Founded and operated by surfers with a passion for the water
and a thirst for improved performance through innovation
Surfboard and sailboard shaper Randy French founded Surftech in 1989. French developed a revolutionary way of building surfboards and offered his new technology to the best shapers on earth.
Initially French and a few friends drove up and down the California coast with a truckload of boards selling them out of the back of a truck. Back then our early headquarters were known as the “chicken coop” and were located in the back of a Santa Cruz lumber yard.
Surftech officially began when French built a prototype with a shape from Rusty Preisendorfer at French’s Oregon factory. These original boards remain the most sought after of all Surftech shaper’s sample boards. We soon began a partnership with a world class international factory that matched our commitment to excellence, providing unparalleled capabilities, strong environmental awareness and unmatched craftsmanship.
What were the first Surftech boards?
The first production surfboards were a series of wood veneer models shaped by Randy French.
These early boards changed the industry forever. They represented the marriage of elegant craftsmanship and technologically advanced materials and construction, providing a surfboard that embraced beautiful, classic expertise yet were lighter and more durable. Their success led us to partner with other shapers who also wanted to utilize our composite construction to make their already high quality surfboards considerably stronger and lighter.
Who was the first shaper to partner with Surftech?
Legendary South Bay shaper Dale Velzy was the first to join with Randy and Surftech and produce a production longboard model
Soon after legendary shapers Reynolds Yater, Mickey Munoz, Robert August and Donald Takayama were all on board and enthusiastic about what this new technology would mean to the world of surfing. Before long, Surftech was producing entire quivers from these industry icons and Randy’s vision of sharing this new technology became a reality.
As the longboard side of Surftech continued to grow through the early ’90s, the mind of the mad scientist never slowed down and Randy turned his focus towards shortboards. He introduced his own line of shortboards in 1990, which received great feedback from the local Santa Cruz crew. Geoff Rashe, shaper and owner of M10 Surfboards in Santa Cruz was convinced after his top team rider Jason “Ratboy” Collins tried one of the boards and wouldn’t give it back.
Soon, shortboard shapers from around the globe saw the advantages of working with Surftech’s amazingly durable and lightweight Tuflite technology, including Al Merrick, Glen Minami, Phil Byrne, John Carper, and Rusty Preisendorfer. That was just the beginning.
What makes Surftech special?
Working with the world’s top shapers introduced Surftech to the top surfers in the world including Shane Dorian, Pancho Sullivan, Ratboy, Matt Rockhold, Tom Carroll, Myles Padaca, Tyler Smith, Pete Mel and a host of others. Hearing their feedback on the Tuflite boards was confirmation that Randy’s vision of a lighter, stronger, higher-performance surfboard was for real.
We continue to be inspired by athletes like Hawaiian surfer Dino Miranda—who’s been with us from the beginning—and WCT ripper Owen Wright. These guys, and many of our regional riders and surf shop employees, help test new prototypes, providing invaluable feedback and keeping us legit.
2014 will mark the 25th Anniversary of Surftech
Since our humble beginnings in a chicken coop, we have always stayed located in Santa Cruz, California.
We live, work and play here, and are stoked to build something crazy and go out to test it right in our own backyard.
Looking back, we think the name Surftech fits us pretty well as we continue to love to surf and are never satisfied with our current surfboard technologies. Looking ahead, we’re excited about the many new materials and designs we have in the works and look forward to seeing what the future holds.