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Building a Surfboard Factory During COVID with Joel Zemenick & Andi Cummings
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Building a Surfboard Factory During COVID with Joel Zemenick & Andi Cummings

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"My philosophy is pretty simple: to take every surfer, of every ability, to the next level of their surfing life." - Joel Zemenick, JZ Surfboards.

Joel and Andi went on a surf/dive trip in Maui last year before COVID hit, where they fell in love with each other and decided to build a surfboard factory—JZ Surfboards.

JZ Surfboards specialize in building high-performance boards with an artistic appeal tailor-made for each surfer and every wave. Andi is a divemaster and runs all business operations and marketing, while Joel, with 29 years of experience shaping and glassing boards, oversees the crew, manufacturing, and the factory. With their individual styles and backgrounds, they are committed to running a safe and fun business where both the experienced and junior board builders can craft the highest quality boards in the NorCal market.

Building a Surfboard Factory During COVID with Joel Zemenick & Andi Cummings

Social Media Profiles:

Topics Discussed:

  • How did you two meet?
  • The new shop sounds killer, tell us about it?
  • What do you like to shape?
  • What do you not like to shape?
  • Do you have a foam preference?
  • Walk me through your rail design technique.
  • What is your opinion on CNC’ed blanks?
  • Glassing is a dying art form, do you like it?
  • Stringerless is gaining momentum—any opinion?
  • What is your theory on old foam?
  • Describe your first surfboard you shaped?
  • What is the best wave you have surfed?
  • Your favorite surf trip?
  • Did we miss anything?

Location: Half Moon Bay, CA


Saltwater High! Welcome to Joel and Andi. The awesome shapers from Half Moon Bay. How are you guys doing?

Good, how are you?

Doing great.

Good, good. Really stoked to meet you guys. I read a little bit about your story, but I'm looking forward to hearing more. How are you and, yeah, what's up?

Doing very well, thank you. How about yourself?

I'm doing great. I'm doing great. Yeah. We had such a great run of surf for those couple of weeks. So I'm still recovering from the surf dropping. I know you guys are in the epicenter of the big wave surfing up there. And I saw some of the footage. Dude, it was amazing!

It's been incredible.

Yeah. We're about four blocks from [inaudible 00:00:47]

Wow! Yeah. It's a whole different kind of animal, that kind of surfing. I've done a little bit of big wave surfing, but I went out to Todos and Ensenada back must have been 15, 20 years ago now. And I remember I paddled out, it was like the swell was increasing, right, and I was on like a 6'7 or something like way under-gunned and then it got to like 20 plus feet. I've never been in surf like that before and I wasn't prepared and it was so big and I remember being so scared and there's nowhere to go, right, because you can't go to shore because it's like a military island on Todos and the boat's gone because the boat left and it was going to come back. So it's just kind of you just hope like you take off and there's a big rock, I don't know if you know Todos.

Oh, no.

There's a big rock on the inside. So if you don't hit the takeoff right, you actually go right towards that rock on the inside. So that's my only real big, big wave surfing. And I don't know if I was made for it.

We definitely don't surf it. But we outfit the people that do.

Nice, nice. That's really cool.

We've been staying extremely busy through all the big wave season. So we're in full here at the shop. We've been making quite a few boards.


So we do our own customs and we also service about 15 other shapers in our fiberglass shop.

Yeah, I want to talk to you a lot about that. So first, let's back up a little bit. You guys met during COVID, is that what I saw somewhere?

We did, we actually took our first--

Dude, how do you get a girl during COVID? That's impossible. And such a hot one, too.

Thank you. It's actually pretty funny. We had met about a month before and Joel and I had just kind of randomly we're just texting and talking. And he texted me one night, he called me one night. He was like, "What are you doing?" And I'm like, "Oh, I'm actually packing. I'm going to Maui tomorrow." And Maui's got tickets for 199 round trip and I'm like, "I'm going to go for 4 days. You want to go?" And I was just kind of half-joking and he said, "Yeah."


And so get to Maui. And while we were in Maui, I was diving most of the trip. I'm a divemaster. Joel's on the other end of the island surfing. And we started getting calls from my family and they're like, "Can you come home?" And we're like, "What do you mean?" They're like, "It's on lockdown."

Oh, wow.

We came home to COVID, yeah.

Wow, that's awesome.

From our first date.

So that's a little like wasn't during COVID, it was like right when COVID hit. So that makes a little bit more sense. So I mean, way to lock it down because if you wouldn't have, you'd still be single probably, yeah.

It was definitely lockdown.

Yeah. I have a partner and she and I travel a lot usually, but we haven't traveled. I'm usually at least a couple of months on the road surfing around the world. And she's from Europe so she's going to Europe all the time. And so this was the first year since we first got together that we were together the whole time. So, if you're a couple and you can make it through COVID, dude, you can make it through anything, I think.

That's what we got.

You get to know one another very quickly, that's for sure. And we just hit it off and then, yeah, COVID.




11 months later it feels like we've been together for years.

Awesome. In a good way, right?

In a very good way.

Yeah, and in the middle of it too, we built a surfboard factory.

Yeah. So that's amazing. Tell me, Joel, maybe a little bit about your history in shaping.

Sure. I've been doing this for, this will be my 29th year.


I started out as a glasser and transitioned into the shaping aspect of things and I've been working out of several shops locally here between Half and Bay and Pacifica. So I just have been looking for a warehouse for a long time because I was bursting at the seams with the small shops that I was using. And Andi actually found this place and we made a phone call and lo and behold, we got the place and started building it in October. And this is our second month in full swing here. So we're sitting on about 50 boards in here right now.

Dude! Amazing.


Amazing. So I kind of I was looking at the site. You shape anything and everything or do you have something that you like in particular?

I do shape everything except for standup paddleboards. So anything between performance shortboards all the way up to guns, longboards. Right now we have all of that in effect, quite a bit of fishes.

Sweet. And if you're shaping, for example, for the Half Moon guys, are you weighting the boards at all? Are you putting, I heard that some guys put fish weights and things like that in the foam?

So I don't particularly shape like those would be the tow boards for Mavericks.

Oh, the tow boards. Okay.

I do the glassing for a lot of those and yeah, actually we'll weight them down. We'll put anything and everything that we can to weight the tail down. So when they take that off the tails, weight it out so.

Wow. So it's just in the tail. That's interesting.

But then it's also heavy glass as well. So triple six on the deck and double on the bottom.

Wow. That's a lot of glass, bro.

A lot of fiberglass, yeah.

Yeah, yeah. I've also been shaping just as a hobby for probably a couple of decades. And I feel that glassing is an art. A good glasser, first of all, they're really hard to find. And second of all, nobody wants to do it anymore. I don't glass mine, mainly because I don't want the mess and I have a shaping room, and once you start glassing, it's a whole different deal. I think you need a bay for glassing and a bay for shaping, so I just have a shaping bay. I take my boards down to Roberts, which is he's a local shaper here in Ventura. And I know he has a super hard time keeping glassers for any amount of time. So he ends up glassing a lot of his own boards. Shaper of the Year shaper glassing his own boards. But he said he loves it, he absolutely loves it.

I'll never not do that part of it. It's just I like to see it all the way through. But it does take its toll when you're doing as many shapers as we are in-house.


I'm currently training someone and trying to recruit someone else that's experienced at the same time just because of the [inaudible 00:08:23] but, typically what you see is if you train someone, they might stick around for a year or two, and then they want to go and make their own stuff. So that happens quite a bit in this industry.

Yeah, yeah. And what about you, Andi? Are you getting in there and helping sand some boards or do a little painting?

I've learned so much about surfboard making more than I could ever imagine. I'm actually a business consultant and a coach by trade.


So I get to run the operations and the sales and marketing of our business.


And so I'm kind of front of the house and he's back of the house. And yeah, I've learned a lot about making surfboards. He keeps telling me it's time for a sander and I'm like, "No, not yet. I'm busy, I'm busy. I got to go market."

Yeah, yeah. No, it's important. Definitely. Yeah, that's really cool. So have you done any Mini Simmons?

Absolutely, yeah.

Oh, okay, sweet. That's kind of my forte. I've been riding them for actually as long as they've been around and started making them probably fifteen years ago. And I just love them. I think especially for down here, I mean up there you guys have a lot more kind of serious surf. But Ventura, we get some good swells, but most of the time it's pretty small or it's weak. But the waves are good, it's just like there's weak points in the wave. So the Mini Simmons is perfect unless you want to ride a longboard, which I don't. So you can still be on a shortboard like mine are like 5'3ish and still be in a slow wave, right. Which is what I love about them.

They definitely get you across the flat spots. Keep the speed going.

Yeah, very cool. What are you riding? What's your kind of go-to?

I've got several boards. I like to gravitate to maybe since I am 6'3, I don't ride anything particularly too small, but I go from a 6'0 old fish and I go back and forth between the twin fin quad on those.


More traditional shortboards because we do have a steeper face and a lot of juice up here too. You are in the 6'8 to 7'0 range for my shortboards and then for bigger surf, I have like an 8' Gun.

Nice, nice.

I don't surf Mavericks, but there's plenty of juice everywhere.

Ocean Beach, dude.

Ocean Beach is just magical.

Ah! Such a good wave.

It really is. But a lot of paddling, so you want to make sure you have plenty of volume.

Yeah. So there's one shape I always like to ask shapers this. There's one setup that I absolutely love that never took off. It's the twinzer. You know the twinzer, right? So the twinzer, it's a quad but the small fins are in the front.

Oh, yes.

On the sides.


Right? Yeah. So I can never figure out why that particular fin setup never really took off because it's a little bit looser than a quad. Right? But it's not as tight as a twin. It's like the perfect kind of in-between. And just that fin setup never really worked.

Have you made any of these or?

I have never made but I have two that locals actually Roberts has made and another guy named Hoyte, Hoyte Surfboards. I don't think he's shaping anymore, but he made me one. I just love them. But I was just like I don't know why those things aren't more popular.

Bring them back.

Yeah. I'll send you a picture. Maybe you could do a model. And it'll be like..

That'd be fun.

...Joel brings back the twinzer 2021.

We'll be going around town with the twinzers.

That's right. I want ten percent. I want ten percent.

Yeah, you got it.

So what are you doing, Andi? So I started Wave Tribe 13 years ago. It was a whole different—I used to sell to the shops, right. Like the whole deal was either you get a distributor or you got a sales rep, the sales rep goes around to the shops, he sells to the shops. Because this is what everyone was doing back in the day. But now it's a whole new world. I'm selling direct to the customer, which I love personally. Nothing against shops. It's just shop goes out of business, shop doesn't pay sometimes, a lot of times, pays late.

Yeah, definitely [inaudible 00:13:16] to pay, that's for sure.

Yeah. So how are you thinking about kind of the business in this new especially, COVID age where guy's probably like "Ship me the board." Right?

Yeah. So there's a couple of things that I learned as I kind of got into it. First of all, the brand is Joel and has always been. And so I knew that it was really important that Joel still had that real close connection with his customers. We had a great customer base, we do have a great customer base in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. And so they want to come talk to Joel and really spend time with the shaper and the glasser. So there was that channel that was super strong and I knew that we needed to continue to cultivate that channel and make sure that we took really good care of them. But then I started looking at really what we were doing online as far as just social media marketing, and it was really limited. So I put a lot of juice behind social media and then as we built this place, right, so we now have this really cool factory that people want to come check out. The factory started opening up channels to new customers that we didn't know about and really brought us back to the Half Moon Bay community, this community's super tight and we love being part of it. And so it's also the factory's brought in new business. We have been doing more in shops, so we're bringing that back, being selective about who we go into.


And then our future vision is an online store, which is what I'm working on right now. But one step at a time.

Yeah, it's a lot of work. You guys, you're just two months in, you said. Right?

Yeah. I heard a lot about building a warehouse so that was brand new for me. We have shaping rooms, standing rooms, paint rooms, glass factory, the ventilation, all of the stuff that has to go into place to keep this very safe, to keep Joel safe. He is involved in this environment all the time.

Yeah, dude, wear your mask.

Yeah, so I've heard a lot about that. But, if you build it, they will come was our mentality and we're now almost triple the business that we were doing in Pacifica.

That's amazing!

In two months.

Must feel so good. And you're just getting started, right?

Right, exactly.

Yeah, yeah. That's so exciting. I always thought, I don't know if you guys are doing this, but I've seen a couple of shapers that have put streaming cams in the shaping bay. So while they're shaping a board, they can watch you, Joel. Especially if it's your board. And Joel is going to be in the shaping room at three, putting the nose and the tail on my board. I think that's such an amazing thing to offer people. And you're doing it anyway so why not just push a button and stream it out?

That's actually an awesome idea. I thought that we would have like this kind of almost mini retail center and we would have foot traffic. It doesn't work that way when you're building boards. We have to be on appointment only or we won't get the job done. Just because there's too much at risk. But I love that idea because one of the coolest things is people knowing that their boards are in production. And so I've been very diligent about saying, I call them the babies, I'm like "Your baby's here. It's being shaped, your baby's being painted." And they get really involved in that. But having a cam where they could see it would just even boost even more.

Yeah, it'd be amazing.


You could even hold, Joel, you could even hold like because I know like you're into shaping a board, you don't want people coming in and like "Hey!" Because everyone wants to talk to you, right? When they come in they're either want to talk to you about the board you're shaping, the board you just shaped them, or the board you're going to shape them. So you can hold like conference hours, like the surf professor. 3-6 or 4-6 come by and grab an IPA with Joel and talk about your next board, something like that. I think that would be killer!

Yeah, we definitely the consult, I call it the Shaper Consult, it's like gold. You get on the calendar and it's really so cool to watch him interact with his clients because he's got so much knowledge and they get really jazzed about it. In fact, I want to run a contest for Graham's to design a board, and then you get to come and watch Joel. Somehow, someway facilitate them seeing their board in production.


And get them really excited about, "Hey, this is what I think I want to ride." And then talking to Joel and finding out exactly what's the best fit for them. But then really see in like we have a glass door where you can see the glass go down, you can see the fins going in.

Nice. Yeah. So Joel, what do you think, CNC or handshape. What's your feeling around that?

I love the art of hand shaping. And every chance, opportunity I get I love to hand shape. Being that I do all the glassing though, the CNC machine definitely speeds up the process exponentially. And you can definitely true in your designs. It takes a lot of work. And it's not one of those things where you can actually get it right on, say, the first try. But if you have an opportunity to cut at least a few boards and really fine-tune and tweak your design, then you have it tried and true. And then I like to use a little bit more tolerance to where I can hand shape. I do a lot more in the way of getting my rails tuned in. So it gives me a little more margin of error as far as the machine operator, just in case there's any mistakes that happen in the cutting process that I can actually get in there and shape them down. But I do both. I think they both definitely have a place, especially in the manufacturing. If I was to pull the plug on this operation, though, and retire, I'd just hand shape all day long and that'd be it.

Dude! I've done some longboards in the day back before CNC was more available. There's nothing like skinning a Clark Foam blank with glue all over the top. Dude, I just hated doing that. I love CNC. Thank God for CNC. I'm telling you. And I've done my fair share of hand blanks. Forget it, forget it. I have one on the rack right now that I'm hand shaping and I've done CNC for the past couple of years and it's so much more work.

It is.

It is so much more work.

Hours, yeah

And you get the traditionalists, they are like, "No, dude, you're not really surfboard shaping. It's a computer." I go, "You go do it then." No, I'm totally with you.

And also, sort of as his girlfriend too, I know he's super happy in the shaping room. So if it is getting really stressful or the crew is onto something else, then I know that I can find Joel in the shaping room. That's where he's going to be to kind of get his mindset and to really be happy in that process.

Naked with the planer in his hand.

Yeah, that's my Zen place.

Now, I needed to know it for sure. Honey, I'm watching you.

Oh, yeah, that's right. Dude, you might go and make some real money with that. Charge for the streaming.

Yeah, there we go.

Definitely a service I need to see. That one's on market.

You got camera A which is free and then camera B which you got to pay for.

And then you cut it off, it's like thirty seconds.

Yeah, yeah. That's not a bad idea. I'm going to try that myself.

The naked shaper peepshow.

Yeah. I bet it's out there, dude.

I bet it is too. I'm going to do some research. Somebody is doing that.

What's the new sex websites where you can pay people. I forget what it's called. Like you can pay girls to take their clothes off, right. I forget it. It's not like porn, it's like the new thing, right. I forget what it's called. I just read this article on it.

Well, girls think shapers are sexy anyway.

Yeah, well guys are doing it too. Equal genders here.

I probably just scare people that way.

Some people like to be scared.

I'm just imagining this.

I know. I think we got a new business model. Yeah. Getting back to rails because dude, after shaping for years, the rails are still the hardest thing for me. I don't know what it is. I have some kind of like mental block around the rails. Walk me through your rail kind of process. How do you do them?

So with the machine cuts, particularly, I find irregularities in my machine cuts quite often. So first thing I'll do is I put a rail finder on them and just measure the distance or not the distance, but the differences between the two rails, and then I take mental note on that and incrementally will bevel them out with it. I've got to have a fine surform, so I'll just bevel them out to the point because you want to try to screen as little as possible so you're incrementally bevelling it with your surform, but not like just your regular surform, it's more of a fine blade on this. Because if you use the regular surform, you're going to have like a cheese grater effect and they're just going to blast your rails and you're going to have a lot of trouble trying to true them in.


So from that point, really a lot of feel. I like to close my eyes and just feel a lot and then measure.

Back to the camera.


See, dude, we're halfway there. Oh, man! I bet you guys had no idea this would be like this, huh?

No, it's awesome.

So it's a lot of dialog in your room as well, making sure your room you can see all your shadows and just making sure that you train your eyes so you can actually see incrementally where you're going wrong because it's very easy if you don't take long passes and try and chase something in a certain location, you got to make sure you're really fluid in every pass that you make and use the correct screens, use the correct tools. That's number one.

Yeah. So you're not ever planing your rails like say on a hand shape? So hand shape, how would you?

If I'm hand shaping, yeah I do. I'll measure my foil accordingly. So I go a foot from the tail and the nose and you're basically you've got your goal, your end goal as to your thickness and your foil, of how the rails are going to look. But then you're basically measuring, I'll use a carpenter square and measure, have incremental marks. I do every six inches. It depends on your shaping process. But you find your center point, which is going to be your thickest point of the board. And as you're tapering them to the nose and the tail, obviously you want them to thin out accordingly, but you have to consider the rocker as well. So if you're thinking of the board, the rocker works in conjunction or the bottom design works in conjunction with the rail design.

So you're moving up at the nose. Yeah, that makes sense.


My Mini Simmons usually have very little rocker, so I'm not usually thinking about that.

Oh, yeah.

That's interesting.

Up here, rocker is extremely important, especially with the bigger weight boards. So got quite a bit of rocker to consider and how you're going to foil it according to that rocker flow.

Yeah, yeah. What's your opinion on foams—PU versus EPS?

I'm running full poly right now. It's preferred to the flex and I feel like I can control quite a bit more with it. I have had a lot of experience with epoxy in the past and I don't hate it. I think there is a place for everything, but for my personal health, I try not to mix the two resins. But as far as my personal preference in what I ride, I love poly for the flex characteristics.

Me too.

And I can really get a lot out of it with my glassing experience. Using the work gloss in conjunction with S-Cloth, you can get a lot more strength out of it. You're talking there's things on the market like compression cloth now. So you can do like a 2-ounce compression cloth underneath these and get a really strong lightweight board that people are that's why they're gravitating a lot to the epoxy.

Yeah, because for the lightweight. So if you can find that balance in the PU.


I always felt the EPS, the ones that I've ridden in the past, they always seem like they ride on top of the water.

They do.

I always felt like, maybe because I grew up riding the PUs, I like to be in the water, like dig that rail as far down as I can.

And then there's also they don't plane as well, I feel. Because they are riding on top of the water, especially when you're getting into bigger surf, they don't tend to plane and glide as well. So they actually kind of hold you back when you're in the entry of the wave.

Yeah, interesting.

But that's more big wave application on that end as well.

Yeah. What are you riding, Andi?

A longboard.

That's okay. Nothing against longboarders.

And a beautiful one.

Oh, of course.

I just got a 9'2. We have an airbrush artist here on staff.

I saw some of the work is amazing.

He's incredible. We're so blessed to have his talent and all the talent that we have for the crew. It's really cool. We also have an amazing sander that's been working with Joel for like 20 years and runs his own surfboard. So we keep it in-house for sure. But yeah, my longboard's my new baby.

She's got all the bells and whistles on her. She's got the cut lap with the custom airbrush, the resin inlines.

I hope you shaped it for her, bro.

I even let our team rider ride it in a longboard [inaudible 00:28:29] this weekend. And I was like, "If you break it, you buy her."

Oh, wow!

But yes, I love it. I'm really still just getting new, again, I'm usually underwater, not on top of water.


And so it's really cool to be able to take it out.



Yeah. Joel, what do you think about the stringerless movement that's happening, the stringerless boards?

Yeah. I was just going to mention with the foam, I like to use the varial foam. The higher density foam so I can take quite a bit of weight out with that. So, the stringerless, if I'm going to do it, I use the varial foam. I really do like that foam. It shapes very well, it's very strong. And I just throw a carbon band down the center so that I can kind of reduce some of the flex characteristics.


Then I kind of run it to about right around where your front fins would be. So you have some flex still at the tail, which gives it a pop. You can control a lot with the glass, with the stringerless. So I do enjoy using it and yeah, I think they're cool. It's just there's a lot of directions you can go with it.

Yeah, yeah. I rode one stringerless in Europe and I always thought it was one of the best boards I ever rode. It was a Mini Simmons, it was like a 5'3 or something. But there was something about it. It was pretty special and I haven't ridden one since, so I'm kind of itching a little bit. I might have to send one up.

Send one up here.

Send a design up or leave it to you actually. That would be even better. There used to be a guy that was driving the whole coast, dropping blanks or dropping boards off. Is that guy still doing it?

Leon Fiche, yeah.

Yeah! I remember that dude.

He's awesome.

Yeah, yeah. He drives the whole coast and you give him a couple boards or whatever and he drops them off. I can't believe he's still doing that. That's awesome.

Oh, yeah. He comes up here twice a month and we have clients that are down in SoCal and definitely some in San Diego, so we try to make that bus when we can.


A whole lot cheaper, obviously, than shipping.


Yeah, but it's also a good excuse for us to deliver boards like "Oh, we need to go deliver some boards."

Oh, right. Road trip.

Road trip, yeah. That's our COVID travel.

Yeah, you and me both. Yeah.

We're chomping at the bit.

Yeah, dude, I can't wait to get out of here but hopefully soon. Yeah. So what else do I have here? Stringerless, we talked about that, foam. Okay, here's one. Very first board that you shaped, you shaped not for a client.

Very first board that I shaped was at age 15. We had family friend down in..

10 years ago.

..that was down in La Jolla, and he had a shaping room set up in the basement of his family's house. And he's like, "I think it would be cool if you would go for it." And he gave me some pointers and got into it. I think we used it was just like a traditional shortboard rusty template or something of that nature. And man, I was hooked from the second that I did that so I got actually running the planer for the first time ever and being able to surform it out. It came out pretty rough, but it was the cool thing to do and it stuck with me. And it wasn't really until age, from that point, probably not until age 18 or 19 that I had got to do another one.


And that's when I actually introduced to the manufacturing sector in Santa Cruz.

Nice, nice. Do you still have it, do you? The first one?

No, unfortunately, I don't.

I want it in this shop so bad. I just want to a picture of it.

All those boards we had growing up, I wish I had half of them just to look at.

Me too. That's a regretful thing that I got rid of those.

I know, I know. That's really cool.

So best wave you ever surfed? Both you. Or best place you ever dived for you, Andi.

Okay, for me is different.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Best place I've ever been underwater is Fiji for sure.


I lived in St. Croix, so I worked on a dive boat there. I know those dive spots obviously really well. It's still home to me underwater. But the most magical place I've been was Fiji. And I did some shark diving, too. So I'll chase sharks around the world. But Fiji is soft coral capital of the world. And so when you see those corals, there's a picture of me with like tip of my finger to the tip of my pen. And there's two things that are bigger than me. It's just incredible. I'm all about trying to save the reefs and making sure that we're protecting our oceans and for generations, obviously. I'm usually underwater. I let him talk about on top of water.

I'm a Bali fan. I started going at a younger age. So the whole Bukit, I love surfing anywhere..

Yeah. Bukit area. Uluwatu's a little crowded, so I try and just stick to Padang Padang or like Impossible or Balangan in that area so those are some of my favorites. I haven't really got to take a trip for quite some time now. So I'm kind of itching right now to get out of the glassing room.

I'm not used to diving attempts up here. You got to get all kind of suited up up here.

Yeah, yeah. Well, a good trip to take her would be Nusa Kambangan. Have you been out there?

Yeah, that's what we're talking about.

Because the diving there is incredible and the surf there. So it's like best of both worlds out there.

That's what I was talking about.

Yeah. That's some of the best. I only did snorkeling there, but it was amazing. They drop you off and the current just takes you for miles along the reef. Just fantastic.

How about you, Derek, where's your favorite?

Dude, it's so hard. So hard. I've been into Indonesia recently. I went to Sumatra last year or right before COVID hit. The island above Nias. So goes in that area. But South Africa, I really like too, J-Bay. I'm standard foot.

South Africa's definitely on my diving list.

Yeah. Dude, South Africa is amazing. There's no place like it. From the animals to the people to the rawness, the two oceans coming together at the tip of this continent, right? That's a great trip, that's a great trip.

And what the water patterns do too is really cool.

Yeah, yeah. So yeah, it's a hard question because it depends on the swell too. You could be in the most epic wave in the world and the swell sucks or you could be in a horrible place and it's going off and it's just good everywhere.


When we first started dating, Joel had a place in Bali. He lived in Bali.

Oh, nice.

Yeah. And so I thought that was coming with part of the package.

Oh! Well, the way things are going with the shop, you might be able to get another one here pretty soon.

He knows how to hunt property over there and that's great.

Oh, good. I think we're going to have to have a board meeting in Changu next time.

I think that's a great idea. Pack up some board bags.

Yeah, yeah. Very cool. So, yeah, did we miss anything? Anything you want to say out to the people that maybe are interested in getting a board from you, Joel? Besides get in line.

Yeah, get in line. No, I try to make myself available so what would be like 10 to 5 every day. You can call our business line here. And if you don't get anybody answering right away, we can get right back to you. I'm usually in the shaping room, glassing room. I'd love to talk to people in person, preferably in person, but I know due to COVID, a lot of people want to do it on the phone.


Talk about what they've been riding and really get down to the nitty-gritty of what their skill level and where they surf and what type of design they're looking for. So we can really hash it all out and get it all there.

Nice, sweet.

I would just say that just a huge shoutout to our awesome crew. We've really been able to source some amazing talent in these walls and they're truly part of helping us build this. And so it's really cool to not only talking to Joel, but talking to our artists, talking to our sander, we always have people that just want to see this in production, too. And it's a really kind of cool little treehouse we have.

Yeah. We're all really passionate about what we do. So we're talking boards all day long here. So it's always fun to have new customers show up and especially around that 4 o'clock shaping appointment, talk about it and have a beer afterwards and get down to it.

Dude, can't wait. I can't wait. I'm going to get one. I'm going to get one.

Come see us.

I will, I will. Road trip. We just went up to Sycamore Hot Springs. You guys ever go down there?

Oh, yeah.

Yeah. So it's a nice little trip. You guys are just another couple hours up. But yeah, definitely would love to hang out.

That's the one in Avila, right?

Yeah, it's one in Avila. Yeah. And they're open just in case you want to take her.

Are they really? That's good to know.

Oh, that's good to know. Joel's mom lives down there.

There you go.

And every time we try to go to the springs and we haven't been able to so it's another first.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, so really appreciate it. I'm stoked to meet you guys. I'd look forward to having a beer and talking about the boards in person and I wish you guys a ton of luck. I have no doubt you're going to just kill it. You're just going to kill it. I can tell from the energy and just the way you talk. So Saltwater High, get out there and order some boards from Joel and say hello to Andi, and yeah, just super stoked to meet you guys. Thanks for doing the podcast.

Thank you so much for having us. We really appreciate it.

Great talking to you, Derek. Thank you so much.

In the show notes, we'll put all the links so people can order the boards right now.