Building Surfboards Since 1968
As a native of San Diego and having a father that was an avid free diver and spear fisherman, my exposure to the waves and the ocean came at a very early age. My family spent many weekends on the beaches of La Jolla and on the bluffs of Sunset Cliffs while my parents dove for abalone and lobster and speared the occasional unlucky fish that happened to swim by. But my interest in the ocean was the waves that I saw breaking at Osprey Reef, Luscombs and Garbage Reef. By age twelve, I had my first surfboard and have been hooked ever since. In 1968, I got my first blank by stripping the fiberglass off an old no-name surfboard, and using only a surform hand tool I proceeded to shape my first board. For my next attempt I rented a large, extremely powerful planer and with a new Clark Foam blank, produced a board that rode well. By 1973, I had shaped numerous boards for myself and my friends and decided to try and make some money shaping. I approached Paul at Gordon and Smith Surfboards, showed him a board I had shaped, and he hired me on the spot. My nine years at G&S were extremely valuable. I shaped a variety of boards and worked closely with Mark Richards on his twin fin designs for California. This association with Mark gave me the opportunity to go to Australia in 1980 for research and development and a lot of surfing.
In 1982 I decided to start my own business. I formed Prodanovich Enterprises, producing my own boards and contract shaping for other companies. Some of my customers included G&S, Nectar, and Linden Surfboards. Two years later Local Motion approached me to shape and distribute boards for them along Californiaís west coast which meant, of course, trips to Hawaii. I worked with team riders and helped Local Motion with many ASR shows. In 1985 I hooked up with Rusty Surfboards. My association with Rusty as a shaper lasted over 5 years and included hundreds of boards.
Over the last 15 years I pursued other shaping accounts, including South Coast Surfboards, a company with 5 retail stores here in San Diego, and continue to shape for them today. The driving force behind my shaping is to create boards that are well thought out and appropriate for the surfers that will be riding them. Putting together all of the ingredients of volume, bottom curve and contour and number of fins is crucial to a great riding board whether the board is 5 feet long or 10 feet long. In the end, if the surfboard is not fun to ride and durable then I have not done my job correctly.
All of my shaping has not prevented me from doing some of the things I love including surfing, skiing, yoga and travel. Recent trips with my family were to mainland Mexico, Los Cabos, Costa Rica and Mammoth Mountain. A recent trip with my wife to the Eastern Sierra, Yosemite Valley, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara in our 4WD Silverado camper was great way to spend two weeks. Itís good to travel but thereís nothing quite like getting back into my shaping room with the smell of fresh foam dust in the air!