As surfers, we feel a genuine relationship with the fibreglass under our feet.
But who are these fibreglass wizards who shape the craft we love to surf every day?
We’ve compiled a list of 14 surfboard brands we love with a breakdown of how each of these brands started and the iconic surfboard shapes that they pump out for riders all over the world.
John Pyzel has been creating high-quality surfboards on the north shore of Hawaii for over 25 years. This global surfboard brand had its humble beginnings in a backyard shaping room before going on to become one of the most widely recognised shapers in the world.
Pyzel’s success as a surfboard brand is partly due to John John Florence’s success in both competitive surfing and the world of surf media.
The two-time WSL world champion has been riding Pyzel boards since he was a child and their relationship has led to continuous success in the surfing world.
Pyzel’s surfboard shapes are popular worldwide with the Ghost, Phantom and Gremlin all achieving wide commercial success as surfers flocked to the opportunity of surfing just a little like John.
Channel Islands Surfboards (Al & Britt Merrick)
The king of surfboard design in California, Al Merrick and Channel Islands Surfboards has been a mainstay under the feet of professional surfers for decades now.
Channel Islands Surfboards started way back in 1959 when Al and Terry Merrick started up their shaping factory right by the beach at Santa Barbara.
The surfboard brand started to see success on a global scale when Tom Curren began riding Al’s shapes in competition, helping him achieve the status of world champion.
Later the GOAT Kelly Slater jumped on the team with most of his titles coming with Channel Islands boards under his feet. In the following decades, surfers like Dane Reynolds would take CI into the future of progressive surfing.
Britt Merrick, Al’s son, quickly took a shine to the trade and after spending his childhood roaming the factory sits firmly at the helm of
Head over to the Channel Islands Surfboards website to check out their vast catalogue of shapes for surfers of all sizes and abilities.
Lost began its life in a classroom in San Clemente. Matt Biolos (Mayhem) started by scribbling the Lost logo in school books, this quickly got picked up by other classmates and before long ‘team lost’ was born.
Matt began printing the logo on t-shirts before he turned his sights to shaping and surfboard design.
He began with a successful job in spraying and finishing, helping out other more established shapers to deal with their backlogs.
After getting the opportunity to shape surfboards for some of San Clemente’s more rebellious surfers Lost began to find its place as a somewhat rebellious surfboard brand.
Now Lost Surfboards is well known for pumping out some of the best fibreglass creations around with world champ Carissa Moore riding Lost sticks to victory for several years.
So much so that Lost’s designs have become iconic. The Round Nose Fish and the Driver have both cemented themselves as part of surfing history.
LSD is a surfboard brand created by the well-known shaper Luke Short. Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Luke had access to some of the world’s best point-break waves to hone his shaping and design skills.
Working alongside some of the most skilled surfers in the area Luke focused on high-performance shortboards helping his riders get deeper in the pit and higher above the lip.
This drive for performance makes LSD’s designs a perfect fit for surfers trying to add flare and power to their surfing repertoire.
With a solid team of sponsored surfers including Noa Deane, Matt Banting and Ellie Brooks all sporting the LSD logo under their feet.
Head over to the LSD website to find out more about this rider-focused surfboard brand.
Fourth Surfboards hails from the chilly shore of the UK in Newquay Cornwall. Part of a group of highly skilled surfboard shapers in the Newquay area, Fourth has leveraged networking and great marketing to position itself as one of the UK’s top surfboard brands.
They leveraged a relationship with the forecaster Magicseaweed to help them stock their boards in their online store.
Fourth went on to sponsor up-and-coming local surfers like Angus Scotney, Luke Dillon and more.
Helmsman Luke Hart is responsible for the amazing range of designs getting produced at the Fourth factory and his love for progressive surfing and surfboard design has led Fourth from strength to strength.
Find out more about Fourth Surfboards and meet the team riders.
Eric Arakawa is somewhat of a surfing/shaping legend. Starting out life in Hawaii he was already learning to surf by the age of 10 and only 4 years later he began to shape his first surfboard.
Today Erik draws on over 40 years of surfing experience to create boards that are just as good at maxing Pipeline as they are on the rolling waves of Waikiki.
In 2003 Eric won Surfing Magazine’s Shaper of the Year cementing him as one of surfing’s greats.
Head over to the Eric Arakawa Surfboards site to learn more about this north shore legend and his wide selection of finely crafted blades.
Pukas Surf is an iconic surfboard brand hailing out of the Basque Country. Its three founders Iñigo Letamendia, Marian Azpiroz and Miguel Azpiroz are all key figures in Basque surfing culture.
The family-run business has gone from strength to strength. From organising local parties and surf competitions in the shape of the Pukas Pro events to opening their own factory in 1988.
With this came global fame and shapers from all over the world have come to make their mark at the legendary shaping bay in the Basque Country.
Pukas is lucky enough to have an all-star lineup of shapers on the team with icons like Grant ‘Twig’ Baker, Matt Biolis, Alex Lorentz, Son of Cobra and Chris Christenson all adding to the growing library of surfboard designs.
Hailing from Western Australia Firewire is a fairly new addition to the surfboard market, it blazed onto the scene in 2003 with the introduction of 100% EPS/Epoxy construction.
Founder Nev Hyman wanted to mediate the environmental impact of surfboard manufacture and his new technology looked to solve an often undiscussed issue within the surfing industry.
Eps/Epoxy surfboard manufacture proved to produce up to 50 times less VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) when compared to the production of traditional PU surfboards.
This alongside the sturdier construction led to boards that lasted for longer and had less environmental damage attached to their manufacture.
Needless to say, Firewire surfboards were a hit and apart from some early issues with delamination the brand grew as more surfers flocked to the new construction.
Find out more about Firewire Surfboards and other surfboard brands that use their technology here.
Lib Tech surfboards have gone to the extreme to make their boards as durable as possible.
Their ECO ISO Construction with Nitrogen Cell Foam, Bio-Matrix resin, Woven Basalt Fibre and a whole load of other technologies and materials I’m not going to pretend to understand.
This scientific wizardry alongside their signature Hexzylon Fibre Foam Skin (the honeycomb pattern that wraps all of their boards) makes Lib Tech’s sleds virtually invincible. Especially when compared to traditional PU boards.
DHD or Darren Handley Designs is one of the biggest surfboard brands to come out of Australia.
With surfers like Mick Fanning, Ethan Ewing and Steph Gilmore on the team it’s no doubt his boards are something special.
Growing up on the Gold Coast, Darren has been immersed in surfing culture for over 50 years and he’s one of the world’s most respected surfboard shapers.
Darren has spent his life perfecting his designs, now he pumps out a whole catalogue of high-performance focused sticks with the DNA range being a massive hit with pro and amateur surfers.
Coming out of San Clemente, Califonia, Timmy Patterson Surfboards represents the raw surf culture of the 80s with a modern high-performance twist.
Timmy is a self-confessed garage shaper, working tirelessly seven days a week.
His humble beginnings as a ding repair guy quickly accelerated into shaping boards for some of the most exciting surfers at the time like Dino Andino and Christian Fletcher.
Now Timmy’s hard work has paid off in the shape of a thriving surfboard brand with a whole stock of high-quality boards and custom shapes popping out of the factory every day.
Find out more about Timmy Patterson Surfboards on his site.
Simon Anderson Surfboards
The man, the myth, the legend.
Simon Anderson is responsible for transforming surfing. His addition of a third fin to create a thruster meant more drive and manoeuvrability in larger waves.
Since then pro surfers have adopted the thruster as their weapon of choice helping them throw themselves into steeper drops and more aggressive manoeuvres.
Now Simon is still shaping boards out of his Sydney-based factory. Iconic shapes like the Mollusc and the Face Dancer are massive hits with surfers all over Australia.
Head over to the Simon Anderson Surfboards website here.
JS Industries is the proud creation of Jason Stevenson.
His easily recognisable tractor symbol has sat under the feet of many a pro surfer with a cool four world titles tucked under JS’s belt.
Some key members of the JS surf team include Dusty Payne, Julian Wilson, Ryan Callinan and style master Joel Parkinson.
Jason’s Monsta range is multi-award-winning with the original design winning surfboard of the year in 2013 before the Monsta Box went back to back in 2018 and 2019.
If 11 world titles aren’t enough to convince you this guy knows about surfboards we don’t know what will!
Kelly is a force in the surfing industry and with an artificial wave pool already under his belt, a surfboard brand was almost a given.
Kelly rode his boards to several wins and Aussie workhouse Stu Kennedy showed exactly what Slater’s boards could do at the Gold Coast, performing numerous high-speed rotations as he sped down the line at Snapper.
Now you’re all set to buy your next surfboard with our list of 14 surfboard brands we love and ride and the shapers that make them so special.
Don’t miss our guide to the world’s most iconic surf brands packed with faces and businesses that have shaped the course of surfing history.