Wave Zone at 30 Years and Counting
4/10/20 / Staff Writer
Having just celebrated Wave Zone at 30 Years, we can’t help but look back at the journey that brought us here.
Today, Wave Zone Surf Company houses Wave Zone Skimboards, Hammer Traction Deck Grip and Wave Zone Custom Surfboards. Lots of pivoting along the way and some key principles kept the company strong through good times and bad.
The day it all started… November 1, 1990, Jeff Shinham signed the lease on his first ever Wave Zone facility. 2 weeks of fast paced build out paved the way for a grand opening on November 15th of that year. Now, with 30 years firmly under his belt, Shinham operates one of the largest skimboard companies in the world, the only Surf Traction brand 100% made in the USA, and a custom surfboard shop. It is safe to say, his hands are more than full.just
What is at the core of Wave Zone Skim & Surf Company’s massive success?
Shinham is regularly heard saying, “Good enough is not good enough.” With 100’s of surfboard shapes and well over 100,000 WZ skimboards on the beaches, Shinham still continues to focus on design and development with every board he creates.
As business continues to boom, Shinham insists that customer service is key to continuing that growth. His motto, “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.”
What inspired the birth of Hammer Traction?
By the end of 2012, in an industry turn, there were no longer any US manufacturers of surf traction to be found.
Incented by his business goal to, “buy in the US and sell US products,” by 2013, Shinham launched Hammer Surf Traction. Now after 8 years, Hammer remains the only surf traction 100% made in the United States and offers grip for surf, skim and marine.
How did WZ handle expansion from a back yard workshop to today?
Moves to larger facilities were essential as the business grew. Originally all board building was handled in Shinham’s back yard. A move to his first warehouse came in 1997. The last move, in 2004, brought WZ to its current home in Palmetto, FL. Still busting at the seams, Shinham makes it work. His tried and true business plan of controlled and sustainable growth continues. Credit to his father, who always said, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.”
When Asked about Next Steps Shinham offers this:
“I’ve been in this industry and in this brand, most of my life. I love doing what I do. I find my reward in every rider who loves their board, our family of team riders who proudly rep, and every parent who is truly excited to give their kid their first Wave Zone. Every next step is about continuing that.”
Christofer Dale says
I remember the store on Holmes Beach, it was a big part of my teenage years. My friend Matt k. and I used to hang out there pretty much every day after school for hours. Matt ended up being sponsored for the original WZ skim team and he was so proud. I had long forgotten about that time until a week ago on cape cod I was with my nephew at a small surf store and I saw a zap skimboard. I started to tell him about how when we were kids this guy (Jeff) shaped these amazing boards in his garage that revolutionized skim boarding in our eyes, I turn around and there was a rack of WZ boards behind me.
All of the memories started coming back and I started to wonder what Jeff was up to now. It is great to see how successful he has become. At the time he was newly married and grinding every day to build his business. Super stoked for him and the brand. Thanks for the great memories and being the “coolest” adult that us 12 y/o kids looked up to. La Heim