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Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: October 11th, 2009 | Comments: (1)
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Jon B. Mar, another avid local surfer and surfboard shaper, sells his customized hand-shaped surfboards online on his self-named website. Mar offers longboards, shortboards and fun boards in a variety of dimensions and specifications to provide the perfect ride for any surf aficionado. New boards and used boards are available for viewing on the website, along with easy-to-read charts with each board’s measurements to be ascetically pleasing to the eye, as well as useful for surfboard shoppers. With over 20 years of surfboard shaping experience, Mar’s boards are influenced by many of the other great local shapers who have made their mark on the surf scene. The website also includes an online form to create custom surfboards made to a surfer’s personalized needs and styles. On this form are unique questions like “What do you like/dislike about your current board?” and “What are you trying to accomplish in surfing?” that help Mar to shape a board in a very personal way for each individual’s preferences.

Jon B. Mar Surfboards
(808) 277-0800

Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: June 7th, 2009 | Comments: (3)
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I started shaping in high school, around 1970….Worked for “Da Surf Hut” w/Jim McKinney. Got boards from Bob McTavish (the original egg) I designed a tri fin and thruster with concave bottoms which I was regularly teased about. Tried selling the idea to a few “reputable” shops with no avail….It was logical to me that the three fins would work better than one or two….The idea came to me after Joey Cabel won the Duke on a concave bottomed gun board. Shortly after, two Aussie’s went out on their twin fins and literally ate shit at Sunset. I give them credit for trying. I combined the twin with the gun and..well, there were two different three fined set ups. One with a larger center fin actually forward of the twins, and one that was like the current thruster…


Worked at the UH Look Lab during my Jr/Sr year and learned a lot about oceanography reducing and plotting data for the Haleiwa Harbor Project.

I got into the HFD in 1975, got into construction, and eventually got my Science Degree. I lost touch with shaping, but hooked up with Tom Parrish who shaped my boards until he left for law school…I went through a few shapers, and learned a little from all of them. Dennis Pang, Glenn Pang, D.Beckmeier, and Brewer….and started back shaping around 1982….registered Hawaiian Surf Designs in 1983 and shaped for Lightning Bolt, Seawind Challenge, Hobie Maui, and myself, HSD…

Designed the first generation of inverted vee hybrid boards(ask AM and Rusty P), and got into longboards when Quicksilver recruited me at Bill Barnfield’s Raging Isle Shop for Russ K Makaha, which lasted about 15-17 years until Rusty K left Quicksilver….


I’ve done HIC, Island Classics, Blue Hawaii, Downing, and a few other labels along the way….I still enjoy shaping and surfing….my wife and I go SUP paddling usually twice a week…Something we both really enjoy doing together besides swimming.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the HFD, going on 35 years…I’ve also worked for several contractor’s along the way in construction, and have been able to put two Son’s through private school and one thru collage….my third Son is autistic, and remains my best friend…aloha George


Phone: (808) 372-2073

Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: July 23rd, 2008 | Comments: (14)
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Since 1967 – Our Shapers have been providing Surfboards throughout the world, shaping surfboards renowned for their performance and by far some of the highest quality boards on the market today.


All Surfboards from Riff Raff are hand shaped with a variety of High quality Blanks from US Blanks to Biofoam even Balsa and Koa and colored by some of the finest Artist in the US, fitted with Custom Island Fins (made in Hawaii) designed by our Shapers and finished with a High Gloss Polish by the most reputable Glassers in the islands.


Our surfboards are unique offering the best of the past, bringing it to the present, boards that ride great and look impressive.

Riff Raff board builders come from various backgrounds and shaping styles, creating surfboards for such riders as Dino Miranda, Sunny Garcia, Martin Potter, Rusty Keaulana, Johnny Boy Gomes and many more. But they all have one thing in common, the love for the “classic old school” board, thus we are able to create a unique line up of custom surfboards, from all eras.

When you order a board from Riff Raff you have the piece of mind that your board is truly custom, no two boards are alike, as they are hand crafted from start to finish solely for you, the rider.

Riff Raff Surfboards pride themselves on keeping you updated throughout your build. Once your order is complete we`ll register you into our Private Online Status Page, where you can get an up to date progress report on your surfboard build. Just another reason to choose Riff Raff Surfboards as your board building company.


riff_raff_surfboards_logo.jpg Have fun and check out our Retro surfboards at…

From All at Riff Raff Surfboards







Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: June 12th, 2008 | Comments: (2)
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Donald Takayama, legendary shaper of Hawaiian Pro Designs, has had over 55 years of experience in the surfing industry. He designs, shapes, and manufactures shortboards, funboards, and retro and progressive longboards. Hawaiian Pro Designs has several retail locations in Hawaii, California, and Texas. Not only is Takayama known for his line of custom surfboards, he is also a five time United States Surfing Champion. His surfing experience undoubtedly helps him make the ideal surfboards for a wide range of surfing expectations. His shapes have been proven both in Hawaii, California, and around the world as evidenced by his Surftech line which are some of the most popular epoxy boards around today.

A glance at the variety of Takayama Surfboards:


  • Twin Fin: classic board built for speed and agility that holds bigger waves than a tri fin would of the same size
  • Thurster: maneuverable model that allows for quick vertical snaps and cutbacks
  • Single Fin Gun: built to tackle the biggest waves with a more than capable baord
  • Quad: designed to work in all conditions with more speed than a twin fin

Progressive Longboards:

  • DT1-4: series of longboards designed for speed and maneuverability
  • Beach Break: hard down rails and the extra rocker make this tri-fin a high performance progressive long board
  • In the Pink: modern 2+1 fin arrangement with a harder edge to allow board noseriding and turning
  • Stephen Slater Model: tri-fin set up with rounded pintail designed for Stephen Slater to match a full range of surfing, from nose riding to straight up snaps

Retro Longboards:

  • Model T: the broad nose and wide tail of this versatile retro longboard make it perfect for shoulder to ankle high waves
  • NR2: retro version of the DT2 with a similar design to the model T, but with a more narrow tail allowing for tighter turns
  • Classic Noserider: the volan cloth and single fin bring back the mid-60s style longboard
  • Double ender: made to ride any size wave but its nose and tail are built to ride overhead waves


  • Scorpion: this mini-noserider is a fast mid-length board with controlled maneuverability
  • Flo egg: progressive short board with volan cloth, a single fin, and a long full rail that enable tighter pocket turns
  • Retro single fin: single fin short bard designed to handle barrels with confidence
  • NR3: shorter version of the NR2 with a tri-fin setup


Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: May 14th, 2007 | Comments: (0)
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Neal Norris, of Valley Isle Surfboards in Maui, has been shaping custom surfboards since 1969. Throughout the years, he has been designing functional and innovative surfboards custom built for each individual surfer. No surfboard is made the same and a surfer’s height, weight, and experience are all factors which contribute to subtle differences in each of his boards. All surfboards produced by Norris are hand shaped of the highest quality fiberglass resin and materials.

Valley Isle Surfboards offers the following surfboard designs:

Shortboards – These boards are designed for small to moderate surf with a curvey outline for maximum maneuverability.

Big Boy Boards – These boards are enlarged shortboards for surfers who weigh between 180-200 lbs which make surfing fun for bigger and heavier surfers.

Funboards – These designs consist of hybrids and mini tankers and offer the paddling power of a longboard with the responsiveness of a shortboard.

Big Wave Boards – These surfboards are built with gun outlines and stronger “S” cloth fiberglass and suited for large hollow surf.

Longboards – Valley Isle specializes in modern high performance longboards that are quick and manueverable. These boards narrow the gap between modern day shortboards and the heavy “log type” longboards of the past.

Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: May 5th, 2007 | Comments: (0)
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Paddle Surf Hawaii shaper Blane Chambers is arguably Hawaii’s hottest and most sought after stand-up paddle surfboard shaper. He’s shaped stand-up boards for all of Hawaii’s big names which include big wave hellmen Darrick Doerner, Kealii Mamala, Jamie Sterling, and Garrett McNamara. Blane is relatively new to surfboard shaping but has quickly grown to becoming a sought after commodity. Last year, he stand-up paddle surfed every session to show his commitment and stoke on his stand-up paddle designs.

Paddle Surf Hawaii has also teamed up with Dave Parmenter providing Hawaii surfers with some of the top cutting edge stand-up paddle board designs. Dave Parmenter who is still based out of Makaha, is one of Hawaii’s top shapers who has built his reputation as a master craftsman and builds a variety of surfboards in all shapes and sizes.

Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: May 4th, 2007 | Comments: (7)
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One of surfing’s high performance pioneers, Larry Bertlemann became one of the sport’s biggest influences. Born on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1955, he moved to Oahu at age 11 and surfed at Queens off Waikiki. One day he broke his 9’6 and tried glassing the fin to the front half of the board but had trouble getting it to stay. A guy walked up to show him how to do it properly and that guy turned to be Donald Takayama. From that very day he mindset changed on what types of surfboards could be ridden (longboards were the norm in the 60’s) and he would also work with Ben Aipa who began shaping shorter, wider, and faster twin fins, swallow tails, and stinger designs.

The new shorter designs allowed Bertlemann to surf faster and begin experimenting with radical maneuvers and would change surfing forever. Larry became one of the most popular and highest paid surfers during the 1970’s signing endorsement deals with soft drink and airline companies.

Larry first shaped his surfboard when he was 19 and has been most influenced by Ben Aipa. He firmly believes in hand shaping all of his boards and feels that there will always be a market for the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into a hand built surfboard. You can still order his famous twin fin design he used from his surfing hey day as well as retro shortboards, swallow tail thrusters, and quad models.


Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: April 29th, 2007 | Comments: (20)
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Innovative shaper Dave Parmenter, from California, was an up and coming pro surfer in the 1980’s. He had ridden Rusty Preisendorfer’s surfboards as a pro which eventually led him to Australia as a shaper under the Rusty label. After having notable shaping success in Australia, Dave moved to Makaha, Hawaii in the 1990’s and created his own surfboard label, Aleutian Juice.

In his spare time, Dave Parmenter also contributes surfboard design articles and features to Surfer Magazine and Surfline. Aside from his writing, he has become one of the leading stand up paddle board shapers around though he shapes a wide variety of surf craft including high performance shortboards, retro designs, funboards, beach boy boards, and longboards.

Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: April 29th, 2007 | Comments: (17)
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Billy Hamilton grew up in California and surfed the entire coastline growing up in the 60’s. He competed in California surf contest and found his way competing in Hawaii and developed an attraction for the North Shore. He found his way back to Hawaii in 1966 and married his wife Joann (her son Laird is the top and most respected big wave rider). They later moved to Kauai and Billy eventually shaped for Surfboards Hawaii, Country Surfboards, Chuck Dent, and Lightning Bolt.

Aside from shaping, Billy Hamilton is known for his graceful surfing style and appearance in ‘Big Wednesday’. He has been shaping under his own label since the 1990’s and has several classic epoxy longboards offered through Surftech.

Filed in: Shaper Reviews (Hawaii) | On: April 26th, 2007 | Comments: (10)
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Dick Brewer came to Hawaii in 1959 after having been raised in the Los Angeles area. He learned to surf Hawaii’s powerful North Shore waves and established himself as a big wave rider charging macking Sunset Beach and Waimea Bay. He began shaping surfboards shortly after and later shaped for big surfing companies like Bing, Hobie (he created the Hobie Dick Brewer Gun), and Gordan & Smith Surfboards. After a falling out with G&S, Brewer created Dick Brewer Surfboards.

Dick Brewer would go on to work and design boards with Gerry Lopez on the island of Kauai. Years later, he began working with Laird Hamilton, Derrick Doerner, and Buzzy Kerbox to develop tow boards for Maui’s giant north shore waves. Through Brewer’s progress designs, tow surfing was taken to a whole new level. Most recently, Bruce Irons won the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational on the infamous borrowed yellow Brewer gun.

Brewer Surfboards has also collaborated with Surftech to provide surfers with epoxy versions of his timeless quivers.