In 2009, my wife bought me a surfboard building kit as a gift. It came with a blank, some very basic hand tools, and everything I needed to glass it. I really enjoyed the process and when it was finished, I thought it was the best board ever. Looking back, it was pretty ugly and didn't ride very well, but I loved the process and wanted to do it again. I cleared a spot in the garage and with a few simple hand tools, got to shaping and glassing another one.
With each board I built, I got better, I paid attention to what I was doing, learned from my mistakes, and started collecting the tools of the trade. I spent a lot of time researching board design, watching videos of guys shaping and glassing surfboards, and soaking up as much information as I could about the craft. Most of what I have learned has been the hard way, with blood, sweat, tears, and mistakes along the way. I am fortunate to have had a lot of advice and help from a local board builder, who I consider to be one of the best in the business. Having him as a resource has been invaluable and has eased a lot of the pain of the learning curve.
Now I have a shaping room and a glassing room and even though I still have a full-time job, I find myself working on surfboards almost every day.
About My Boards
It's no secret that building surfboards (or anything for that matter) by hand isn't exactly lucrative. Hand shaping is a dying art. Shaping machines build most boards these days, they are fast, precise, efficient and have made hand shaping almost a thing of the past. Pop-outs from overseas have also hurt board builders, they are cheap, some cheaper than the materials would cost here in the US to build the same board.
There are, however, some of us who still choose to build boards by hand and there are major advantages to having a custom board built. You aren't limited to a board on the rack at your local surf shop, instead, you get to work with a shaper to design a board specifically for you and the waves you surf. You are buying a board built with the highest quality materials from someone who stands behind their work. You can also customize many options other than the shape including glass job, stringer, fin setup, foam density, and artwork.
All of my boards are built by hand and I offer a variety of artwork options, if you can come up with it, chances are I can put it on a board. I also do ding repair and full surfboard restoration. Take a minute to look at some of my boards and feel free to contact me with any questions you have or to start your custom board!
Pete with Pandion Art & Design does quite a bit of artwork for me. He is a very talented artist, a yacht designer, a hell of a good guy, and his artwork is amazing. Most of what he has done for me so far has been hand drawn art using posca pens with incredible detail. He has done some wood burning and foam carving for me as well and we are constantly working on new, different things you won't find anywhere else. See some of his work here.