Chad Kaimanu Jackson, Kaimanu Surfboards, Cayucos
Chad Kaimanu Jackson comes by his passion for surfboard shaping honestly: his father, Bruce, first started building boards in 1969 -- then passed the business on to Chad in 1992. But he’s more than just another hippie making beautiful, eco-friendly boards.
What he does: Kaimanu’s hydrodynamic shapes are perfect in big waves, heavy waves, isolated waves, and high-performance waves. In other words, he knows how to make boards that can seriously perform, even when made out of eco-friendly materials. If you’re just hitting easygoing pointbreaks and summertime beachbreaks, you’re better off with something different.
How he does it: While Chad inherited dad’s Kaimanu Surfboards label when he was 18, he immediately set out to push the business into the future by concentrating on natural materials: eco-friendly, agave-based foam for the surfboard blank; a hemp-derived fiberglass substitute for its strong outer layer; and recycled redwood for the fins on the bottom. That means that a Kaimanu shape is most definitely a piece of art -- but also a supremely functional one.