Since Tom Blake's first hollow surfboard in 1926, surfboard shapers continue to push innovation to new levels with lighter materials and progressive shapes. Like original artwork, no two boards that are hand-shaped are alike. These days, many shapers have moved to computer machine-shaping boards to step up productivity while maintaining high quality craftsmanship. Although everyone has their opinions on who the best surfboard shaper is, the choice comes down to personal preference and affordability.
Channel Islands Surfboards
Started as a grassroots company more than 36 years ago in Santa Barbara, California, Channel Islands Surfboards, along with Al Merrick, has grown into one of the world's leaders in cutting-edge surfboard design. Sponsoring top-ranked professional surfers such as Kelly Slater, Channel Islands cultivates new designs through collaboration between its sponsored surfers and shapers.
Bruce Jones Surfboards
Exposed to shaping surfboards during the "golden era" of surfing in the mid-1960s, Bruce Jones learned to shape under the guidance of some of surfing's biggest names, such as Hobie and Brewer. Every shape--both shortboards and longboards--is hand-crafted by Bruce himself. Stressing performance with durability, Bruce Jones Surfboards carries on the legacy of high-quality craftsmanship from his former mentors.
Pearson Arrow Surfboards
Founded by Bob Pearson in 1969, Pearson Arrow Surfboards continues to be world renowned for its cutting-edge surfboard design and exceptional customer service. Using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship of more than 20 specialized surfboard shapers, Arrow continues to produce some of the finest hand-crafted surfboards on the market. Pearson Arrow has several of the internationally top-rated professional surfers riding its designs.
Established as one of the first commercial surfboard shapers in the 1950s, Reynolds "Renny" Yater has been a major contributor in the surfing industry. Developing new shapes as the style of surfing progressed through the years, Yater Surfboards continues to be a leader in innovate longboard shapes. Lauran Yater, Renny's son, carries on the Yater legacy by upholding the Yater standards in surfboard shaping.