IT

SURF

Euroglass our visit to the Surfboard Factory

like children at the chocolate factory

During our recent surftrip between the French Moors and the Spanish Basque Country we did not miss the opportunity of a visit to Euroglass, one of the largest surfboard factories which has its headquarters in Soorts-Hossegor in France.

We had already met some shapers and visited some factories here in Italy, but Euroglass is undoubtedly something else.

Founded in 1990, 25 years ago by Stephen Bell known as Belly, today the factory extends over a warehouse of over 1500 m2 where about fifteen people work including legendary shapers and Belly himself, whom we found intent on resining and greeted us Sincerely.

As you walk through the Euroglass front door, you can truly feel the history of surfing around you. Every inch of this large factory tells a story made of passion, commitment, competence, Surf.

 

Upon entering, one has the impression of walking through the surfing hall of fame. On the walls there are photos, medals, autographed shirts and the ceilings are entirely covered with surfboards used in some competition mostly by Kelly Slater.
Yes, because Australian Stephen Bell was not only a very strong surfer but he was also alongside Kelly as a coach for many years and with him he won 8 world titles, writing the history of surfing.
After Kelly Slater Belly he followed the very young Leonardo Fioravanti, of whom he is godfather, for a few years. Today Belly no longer trains, but it is here in Euroglass that the approximately 100 boards that Leonardo uses every year are shaped by Bradley.

Euroglass produces surfboards under the Bradley, Sharpeye, Grace, Phipps, Mark Richards, Simon Anderson brands and more. In addition, the Quiksilver and Roxy boards are designed which are then produced in the Cobra factory in Thailand, where Christiaan Bradley goes directly to each year for several months to personally follow the production, despite being in Asia.

The boards that come out of the Euroglass factory in Hossegor are all polyester, personally designed and shaped by Chris, Mark, Phil, Marcio, Mark and Simon and their collaborators. The work behind each board is impressive. We are not talking about printed boards but hand-shaped one by one. There are difficulties in carrying out such a qualitatively high production objectively. They were already there before Covid and they are there today. The question is certainly not the question. The waiting lists are very long. The problems are, if anything, given by the fact that raw materials often have to arrive from overseas and shipments cost more and more, as well as materials. Furthermore, to maintain these standards, it is not possible to increase the number of boards that each shaper works every day ...
But what matters is that walking through the factory one perceives that more than anything else the production is driven by the passion and the iron will to produce quality surfboards in the heart of European surfing, right in Hossegor.

During our visit we had the opportunity to see and touch the work behind every table that comes out of this factory. A mix of cutting-edge technologies and the craftsmanship of the shapers who work on it and who personally follow the creation of each board, smoothing the loaves by hand, spraying the color, spreading the resin on the fiberglass, sanding and finishing every single surfboard. Always, strictly by hand.

 

It all starts with Blank. Polyurethano Blanks come from overseas in raw forms, ready to be shaped.

Once the most suitable blank for the board to be produced has been chosen, it is taken to the shaping room where the shaper gets to work with the help of the numerical control machine that draws the final shape on the blank.

The next step is the hand finishing, to make the surface completely smooth and ready for the color that is given directly on the Blank, below the resin in order to be more resistant and brighter.

Once the painting is finished, the board passes to the resin and finish, after which it is finally ready to be surfed.

Euroglass is a real colossus in Europe and from this factory some tables come out that are now true icons, super appreciated and oversold all over the world.
Among the best-selling shapes there is actually a bit of everything. Bradley performance surfboards chosen by professionals from all over the world for competitions and more, just think of models such as the LF (the shape surfed by Fioravanti) but also the killer, Tang Fish or Chocolatine. Highly fashionable and super requested performance boards at the moment like the Sharpeye Inferno 72. Must-haves like Phipps' One Bad Egg and Phil Grace's beautiful longboards, including the Demibu one of the best-selling and popular boards in all sizes around to the world for its unique longboard feel in such a compact shape.

It goes without saying that meeting shapers like Bradley, Mark Phipps and Belly himself and seeing them at work was really exciting. What we didn't expect is that gurus of their level would also be so helpful and humble, happy to take the time to explain the work behind every single surfboard and their brands.

 

And the icing on the cake, during our tour a super smiling Leonardo Fioravanti suddenly appeared, just returned from the Olympics in Japan and already leaving for the next competition in Mexico for the penultimate stage of the Championship Tour in the World Surf League (where then earned a fantastic third place ed). Yes, because as many will know, the Roman surfer has now lived in Hossegor for several years.

Leonardo stopped just for a moment to talk to Bradley and choose the boards to pack and take with him, before saying goodbye and running to the gym for daily training.

A heartfelt thanks to Mattia who accompanied us on our visit and was super helpful and patient!

Pubblicato il 02 settembre 2021 | Blog > Equipments: SURF

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