Sunday, August 31, 2014

Craft Feature: California Surfcraft of San Francisco, California

Aloha Folk of the Stoke! This weeks Craft Feature comes from San Francisco, California. Dave Hahn from California Surfcraft shares with us an awesome story that is truly...Different Folk! Like my Friend Ryan from Craft Feature No. 1, Dave started out life in the Midwest and eventually found the Stoke in Northern California! Enjoy!

Craft Feature No. 3
California Surfcraft 
San Francisco, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?

My name is Dave Hahn, and I'm with California Surfcraft ( and @californiasurfcraft on IG).

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

I make cork and fiberglass composite handplanes. They're being tested right now in California, Hawaii and Brazil, and I expect then to be ready for sale online and in Northern California surf shops before the end of the summer.

I'm concentrating right now on a 17x10", deep concave board that cruises through waves with tons of speed and stability. This is a board that you'd take to the outside line-up to pick off the same waves that you'd make with a full-size surfboard. You can see a photo of this board here:

These cork handplanes are make with fiberglass, SuperSap epoxy and composite cork in a vacuum-bagged sandwich construction. They are incredibly light and rigid, as well as ding resistant and rot-proof. My testers are really stoked on the boards, and I'm really excited to get them released.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

I grew up in Illinois and started my working life as a jazz pianist in Chicago. I toured a lot and worked overseas before ending up in New York City as a keyboard player for Broadway shows. Not a common story for a surfer, I know, but we all have our own path.

Looking for a change, my wife and I left New York and came to San Francisco, where she's from, and took over the family business. We rented an apartment next to Ocean Beach and I bought my first surfboard. I was 31. Again, not a common story for a surfer.

From day one I was hooked. I rarely missed a day. I was terrible at first - it took me weeks of daily sessions before I even stood up once - but I kept at it. After a year or so I was in much better shape, surfing better, and making drops consistently.

I wish I'd been lucky enough to grow up near the ocean, but the opportunity to surf didn't present itself until later in my life. It just makes me that much more grateful for the chance to be here now, and to be a surfer. What a gift. I really love it and it's become a major part of my life.

I became interested in surfboard construction right from the start. However, I was mostly interested in alternative surfcraft. Alaia, paipo, handplanes, surf mats, surfskis - that kind of thing. And I was focused on new kinds of construction techniques - sandwich composites, nanotech - futurist stuff. I'm really interested in how new technologies and manufacturing techniques could make environmentally-friendly surfcraft that perform as well or better than their non-sustainable versions.

I stumbled on cork while I was researching new kinds of boat construction. I'm certainly not the first to look to cork for surfboard design, and I hope I'm not the last. It's an amazing material. It's resistant to water, rot and dings, and it's LEED certified as a rapidly renewable resource. It can be made very rigid with sandwich composite techniques, and yet it will also - one day many years from now - biodegrade in a way that EPS or PU foam never will.

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

I take a handplane out every day. I think San Francisco's Ocean Beach is an underrated bodysurfing beach - especially when you have the right handboard. The waves by us are steep and fast, which can by technical and tricky on a surfboard, but fit just right on a handplane. I'm hooked!

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

I'm looking for more testers in California, Florida, NY & New Jersey. Connect with me on Instagram and let me know where you surf. If it's an area I'm still looking to get some feedback from, I'll send you a free board.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

I think the traditional fiberglass + foam surfboard construction has been mastered so well by so many talented shapers that we'll only make small, incremental improvements on it in the future. Big improvements in surf gear could still be made, though, with new construction techniques and next-generation materials. I think we're all working on the beginning of this transition right now and it's really exciting.

As we move through this time of innovation, though, I hope that the surfing industry continues to move toward sustainability in construction, materials and durability. Paulownia and bio-epoxy are a great start to this shift, and companies like Firewire are bravely leading the way, but more needs to be done. We need to take a long look at our use, and waste, of foam (even the recycled kind) and decide if that material should have such a central place in our nature-loving sport.

DSDF: Any shout outs, Thanks or comments?

Yes! I'm very grateful to my testers - @emsteenis, @dabestellis, @tbad22, @oceanellis, @bodysurfbrazil, @tobin1142 - for helping me refine my boards. Thanks to everyone on Instagram for being so stoked and supportive of the prototypes, and thanks to SF's Aqua Surfshop, and Marin's Proof Lab for being early supporters of California Surfcraft.

Thank You Dave for sharing your Stoke and Story!!!

Good Vibes!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Craft Feature: Marki Surfboards of Torrance, California

Aloha Fellow Folk of the Stoke!!! After being out of the country for the last month, I'm back to posting the Craft Feature interviews! I want to Thank Everyone that has responded to the interview questions, and instead of posting them every few weeks, I'm going to post them every Sunday until I run out! So If you're interested in answering 6 questions about your Stoke! Just let me know!!! This interview comes from Marc Takai of Marki Surfboards!!! Enjoy!!! And Thanks again Marc!

Craft Feature No. 2
Marki Surfboards 
Torrance, California

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?

Marc: My names Marc Takaki. I create my crafts under the name "Marki". Marki is a combination of my first and last name, and is also my nickname my family used to call me when I was younger. I shape out of Torrance CA, I started getting into shaping because i was extremely interested and fascinated by how boards are made and what all different design aspects change how the boards feel. I am always learning from making boards and that is what I love best about it. I do not have a website as of now. I do have an Instagram page @marki_boards and a Facebook page

You can also contact me through email at

DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?

Marki: Currently I make high performance short boards, fun boards and fishes. I also enjoy making handplanes with wood and foam that I have left over after other projects ,or wood that I find that I can recycle. I have also shaped a couple alaia boards and a hollow wooden surfboard.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?

Marki: I got into surfing when I was 11. My dad used to surf all the time when he was younger with his buddies so it rubbed off onto me. Before I started to surf  I was into skateboarding and snowboarding. It was only a matter of time before surfing was added. 

DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?

Marki: I don't have just one favorite surf craft. I mainly ride short boards and some fun boards that are loose and fast. But on those big walled days or when it's breaking on shore bodysurfing with a handplane is always super fun!

DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?

Marki: I try and make it to most of the events that all the other handplane and surf companies host that I am invited too. Great to meet new people who enjoy the same things as I do. I would love to to give back and start an event that can unite more people and have fun in the water.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

Marki: It seems like surfboards are starting to get very high tech with all the available materials and people striving to make stronger and lighter environmentally friendly boards. So I'm excited to see the new innovative shapes to come, and maybe create one of my own. Surfing will always grow more popular every year so hopefully people can keep all the shapers in business.

I'd like to give shoutouts to all my friends and family for their love and support. And also to all my customers and followers. Without you I'm nothing! And also to everyone who has helped me with questions and techniques along the way! 

Thank You Marc for Supporting the Stoke and Different Stoke for Different Folk!

Good Vibes!!!