What Drives Us

Though not always to our customers’ advantage, Grain’s surfboards are designed by people who surf every time there are waves, from wind-slop to groundswell. But when it’s flat, we’re knee-deep in our second-favorite thing to do: building wood boards that let surfers lessen their impact on the planet, and surf a great board.

Our background is with traditional wooden boats so we’ve adapted time-tested boat-building techniques to the construction of our boards. Built of local white cedar on a lightweight, rugged, internal frame, Grain’s boards are fully structural before they’re even glassed – which means that a heavily-used Grain Surfboard will never show pressure dings, doesn’t stress-crack, and surfs and looks as good years from now as it did when it first hit the water. We use no veneers or foam in our boards – inside, they’re just the same clean air we breathe. Outside, we use low-VOC epoxy, glass or bamboo cloth, and – if you want it – a high-gloss UV coating to protect the board for years to come. Designed for life, your board should never see a landfill in your lifetime and – per session – this may be the least expensive board you’ll ever own.

Most of our stock boards have been designed using 3D CAD software, with all the builders at Grain weighing in at intervals on the shapes. Custom board shapes are developed in the same way, and include the customer’s input via emailed screen-shots (additional design charges may apply). Through this collaborative process we tune the hydrodynamic elements of the shape – rails, rocker, bottom contours – until we have a board that’s as perfect as we can make it. From this 3D design, we create the two-dimensional flat sections that become the precision-cut frames and keel (stringer), then carefully select graceful, book-matched wood that blends together to form totally unique patterns on the deck and bottom. It’s our careful milling process and unique construction that allow us to efficiently saw logs into small parts, then re-assemble the living wood into a seamless, hollow surfboard with a minimum of waste.

We’re very proud of the lineup of boards you find here, from traditional skeg-finned longboards to modern quad fishes. They’re all beautiful and all made to surf, not hang on the wall. Our favorite feedback? Hearing that a board we built is the “new favorite” and is being surfed every single session.

We get such a charge out of building these boards that we wanted to find a way to share that feeling, so most of the boards in our line are offered as complete kits as well as completed, hand-built surfboards. If you’re good with your hands, can work carefully and follow written instructions, then you will love the feeling of dropping into your first wave on a Home Grown Surfboard Kit you built yourself. It’s indescribable. For those that’d do better with a little guidance or are looking for a cool surf-styled vacation that includes a bunch of work, our Wood Surfboard Building classes may be what you’re looking for.

Really, it’s simple: we strive to build exceptional boards for people like us. People that love to surf. .

For more details about Grain’s surfboards, see our Board FAQs