendships with great success.

The group stayed at the beautiful Nusa Island Retreat which is renowned for its eco friendly environment and thinking.

This will be a yearly event so if you are interested in the 2018 trip contact Mark and start planning now.

November 3-16, 2018

 Join us in Papua New Guinea for your endless summer on this fully escorted reef tour of Rubio Surf Camp and Nusa Island Retreat. This incredible location will have you living the island life in no time. We have teamed up with Mark Riley an Australian balsa surfboard shaper to run a unique surf safari into the wilds of Papua New Guinea. We will be milling the addition to your personal quiver from local balsa resources, shaping it and sending it home with you. Our two-week surf gig in paradise will be unique; beyond designing your board with locals you will have the chance to fish, surf, and visit Kavieng, Nusa, and Rubio. Handcrafted balsa wood boards created to your specs. In addition to daily surf sessions, this offering includes amazing opportunities for world-class surfing, fishing, kayaking, diving and snorkeling. You will learn the entire process of felling local balsa, milling the planks and the craftsmanship involved in building & shaping the final product. This is a surf trip like no other! (extra to build your own board $1000)

All surf levels welcome but surfing experience recommended. All levels will have an opportunity to meet their challenge. 

No matter where you live this trip can be catered for you to arrive in Kavieng all together for a one of a kind adventure. 

To book click here PNG NOV 2018

If you wanted to build your own board or a blank under the guidance of Mark and the locals send a message to mark - (extra $1000)

 Time lapse of Mark making a balsa mini mal with the locals and handing out gifts to the children.

 Link for story in Smorgasboarder -

For more info on this years trip check out -

Testimonial -

Passing on a message of thanks from a parent. 
Connor has not stopped talking since he got home last night. What an amazing experience he had in PNG. He feels very privileged to of been able to go. He keeps commenting on how little they have but how happy they are. And has realised how lucky he is. Thank you so much to you and the other teachers for your support and guidance, we really do appreciate it. Have a great weekend, cheers