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Surfboard Artisans For the Love

In 2013, Tom took a break from making surfboards to attend the University of the Sunshine Coast and write a PhD on the sustainability of the surfboard industry.  He found that the amazing resiliency of the surfboard industry has come from its unique culture which has been passed down from generation to generation. 

Tom has turned his PhD thesis into a book, “Surfboard Artisans For the Love,” which is available here. Since finishing his thesis, Tom has returned to making surfboards.

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In 2013, Tom took a break from making surfboards to attend the University of the Sunshine Coast and write a PhD on the sustainability of the surfboard industry.  He found that the amazing resiliency of the surfboard industry has come from its unique culture which has been passed down from generation to generation. 

Tom has turned his PhD thesis into a book, “Surfboard Artisans For the Love,” which is available here. Since finishing his thesis, Tom has returned to making surfboards.

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Always sketching
Just in from a surf
Shaper of the Year 2009
Craftsmen's hands
Tom begins a new Alaia

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Tom Wegener is arguably the most cutting edge shaper in the world. 

He started the alaia revolution in 2005 and was named Surfboard Shaper of the Year in 2009 for this.  Then he took the dynamics of the alaia and applied them to modern materials and designed the Seaglass Project Tuna and Albacore boards made by Global Surf Industries and retailed to surfers all around the world. In 2016, Tom developed a way to incorporate flex through paulownia and cork woods into his finless boards to create the next level of finless surfing.

Tom was a key inspiration for the wood board movement.  In 2001 he discovered that paulownia is the best wood for surfboards because of its highly unusual property of not sucking up salt water.  In 2003 Tom stopped making foam surfboards and turned only to paulownia wood and made over 300 hollow wood finned surfboards.  (Also, the alaia revolution was possible because Tom’s work with paulownia).  Tom is most proud of his green factory which has no toxic chemicals and almost no waste. In 2011, Tom was awarded the Sunshine Coast “Smart Business Award” for his environmentally friendly factory.

In 2013, Tom took a break from making surfboards to attend the University of the Sunshine Coast and write a PhD on the sustainability of the surfboard industry.  He found that the amazing resiliency of the surfboard industry has come from its unique culture which has been passed down from generation to generation.  Tom has turned his PhD thesis into a book, “Surfboard Artisans For the Love,” which is available through this website. Since finishing his thesis, Tom has returned to making surfboards.

Tom started shaping surfboards in 1979 and his brother Jon took up the planer a few years later.  Working together Tom and Jon have developed many surfboards and are still working together.  Jon is in Encinitas, California while Tom moved to Noosa Heads, Australia in 1998.

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Tom's Blog

13 Jun

Corky Testing Day

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Corky quiver with JJ Star: From Left to right;  JJ's body board, Finley;s 7'2 alaia style, my 5'6 tuna, 4'6 thin bellyboard and Carlos de Landre's board - the shape needs a name. 

 

  

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02 Jun

Book Launch

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The most valuable thing I can do is pass on what I have learned about surfing and surfboards

 

 

The book, Surfboard Artisans For the Love, is in the final stages of editing and I am taking presales now.  

 

Why do we get out of bed in the morning? What are the emotions we want to feel and the things we want to experience? What is valuable to us? I know that I really love surfing. I love the feeling, the stoke, the history, surfboard design, the characters.... There is so much to love about surfing. It is what I want to do. My three years of research into the surfboard industry has taught me that passing on surfing culture and surfboard knowledge is the most important aspect of my profession.  It creates value for me and the world’s surf cultures.  It is important and I love it.  I have nearly completed a PhD on the sustainability of the surfboard industry and I have turned my research into a book, “Surfboard Artisans For the Love.” 

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