Australian Surfboard Shapers & Makers
Meet three surfboard makers from the west to east coast in Australia.
Brett Munro’s story of surfboard shaping started similar to most, on the shores and in his case the shores of New Zealand. His passion and love for the ocean sent him on a quest for the perfect board for the perfect wave. After a move to Australia in 1981, he started Prana Surfboards (now Munro and Sons Surfboards) and eventually settled in Byron Bay, where he still crafts every custom board from start to finish in his factory. He has shaped for state, national, professional and world title champions and is one of the few contemporary shapers who still hand shapes all of his models. Brett has been shaping since 1974 and has travelled extensively on the same quest, now fine-tuning boards to suit waves all over the world. “Most of the boards we build are direct sales and custom made for the domestic market in Australia. We do send some offshore by request and do a lot of repeat work for established customers,” Brett says. Brett’s passion remains the same. He says, “the best thing about being in this business is the lifestyle and job satisfaction. It’s a very rewarding job, especially when the feedback is positive from a customer and they are enjoying the ride.”
After 40 years in the industry, Mark ‘Oggy’ Ogram has found his niche. “I specialise for older surfers and surfers who want a bit more volume to catch waves easily and have fun,” he says. Mark’s career started in 1978, in a basement in Auckland. After moving to Australia and start a family, his business was born in 1994. Based in Dunsborough, Yahoo Surfboards’ team now includes his two sons Zac and Jed, and wife Sherylle. While Mark prefers to focus on the older surfers, his son Zac has been shaping for the last ten years to create high-performance boards for competitive surfers. “The best thing about being a surfboard maker is making people happy and seeing them have fun in the water,” Mark says.
Greg Wallace’s surfboard making career, started unlike many others. While he had a passion for surfing, he didn’t start his own workshops until attending one for himself. The difference with Perth’s Bodhi Tree Surfboards is you make your own Hollow Wooden Surfboard from sustainably grown local paulownia and reclaimed recycled timber kits, laser-cut and with all the essentials included. Greg welcomes people from all walks of life, no matter their age, gender or what they do for a living, all of those details are left at the door and you are there to create a one of a kind piece of art. More than just creating a personalised board, the Bodhi Tree Surfboard workshops are about connecting back with yourself and with the ocean. This strikes the heart of many people, and for many reasons. Greg has worked with organisations, such as the Department of Veteran Affairs and Soldier On to help returning soldiers through mental health issues.