Santa Cruz and surfing go together like peanut butter and jelly. Santa Cruz is considered one of the top surfing spots in California, and with 11 world-class surf breaks, the nickname “Surf City” is well-earned.
But in addition to great waves, Santa Cruz also is home to a number of talented surfboard makers. Sure, you can buy a surfboard off the rack, but when you invest in a custom board, you are also investing in supporting the heart of the surf industry and the craftspeople who build boards. You also get to experience the difference in surfing a board specifically made for your body and surfing style.
Here are the surfboard shapers in Santa Cruz you should check out if you are in the market for a custom board:
Doug Haut has been shaping and selling surfboards in the Santa Cruz area since 1965! He started surfing here in 1957 — before wetsuits, before leashes, before the university, before crowds. This man knows his boards and the local surfer needs. You can check out his wide selection of beautiful board styles online or at the shop on Swift Street in Santa Cruz.
Marc started shaping boards in 1970, and after living up and down the California coast, he settled in Santa Cruz. Marc’s specialty is the single-fin displacement hull board, designed to sit lower in the water than a traditional board. Enthusiasts of this board like them because they force a closer engagement with the wave. Learn more about Marc’s boards at Andreini Surfboards.
William “Stretch” Reidel
Stretch (so named for his bean-pole build) specializes in 4-fin boards. The industry standard is 3 fins, and early experiments with 4-fin boards in the 80s were clunky and slow. But Stretch stuck with the design, tweaking it to perfection. His boards are named in a 2011 Guiness Book of World Records entry, when surfer Garrett McNamara caught a record-setting 78-foot wave in Portugal on one of Stretch’s quads. Stretch also pioneered the use of environmentally-friendly EPS epoxy foam and resin to replace traditional polyurethane and polystyrene. You can find his boards at Stretch Boards.
One of very few female shapers in the industry, Ashley focuses on building sleek longboard shapes, made specifically for Santa Cruz’s slow, easygoing point breaks, and harkening back to bygone days of surfboard design. Ashley is also a musician – look for her performing with her husband locally with the band The Shapes. Find her boards at Ashley Lloyd Surfboards.
More recent to the shaping scene than most of the shapers mentioned here, Michel’s signature is experimentation. He builds boards in a variety of shapes and styles, all with meticulous attention to handmade care – down to the psychedelic, pastel color glass jobs that he does in-house. Find his wide range of boards at Surfboards by Michel Junod.
Whether you are in the market for a custom board, or just curious about the artistry behind custom-shaped boards, Santa Cruz is a great place to find beautiful boards made with deep love for the craft.