The Surfline Story really started…
… in 1966 when Roger Hall’s parents moved the family to a small seaside Village in Ruakaka, Bream Bay, Northland, New Zealand. Roger was 8 years old. He discovered the white sandy beaches and the blue Pacific Ocean and it wasn’t long before he followed both his brothers footsteps and became a Surfer.
By the age of 13, Roger was shaping and building surfboards under the watchful eye of his father. His Dad encouraged him to develop an eye for curves and to learn how to measure and capture key elements of his designs.
Roger began to scribe rocker curves from his favourite boards and use these curves as a base line for future shapes. Accurate record keeping has been a vital component in his design philosophy ever since.
During the majority of the ’70s, Roger built Twin Keel Fishes under the name of Woodenships. He was also dreaming of making a new, lightweight and modern version of the old dungas he and his mates loved riding when the waves were small.
Roger was joined by surfing buddy Colin Unkovich who took over some of the manufacturing duties and this partnership endured until 2006. Together they focused on building innovative surfboards to high standards of quality and durability.
In 1979 and again in 1980, Roger traveled to Hawaii where he met and surfed with Ben Aipa. Ben was shaping and surfing according to the vision in Roger’s head that incorporated lots of different styles of boards including very short wide summer fun boards and new longboards. On his return, he began to strip the glass off old dungas and widen them out with strips of balsa to make new blanks with which to shape his dream longboards.
There were no longboard blanks available in New Zealand at this time and Roger had to buy two 7’3″ blanks so that he could cut the centre out of one to widen out the other. This yielded a 7′ x 22″ round nose design which Roger called “Wavewalker”. Most of these were area pintails with twin keel fins. He regarded them as “high performance fun machines”.
Once windsurfing took off, large blanks become available. Roger shaped a few full length boards out of windsurfer blanks but they weren’t really suitable. Out of frustration, he drove to the windsurfer factory and begged them to let him make a false bottom in one of the molds. By the end of the next day, he left town with a van full of the new longboard blanks, but it was to be a one off.
Eventually, surfboard and longboard blanks become available in a range of sizes and the problem was solved.
Roger has continued making surfboards in Ruakaka to this day. Over the years, he has done many shaping stints to other factories in New Zealand and around the world. Many thousand surfboards later, Roger and his Team of talented craftsmen take great pride in designing and building a wide range of innovative surfboards which are well known for their quality and durability.
In Surfline’s philosophy surfing is defined as a very special pastime which we enjoy as a result of our own individual connection to the Ocean. The Surfboard is a celebration of this connection.
At Surfline, Surfboards are cherished as objects of performance art, designed to give you the best rides of your life as well as the pleasure of owning a beautiful handcrafted Surfboard.
Roger’s approach to designing and building Custom Surfboards is founded on the following principles:
- An open minded approach – the possibilities are only limited by our imagination.
- A longstanding belief in the quiver theory – riding different boards amplifies the amount of fun and enjoyment a Surfer gets in a wider range of conditions.This is at the root of the spirit and purity of surfing.
- Working to a method with accurate and meticulous record keeping combined with feedback – use the past and the present as the launching pad to the future.
- Practical results have more bearing than theoretical ideas – what is REALLY happening under YOUR feet? That is what counts for you as an individual.
As Surfers, we are all different and have differing needs. Building a good rapport with our Team will significantly enhance your surfing experience. We will not only customise your boards to keep pace with your surfing progression but also provide the platform of inspiration to take you to new levels. Ask about our Demo Boards!
We believe that the best Custom Surfboards are made from the highest quality. Polyurethane banks, blown to a density which best suits the purpose of YOU, the end user. Then Custom glued with the appropriate timber stringers, glassing with polyester resins to a strength to weight ratio which again speaks to the best interests of the end user.
This is the most “appropriate” technology in real terms. It gives the best range of choices and options for full customisation, hence meeting each end users needs in terms of performance, quality, durability and enjoyment
To date, nothing else comes close.
Your dedicated Surfboard craftsman are:
- Roger Hall (Owner Surfline Custom Surfboards): Surfboard designer/shaper
- Rhys Owen (Factory Supervisor): artist / sander / finisher
With support from:
- Chris Glass: office administration
- Mike Cunningham: photography