The Art of Shaping and Painting Custom Surfboards in Maui
While I was in Maui, I got the awesome opportunity to not only meet the founder of Maui Skimmers, Brent Edwards, but also visit the shop where he paints and shapes one-of-a-kind skimboards, surfboards, and stand-up paddle boards. You may be asking yourself, what does a surfboard have to do with a art? Well, it has a lot to do with it! I mean, in it’s essence a surfboard is essentially a sculpture you can interact with as well as a painting you can stand on. It’s a pretty profound thing if you think about it because it allows you to align everything about your aesthetic tastes with the practicalities of function.
That being said, Brent Edwards is a radical revolutionary in the world of skimboard design. He started his company in the late 1980s and based his designs off of broken surfboards instead of planks, which enabled a new breed of rider the ability to rocket off the face of shore breaks and catch barrels without ever having to get their trunks wet. So, I wanted to make a point of visiting his shop while I was on the island. Especially, since I had no idea about what to expect.
We were able to get in contact with one another through the social media platform Instagram because I had taken a picture of one of their boards in a shop and hash-tagged #MauiSkimmers in it. A few hours later I got an @danielrolnik reply from Brent himself and then the adventure began with coordinating our schedules to make a studio visit happen. It all ended up working out however on the last day I was on Maui, which is how the coolest and best things have a tendency of occurring.
As soon as you step into Brent’s shop in an industrial area of the island, you see the painting room, which is splattered with the most vibrant pigments I’ve ever seen. I have no idea how he’s able to do this, but he also figures out ways to fade his colors into rasta blasts and even blends carbon fiber into the mix, not just for its aesthetics, but also for its extreme strength and durability. On top of that Bent is’ able to apply whatever custom graphics people want, which range from childhood drawings to elaborate lowbrow style work, via a special transfer method.
I couldn’t leave without purchasing one of Brent’s boards and it’s so beautiful, I’m afraid of riding it. Instead, I display it in my house as a really bright green and yellow homage to ocean-based action sports.
Below you will see some glimpses into the shape shop of Maui Skimmers.