Work hard, play hard, sleep some, repeat… until you hit landmark. That’s when you start thinking about how you got “here” and do you like “here?” This month marks 27 years in the world of Wave Zone and, YES, we are happy with the results! Thousands of boards sold worldwide every year, but what it really comes down to is quality boards and happy riders.
How it all Began
In 1990, after 6 years in sporting goods management and windsurfing/sailing instruction Jeff Shinham opened Wave Zone Custom Surf Shop in Manatee County, Florida. This shop specialized in custom surf boards, custom skimboards, skate boards and wind surfers among the hard goods product lines. With a full service surf shop by day and a board builder workshop at night, countless hours were spent building the powerful business that exists today. Owner and founder, Jeff Shinham was found every night shaping and building custom surfboards and skimboards in a workshop in his back yard. Over the years, hundreds of Wave Zone custom surf boards and several thousand skimboards have been individually handcrafted.
Originally, each skimboard was shaped and glassed in the same manner as a surfboard. In the late 1990’s Clark Foam discontinued the production of the foam used in shaping our skimboard cores. Much like the surfboard blank shortage of 2005/2006 we found ourselves pushed toward new product design, while using epoxy products as a temporary fix.
Nearly a full year was spent designing and building our first pvc foam core and fiberglass skimboard product. The first prototype board was a bust. Yes, a complete fail. After walking away for a month, Jeff re-approached his design with a new determination and prototype #2 was a winner.
Extensive research, design and test riding went into the first board and continues to go into every Wave Zone Skimboard that is engineered. Every aspect is measured from the science of the shape to the formulation of the glassing with the goal of producing boards that are faster, lighter and stronger.
Our first boards were initially sold only through the Wave Zone Surf Shop, but within a year Jeff was receiving requests to make boards for other surf shops in Florida. The first summer of wholesaling brought 30 surf shops on board and carrying the Wave Zone brand… gone were the days of back yard production.
The coming years brought 5 moves to newer, larger facilities to accommodate the massive growth of Wave Zone Skimboards. The booming business made it impossible to continue operating the Surf Shop and Jeff moved exclusively to manufacturing and wholesaling of the Wave Zone brand.
Bringing us to today…
Today Wave Zone Skimboards can be found in hundreds of surf shops around the United States and the world.
Continued commitment to the science of shape and polished graphic artwork keeps Wave Zone as one of the top selling skimboard brands worldwide..
In 2014 Jeff Shinham was awarded honorable mention for the ingenuity of a prototype step tail wake surfer at the board shape off in Orlando, FL. Reigniting his passion for shaping surfboards, Jeff continues to spend time shaping surfboards in his bay every time he has a chance.
At Wave Zone, good enough is never good enough. We strive every day to bring our boards and our customer service to the highest levels of performance.