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

  • 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!

  • 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 13×13 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. =)