Equipment Review: Leather Goban


Leather Goban

Descrip­tion: If one ever had the notion that wood boards were too cum­ber­some to carry around or a pain to store away, AmbyR00 has made a beau­ti­ful leather goban that is sure to please any go enthu­si­ast look­ing for a light­weight go board that is really sturdy! And to top it off, it’s envi­ron­men­tally friendly because it is made from excess leather from shoe and bag fac­to­ries, com­pressed into sheets!

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Title, Hand­made Leather Goban
Prod­uct, Goban (Go Board)
Mate­r­ial, Leather (from excess shoe and bag fac­to­ries)
Prod­uct Dimen­sions,  19.6 in. x 18.3 in. x 1 mm (approx­i­mate width x height x thick­ness )
Weight, Neg­li­gi­ble
Ven­dor & Man­u­fac­turer, AmbyR00



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What’s the best aspect about this product?

  • Made out of beau­ti­ful leather made use of excess leather that’s easy to store away!

What is the weak­est aspect of this product?

  • Because it’s made out of leather, it doesn’t have the wood sound when you place each stone, but this is expected and it should be noted that it comes with its own pleas­ant feel­ing when each stone con­tacts the board.

Is it durable?

  • As far as I can tell, this will be able to go through a seri­ous beat­ing before becom­ing unusable.

Bot­tom Line

  1. This is a gor­geous leather go board that looks pro­fes­sion­ally made!
  2. Totally worth it if you’re into leather prod­ucts and would love to own a goban made of one!


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When AmbyR00 first told me about his board, I was hop­ing that it would be some­thing that would be eas­ily stored away and dif­fi­cult to store away. In addi­tion, I was hop­ing that it would be made of qual­ity leather so that it didn’t feel cheap and eas­ily frayed and damaged.


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A major­ity of the gob­ans that I have owned thus far have all been made of wood, so I was thrilled to get a chance to review a goban made of non-traditional material!

Here is it in all its glory! (The back is just a straight leather pat­tern with no mark­ings, so I didn’t take a pic­ture of it.)

Though impacted by a slight tinge of yel­low light­ing, the board is a beau­ti­ful cof­fee brown color that con­trasts really well with the black lines drawn for the goban.

Here’s a close-up of AmbyR00’s sig­na­ture! So cool!

As it stands, I think that this makes a great table goban since it’s super light-weight and is really a plea­sure to use. Here are some pic­tures of the board in action!





At the end of the day, if you’re look­ing for a light-weight goban that looks gor­geous and is easy to store away, this leather goban def­i­nitely fits the bill! Let me know if you ever have any addi­tional questions!


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The orig­i­nal post can be found here: “Leather is sexy, espe­cially with polka dots”, but I’ve recre­ated the con­tent here because my biggest fear is that the link might break one day if Blog­ger ever goes down.

As I’m work­ing as an intern in a lit­tle work­shop that prints and binds cal­en­dars and presses many dif­fer­ent things from many dif­fer­ent mate­ri­als I got an oppor­tu­nity to use a silk press to print some leather gob­ans for the go club I plan to set up. Now all I need is some stones.

I used Inkscape to cre­ate the print (hint: use Inkscape to view it!) on the leather board, you can down­load the design and freely use it with your own goban. I printed the board on six trans­paren­cies, that I taped together and used as a film to develop a tem­plate for the silk press. I was orig­i­nally going for six goban, but ended up with ten of them.

The leather before it was cut. This wasn’t the only one.
This was the tem­plate used to cre­ate the prints on the boards.

The fin­ished boards look actu­ally very nice. Leather is pretty good mate­r­ial for cre­at­ing some­thing like a portable goban. I’ll need to take a pic­ture of one in day­light so it cap­tures the whole beauty of them. Here’s one I took with my phone when they were out from print and dry­ing up:

The fin­ished boards. The polka dots really cheer them up.

Actu­ally, these are not the first boards I have made, I also did some smaller prac­tice boards few months ago from ply­wood, laser printed paper gob­ans, glue and water.


See you later! ^^ /gg”

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  • Con­tact AmbyR00 for more information!


Last Updated on Feb­ru­ary 7th, 2014

  • Nate Eagle

    Do you have any details from AmbyR00 about the story behind this prod­uct? Curi­ous what pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence AmbyR00 had with leather, what inspired them (sorry, the name’s ambigu­ous) to make a goban like this, etc.

    • Ben

      I wish I did! I shot him a mes­sage to see if there’s any­thing else he wants to add to the prod­uct, but I think the fastest way to find out the answer to your ques­tion is to go ahead and hit him up on Twit­ter! =D

    • AmbyR00


      I sent some back­ground info to Ben a while ago. I bet he’ll update this post soon to include some facts about this product. :)

      - Jaro

      • Ben

        Sorry for the delay! But I’ll def­i­nitely be updat­ing this review soon this week!

  • Ruben Berenguel

    Last year I made me a half-board for tsumego solv­ing ( ) I have access to all kinds of leather, but no print­ing presses, sadly. I drew the lines by hand with a per­ma­nent marker (after mark­ing them by pres­sure.) A few days ago I also made a 13x13 hex board, I want to improve my hex abil­i­ties some­what (I suck at hex)

    • Ben

      Nice job on your half board! Def­i­nitely a clever idea for solv­ing tsumego prob­lems. You should get in touch with AmbyR00 to exchange ideas on what to do with your leather! I’m sure you guys could come up with lots of clever cre­ate go boards. =)