The Wave Signs Up Cornish Surfboard Manufacturers
The Wave, a visionary project to build an inland surfing destination on the edge of Bristol, has announced that it will be working with two UK surfboard manufacturers to supply its boards. Cornwall-based Skindog Surfboards and Toy Factory were both chosen following an in-depth selection process.
The Wave Founder, Nick Hounsfield explains the decision-making process:
“We are extremely happy to be starting long-term relationships with Skindog and Toy Factory and to be able to support the UK surfing industry. At The Wave we will have a variety of different wave shapes and sizes to suit people of all ages and abilities – and we need an array of boards to match this.
“In order to choose our surfboard partners we looked at a wide range of elements, including supply chain and board sustainability, as well as carrying out tests on board function and quality – yes, we went surfing! A really important area for us was to understand the people and companies behind the brand, and ensure they fit with our own values and vision – which Toy Factory and Skindog both do.
“We will have over 200 surfboards on site. These will include boards of different hardness, shape, length, fin set-ups and tail shapes, to name just a few of the variations. It’s really important that we can get exactly the right board under the feet of each of our visitors, to give them the best opportunity to learn and improve. We will also have boards designed specifically with disabilities in mind, to ensure we can provide everyone with the opportunity to get in the water and experience the joy of surfing.”
Skindog is headed up by Ben Skinner, one of the world’s best professional longboard surfers. Ben is passionate about developing the sport of surfing and is a very talented surfboard shaper, producing world-class boards with the team in his Cornish factory. Skindog will be providing a line of advanced level boards, as well as its Skinpup range and more, which will be perfect for those developing and improving at an intermediate level.
“It’s great to see The Wave getting behind UK surfboard manufacturing and we love working collaboratively with the team to design boards that will really help people to enjoy and progress their surfing. It is an exciting time to be part of the surfing industry in the UK, with the sport making the 2020 Olympics, The Wave opening and a growing and innovative UK surfboard design and production scene. On a personal note, I can’t wait to surf The Wave with my family. My son, Lukas, has just turned 11 and wants to make the Olympics, and this could provide the platform for him and a whole generation to become world-class surfers and compete for medals.”
Toy Factory surfboards
Toy Factory will be supplying its Fourth brand of performance boards for advanced surfers. The company, led by Luke Hart, is made up of quality shapers and is committed to sustainable operations. They are 100% plastic-free in terms of their packing and were one of the first to adopt the Flexi-hex packaging from Cornwall to ship their boards.
“We are hugely excited to be working with The Wave. It offers an amazing opportunity to test equipment and have immediate feedback after every wave, on as level a playing field as you will see in surfing. The possibilities really are endless in terms of development and understanding of equipment.”
Both Toy Factory and Skindog will be using UK materials wherever possible, including industry leading bio-resins and UK manufactured Pro-Foam surfboard blanks for the advanced level boards. The foam used in the performance boards is produced in Cornwall in a highly efficient manufacturing process with very limited waste. It is also really robust, so will extend the life of the boards.
“Maximising the lifetime of a board is really important to us and we are selecting boards with durability in mind. For instance we have chosen a very hard-wearing board from Skindog, which combines strong materials with a soft user-friendly top cover, which can be easily repaired. The ability to repair boards will be key. We have a repair service set up with all our suppliers and will be maintaining the boards well to make sure they last as long as possible.
The Wave has chosen Softech for its beginner boards, as it is the international leader in soft board manufacturing. Function and user friendliness were the key reasons to choose these boards. The Wave also has an agreement in place with Softech that means that any damaged boards under warrant will be repaired and donated to Surfers Not Street Children – a charity based in Durban, South Africa, that uses surfing as a tool for change to help get children off the streets.