Not far from one of the best breaks known as C Street in a blue building, you will find Walden Surfboards. From the shop in downtown Ventura, Steve Walden “Father of the Modern Longboard” shapes over 300+ boards a year. He holds the record for the longest nose ride at 25.5 seconds and estimates he has shaped over 20,000 boards in his lifetime.
The shop also sells everything you need to hit the water. You can grab some Walden Surfboard branded clothing, gifts, from bracelets to soaps, and even scented candles that will help you remember the beach when you can’t get there.
RootsRated spent some time with Steve Walden talking about how he began and his favorite places to surf in California.
Steve Walden, you were 13 at the time you shaped your first board. What is your surf background?
I started surfing in 1961 and shaped my first board in 1962. I opened my first surf shop in 1969 in Huntington Beach and by 1970 my manufacturing business called Dyno was the largest board manufacturing firm in the business. From there, I moved to Oahu in 1972 and made all designs but specialized in longboards for Lightning Bolt, HIC, Surfline Hawaii, Local Motion and many others I moved back to California in 1981 and started making longboards and developed the Magic Model that changed the design direction of performance longboards. I still shape more than 300 boards a year and am actively creating new designs.
Can you describe your customers?
We cater to all abilities and ages. We have a lot of competitors that compete on the Walden Magic Model but also we specialize in the novice surfer. Making sure we match the right board to the person’s weight, age ability and wave type is so important.
What makes California a great place to surf?
Consistent waves, pretty warm water, lots of beach and point and reef breaks. It’s the heart of the surfing industry and the sport. This is the place where surfing got its start.
Where are your favorite places to surf that are close to Santa Barbara?
California Street is our local break and one of the best on the coast. It’s a point break, so you can get 200-500 yard rides, and the crowd is pretty friendly.
For more info on Walden Surfboards visit : http://www.waldensurfboards.com.