Tom Wegener is arguably the most cutting edge shaper in the world.
He started the alaia revolution in 2005 and was named Surfboard Shaper of the Year in 2009 for this. Then he took the dynamics of the alaia and applied them to modern materials and designed the Seaglass Project Tuna and Albacore boards made by Global Surf Industries and retailed to surfers all around the world. In 2016, Tom developed a way to incorporate flex through paulownia and cork woods into his finless boards to create the next level of finless surfing.
Tom was a key inspiration for the wood board movement. In 2001 he discovered that paulownia is the best wood for surfboards because of its highly unusual property of not sucking up salt water. In 2003 Tom stopped making foam surfboards and turned only to paulownia wood and made over 300 hollow wood finned surfboards. (Also, the alaia revolution was possible because of Tom’s work with paulownia). Tom is most proud of his green factory which has no toxic chemicals and almost no waste. In 2011, Tom was awarded the Sunshine Coast “Smart Business Award” for his environmentally friendly factory.
In 2013, Tom took a break from making surfboards to attend the University of the Sunshine Coast and write a PhD on the sustainability of the surfboard industry. He found that the amazing resiliency of the surfboard industry has come from its unique culture which has been passed down from generation to generation. Tom has turned his PhD thesis into a book, “Surfboard Artisans, For the Love,” which is available through this website. Since finishing his thesis, Tom has returned to making surfboards.
Tom started shaping surfboards in 1979 and his brother Jon took up the planer a few years later. Working together Tom and Jon have developed many surfboards and are still working together. Jon is in Encinitas, California while Tom moved to Noosa Heads, Australia in 1998.