Sunday, October 19, 2014

Craft Feature: Westside Boards of Ventura, California

The last feature for tonight is another Ventura purveyor of Stoke! Westside Boards! An EcoMinded Surfcraft company from start to finish...seriously! If the ocean knew how Adam builds his craft, I believe she'd reward him with Perfect Days every time he stepped into the water! Enjoy!!!

Craft Feature No. 7 
Westside Boards 
Ventura, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with? (Web sites address please):

My name is Adam West and I make Westside Boards in Ventura, CA. 
insta & twitter: @westsideboards

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

Westside Boards handcrafts high performance, eco-friendly bodysurf handplanes and alternative surfcraft.  What began as a woodworking hobby 7 years ago quickly became a passion to build quality sustainable products with less impact on the environment.  All of our boards are made from wood that comes from a sustainably managed forest or wood that is reclaimed/recycled and then sealed with a clear coat derived from whey, a natural and renewable resource.  We currently offer 4 different models of handplanes and 2 models of Paipos.

DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing? 

I wish I had a cool Johnny Utah type of story to tell you.  The reality is I bought my first surfboard roughly 20 years ago.  I grew up in a small coastal town in Maine and the ocean was always a part of my life.  I remember how surfing was made to look easy by those who were good at it. I quickly found out there is a heck of a learning curve.  The surf where I grew up was very inconsistent and the water was usually very cold.  It wasn’t until I moved to California 14 years ago that I was able to enjoy surfing on a consistent basis.

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

I’m not sure I can define exactly what my favorite form of “Stoke” is because there are so many different ways to achieve it.  Whether I’m on a surfboard, handplane or paipo, there’s just a peacefulness and tranquility that emerges as you mentally leave everything behind and it’s just you and the ocean.  “Stoke” to me is the ability to be able to live in the moment and enjoy the now, and it’s those moments that really help keep me balanced as a person.

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

Well, summer is coming to an end and that’s typically our busy season as far as our surfcraft goes.  We typically do a few large events every year.  We’ll be running more demo days in the upcoming year and are looking forward to expanding our market outside of Central/ Southern California.

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

That’s a good question.  I think the culture of alternative surfcraft and the search for stoke has grown beyond the “fad” stage.  Bodysurfing seems to have gotten it’s legs and continues to grow.  The fact that the internet allows us all to connect and share our versions of the culture only helps move it forward.  I think the DIY aspect of bodysurfing is another reason why it continues to grow.  Building your own surfcraft whether it’s surfboards or handplanes has become popular among the die-hard surf fans, which is understandable as it a very rewarding process. There’s a tremendous feeling of using something you’ve hand made no matter how it looks instead of purchasing a similar product that was cut from machines in a factory with no personal connection.

Recently, there has been some push back against some of the larger surf manufacturers to become more sustainable. The tide has certainly changed in social and environmental responsibility within the industry and that is something we stride to push the boundaries on. We could easily make our products cheaper and less environmentally friendly, but instead we look for solutions rather than adding to the problem. Sustainability is at the core of our products. We take pride in using sustainable materials in the production of our products and that seems to be a common thread among most of the handplane companies out there.

DSDF: Any shout outs, Thank you's, or comments?

Most important my loving Wife and 3 kids for putting up with my obsession.
Also a very sincere thank you to all of the great surf shops that carry our products.   They believed in our message and took a chance on us.  Their support will never be forgotten.  

Of course a huge shout out to everyone who has ever bought one of our boards.  There are so many different handplanes and alternative surfcraft out there and it’s always humbling to have someone choose your product.

Thank You Adam for sharing your story and doing an awesome job helping Mother Earth! Seriously! In the end...That's why we enjoy being in the water!!! 
Stay Stoked!!! Good Vibes!!!


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