Do people really surf them?
Absolutely! All Ventana surfboards live inside homes as art pieces, and many get taken off their stands or walls by their owners to go surfing. Ventana boards are built as heirlooms that will last for generations, so even those that are art pieces today might someday find their way onto waves.
How much do they cost?
Our hollow wooden boards start at $8000. The design, length, shape, inlays and history of the reclaimed woods all impact the final price. We provide you an exact quote up front, and that's the price you pay. If your requirements change during the crafting process, the price may change a bit, of course. A 50% deposit is all that's required to get started. The rest is payable on completion.
How well do they surf?
Amazingly well! Every Ventana surfboard is built to surf. Given their hollow nature, they float well, surf fast and make it easy to pop up quickly. Surfing a Ventana is smooth and fun. Most of our customers are laid back soul surfers who love the ride. When we’re in the water, we often let other surfers in the line-up test them. Even the most skeptical surfers are instant fans.
Are they heavy?
Nope! Given that they are hollow, Ventana surfboards are relatively light. Internal, ribbed frames given the boards strength and structure, and the top and bottom decks are only 1/8 inch thick. While they are a little heavier than a traditional foam board, surfers and art collectors are always surprised by how light they are. For instance, an 8-foot Ventana is usually only about 18 pounds.The design and wood species you choose can impact the final weight. We can work with you to ensure a heavier or a lighter board depending on your needs.
What's the brass plug near the tail?
A vent plug. Given that Ventana surfboards are hollow, they are beholden to Charles’s Law (also known as the law of volumes). V=kT where: V is the volume of the gas, T is the temperature of the gas (measured in kelvins), and k is a non-zero constant. This law describes how a gas expands as the temperature increases; conversely, a decrease in temperature will lead to a decrease in volume. If the boards were completely sealed, they could expand when it’s hot, putting undue stress on the decks. The vent plug allows the boards to be sealed in the water and pressure equalized on the land. Of course, we glass the inside of the boards, as well, so that if you were to forget the vent plug and get some water inside, you can drain it without harming the integrity of the board!
Can you make a short board/longboard/fish/egg/paddle board, etc.?
Sure! We specialize in custom shapes and designs. We have a variety of templates that will fit the needs of most surfers and art collectors, but we can create custom shapes, as well. And paddle boards, too!
Where are they made?
We have a large workshop in Aptos, California. If you'd like to visit, contact us!
Where do you get such amazing woods and materials?
We ask for it or people find us! We have a rule that we will never pay for wood. We do that to force ourselves to use reclaimed materials, but also to ensure that our investment is in outstanding craftsmanship rather than in purchasing materials. Our woods are some of the most historic and exotic in the world, many of which are only available as “reclaimed.” Old growth redwood, for instance, can no longer be purchased new, so we use old floorboards, porches or even wood from John Steinbeck’s first house! We created the Ventana Upcycle Partner Program so that companies and individuals who give us materials get free marketing and promotion in return for their donation. We receive a good deal of publicityand our partners benefit from that.
How long do they take to build?
Each board takes 6-8 weeks to complete. Depending on how many custom orders are in the queue, your board may take longer. We'll work with you to determine your requirements, give you a time frame for completion and provide the exact price of your board. We require a 50% deposit to get you in the queue, and we'll send you progress pictures throughout the crafting process!
What are the display and wall mounting options?
We can create custom, low profile wall or floor mounts that are unique to each board and blend in with their surroundings so as not to distract from the surfboard. You can see various horizontal, vertical, and floor stand options here.
Who is the maker?
Martijn Stiphout is our master artisan. Anything wood that comes from Ventana, from our Save-A-Surf Boxes to our bodysurfing handplanes to our hollow, wooden surfboards is made by Martijn.
Martijn isn't actually a "shaper" given that the boards aren't actually shaped but rather built up from a holow core. The cork rails are shaped, but the boards themselves are built.
Do you offer classes?
You can participate in the building of your board by working 1-on-1 with our master artisan, Martijn Stiphout, for up to 5 hours during the longer build process. You will assist with various stages and will learn about each stage as you go.
Contact us with interest.
What is that material on the rails? Is it cork?
Yep, it's cork! We glue together thin sheets of cork into blocks. This allows us to shape the rails into exactly what’s needed to maximize the performance of each board. Cork is also a flexible material, so it’s more ding resistant. And cork is sustainable given that harvesting doesn’t require cutting down the oak tree. We get our natural color, cork rolls from Bangkor Cork.
What happens if I forget to put the vent plug in?
We glass our boards inside and out to protect them from structural damage if water were to get inside. If you happened to forget to tighten the vent plug before jumping in the waves, simply get out of the water, drain your board, and let it dry with the vent plug removed.
Can they be repaired?
Yes! Ventana boards are stronger and more ding resistant than a traditional foam board, so they tend to need fewer repairs. But in most cases they can be repaired if they get dings. Often, the repairs are even better than new as new design elemets can be added where there is damage. That's never the case with a foam board.
Do you ship internationally? How much does that cost?
We can ship anywhere in the world! Shipping is free and insured in the United States, and we can provide a shipping cost for other countries before you order. We can't predict whether there will be customs fees in your country. You'll need to be responsible for those.
Contact us for more information!
Would you like to schedule a visit to our Aptos, CA workshop?
Do you work with interior designers?
Yes. We collaborate often with interior designers, and we can support various resale approaches based on the business model of the designer (commissions, discounting, pass-through billing, etc.).
Contact us to discuss your project, and let's create something beautiful that will meet your and your customer's vision for their space.
Do you stain, paint, or color the wood?
Almost never. The wood colors are all natural, but we can paint if you'd like. The beautiful gloss comes from the Entropy Bio Resin epoxy or Ecopoxy soy-based epoxy that we use to glass the boards.
How are they sealed?
We use Entropy Super Sap bio-based epoxy and/or Ecopoxy soy-based epoxy, an incredibly strong and light epoxy made with a healthy dose of tree sap. It’s the most eco-friendly resin available, it polishes beautifully, and we love it. The resin is coated over 4-ounce or 6-ounce fiberglass sheets. We generally use two sheets on the top and one on the bottom. We seal the inside with a sheet of 4-ounce fiberglass on top and bottom, too!