USA, Surftech International, 2685 Mattison Lane, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Randy French founded SURFTECH in 1989, his background as a surfboard shaper and a pioneer in the windsurf industry drove him to experiment with different materials in an effort to make his boards lighter and stronger.
Randy’s involvement with sailboards resulted in major technological breakthroughs in composite board construction. In turn his company, Seatrend, soon became a mass production operation, producing hundreds of identical sailboard models and shipping them to windsurf shops around the world.
At the end of the ‘80s, the windsurf market was fading and all but went away in the early to mid ‘90s. So in 1989, Randy took what he had learned designing sailboards and applied it to his first love, surfboards.
He began by building a prototype with Rusty Preisendorfer at his factory in Oregon. These original boards remain the most sought after of all SURFTECH shaper’s sample boards. The original Rusty project, put on hold due to a mutual concern over the early production factory prompted Randy to speak with his contacts within the windsurfing world. The result was a partnership with an international factory that matches Surftech’s commitment to excellence, providing unparalleled capabilities, strong environmental awareness and unmatched craftsmanship.
The first surfboards were a series of wood veneer models shaped by Randy French. Randy tested the market originally with his designs but was more interested in sharing this technology with other shapers who could use this composite construction to make their already high quality surfboards considerably better.
The first shaper to join with Randy and Surftech was legendary South Bay shaper, Dale Velzy. Soon after Reynolds Yater, Mickey Munoz, Robert August and Donald Takayama all were on board and enthusiastic about what this new technology would mean to the world of surfing. Soon after, Surftech was producing entire quivers from these legendary shapers and Randy’s vision of sharing this new technology became a reality.
As the longboard side of Surftech continued to grow through the early ‘90s, the company turned it’s attention to the shortboard world.
Randy had introduced his own line of shortboards in 1990 and was getting very good feedback from the Santa Cruz crew. Geoff Rashe, shaper and owner of M10 Surfboards in Santa Cruz was convinced after his top team rider, Jason “Ratboy” Collins tried one of the boards and wouldn’t give it back.
Soon shortboard shapers from around the globe including Glen Minami, Phil Byrne, John Carper, Rusty Preisendorfer & Al Merrick saw the advantages of working with Surftech and that Surftech’s “Tuflite” would be a positive addition to their surfboard offering.
Partnering with the world’s top shapers gave Surftech access to the top surfers in the world including Shane Dorian, Pancho Sullivan, Ratboy, Matt Rockhold, Tom Carroll, Myles Padaca, Tyler Smith, Pete Mel and a host of others. Hearing their feedback on the Tuflite boards was confirmation that Randy’s vision of a lighter, stronger more high-performance surfboard was for real. The relationships developed with these high level pros, was a tremendous help in the development of Surftech’s newest revolutionary technology, TL2.
Four years in the making and hundreds of prototypes later, TL2 is a clear board that has a more forgiving flex and was hand tuned similar to custom boards. In the R&D phase of TL2, the product development team developed a tighter matrix fused cell core (“Techlite”) that will not absorb water. This was an unexpected discovery that not only added significant value to their new TL2 technology but to the existing Softops, Wood Veneer & Tuflite technologies as well.