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Beaches, sun, and of course, surfing is what immediately springs to mind with vivid pictures of the sweeping California coastline which if you have visited or live in the Golden State you know there is more than meets the eye geographically.
From the rocky cliffs of Big Sur to the expansive wide-open sea lined views of Malibu and beyond; indeed there is quite a bit of surfing to be had but what some may or may not know is California is home to a few of the most intuitive and creative talents this side of the Western region of the Continental U.S.
Beyond the pro surf athletes or the brands that have traveled out of Australia or Hawaii into California are the elite craftsmen that literally take bespoke customization to heart in creating— the perfect surfboard. From eco-chíc biodegradable components to gorgeous reclaimed wood varietals to marble-like finishes all ringing true as a high-end understatement. No, it is beyond the aesthetics for these talented sorts— they literally take the time to compile a profile to determine who you are, what suits your body type, your skill level, and so on.
Surfing is excellent for your physical and mental well-being by presenting a challenge for those that want to push their body to the ultimate energetic flow that provides an almost spiritual sense of unification with the ocean. The sport itself takes quite a bit of agility which like any sport anyone can hone into your own athletic level but with the perfect bespoke board specifically crafted for you, it even more so provides that special communion between you, your board, and the all-encompassing waves.
GUY OKAZAKI SURFBOARDS
Guy Okazaki Surfboards still remains under the careful guidance and leadership of the master surfing matchmaker himself, Guy Okazaki.
Naturally gifted with bringing his intuitive surfboard shaping skillset to the marketplace in the 1950s as a young boy to now with his shaping and design attributes. Okazaki fuses his instinct, technology and his lifelong passion for surfing to create one of his works of art for you to take out to the Pacific and beyond. He literally takes the time to get to know you, where you surf and what exactly you desire in a board to craft and breathe life into a high-performance work of art that he has come to be known for out on the waves.
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Hess Surfboards is the brainchild of Danny Hess, the master shaper that took a passion for wood craftsmanship and fine design creating it into a sustainable symphony of wood grain beauty.
Based in San Francisco, blocks away from Ocean Beach resides the craftsman and his team that has become known for his environmentally sound surfboards constructed with reclaimed locally sourced varietal wood, recycled foam, and taking it a step even further sealing his woodland delights with bio-resins. (For those not familiar with bio-resins, more research is being developed to boost its usage and sustainability factors used to mitigate dependence on less-renewable petroleum-based counterparts without sacrificing performance.) Hess has become quite the point man in Northern California when it comes to his sustainable boards not only for their look and feel but also for the quality that is ever apparent. However, quality does come with patience some of these customized beauties do take a bit of time to create anywhere from one-to-six months depending on the order.
JEFF TROTTER DESIGN X WAX SURF CO.
Wax Surf Co. is the physical embodiment of the raw, edginess of New York mixed with the free-spirited, spontaneity of California all encompassed within the surfboard dreams of Tyler Jorgenson, a U.S. Marine veteran.
Stemming from his background—studying architecture it is within that profound degree of precision and love for the sport that Jorgenson embarked on creating a bi-coastal surf brand that resonates with its clientele on either side of the country. His sheer dedication for the love of surf and designing a board that can handle any surf seaside has even brought him to a collaboration with West Coast design darling, Jeff Trotter with his jaw-dropping “Skin Surf” and “Stone Surf” collections (pictured). Both collections represent high-end design quality at its best inspired from crocodile skin to malachite and marble— these stunning creations look like works of art on or off the waves.
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Some design pieces stand alone just by name recognition or familiarity with one’s signature work but then there are the quiet, dark horses of the industry such as designer extraordinaire, Thomas Meyerhoffer.
His work features a dossier of heavyweights ranging from Apple to Porsche now leading the way with his own brand of minimalist, cutting-edge designs which includes surfboards. One look at his design work and you are instantly smitten by his take on fusing innovation, astute design caliber, and intuition—creating a surfboard that has been renowned by dozens of design awards. Known for its speed, dynamics, and control once out on the waves by some of the best in class amongst the surfing profession.
Mushrooms are definitely having their trendy moment which is ironic considering many have already been in usage for decades across the board from chefs, top wellness professionals, naturopathic doctors, medicinal shaman, and homeopathic remedy practitioners around the globe.
Needless to say beyond truffles, adaptogens and anything else fungi-related has been the innovative idea behind “mycofoam (or mushroom)” surfboards from three eco-surf mavericks— Daniel Del Toro, David Purser and Nicholas Hildebrant on the cutting-edge brink of the nearly four-year-old brand, ENV. Developing organic surfboards is indeed a process albeit 100% natural, biodegradable and sustainable the idea was conceived with the notion of making a mark environmentally away from the toxic, oil-based foam boards into producing high-performance mushroom boards.