My Sabbatical Leave from Shaping

16 May
Tom Wegener

Hello surfers,

I have enrolled in a PhD program at the University of the Sunshine Coast studying the Sustainability of the Surfboard Industry on the Sunshine Coast.  I am loving it!!! I feel that the local surfboard industry is forgetting more than it is learning and the culture of inventing and designing may be lost.     It is not impossible, it happened in Hawaii in the 1800s.  It takes a critical mass of open minded, knowledgeable, hungry surfers to keep the innovation fire burning, and if it goes out I feel there will be a big loss to the social fabric of Australian surfing culture and heritage.

While I am studying I can’t be busy making surfboards.  I tried and I found that I can’t do it. So, until I am finished with my PhD, I will not be making surfboards – except for the Surfie Surfboards.

I will continue with the Surfie boards because they are relatively easy for me make and I think they are the ultimate surfing vehicle. 

Noosa Longboards is making a series of my foam designs through the North Coast Factory in Byron Bay. They are cut on the computer and finished down there.  I shape some but not all of them.

For Alaias, Matt Williams (my old apprentice) will be shaping them at Factory Surfboards in Caloundra.  Check out his facebook for more details:

The Seaglass Project Albacores and Tunas are still going strong and you can still order them through this website. I am still very thankful to Global Surf Industries for backing my crazy idea (at the time) of making fun finless foam surfboards.

The Tunas and Albacores are GREAT surfboards.  I was able to develop these boards because of my extensive experimenting with alaias, all other types of surfboards and many types of materials.  It is this sort of experimenting and understanding of surfboard design that I think is disappearing fast.  Australia may be losing its intellectual capital without really knowing it and we may miss it when it is gone – or been taken by someone else.

Thank you very much,


Tom Wegener


Photo by Dane Peterson