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Meet Martijn Stiphout

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martijn Stiphout.

Hi Martijn, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I began working with wood when I was a young boy, learning most of my skills from my father and then building on them. I started surfing in the Netherlands as a teenager, and I’ve been passionate about riding waves ever since. I started building hollow-framed wooden surfboards about 12 years ago out of necessity. I didn’t have a lot of money to buy surfboards, so I started making my own. Friends had started asking me to build them boards and, when I was laid off from job as a boat captain on an ocean research vessel, I decided to start building and selling wooden surfboards as my full-time career. I met my business partner, David Dennis, a few years later, and we co-founded Ventana Surfboards & Supplies – the most environmentally responsible surf company on the planet.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It’s been a great ride so far, but it hasn’t always been smooth. I had a partner in the early days who didn’t work out, and then I spent a couple of years building surfboards in a leaky old barn. There were certainly a few lean years, but our three brand values – artisanship, responsibility, and adventure – have helped keep me focused on what matters most for the business. Over time, we’ve built a reputation for products that are beautiful and of extremely high quality with a bar for environmental responsibility that’s unmatched in the industry. We’ve been able to ride that wave for several years. We’re constantly challenging ourselves to create innovative products, performance works of art, and unique collaborations with other small businesses. That’s driven our success.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
At Ventana, we strive to be the most environmentally responsible surf company on the planet. We specialize in hollow, reclaimed wooden surfboards; bodysurfing handplanes, and eco surf supplies and apparel that speak to ocean-lovers and surfers around the world. Our boards are high-performance, surfable works of art, and we focus on the details. Every piece of wood has a story and that sets us apart from other artisans and surfboards shapers and builders.

I’m proud that we donate at least 5% of our profits to the ocean conservation organizations because a surf company like Ventana needs a healthy ocean to survive.

Any big plans?
I want to continue to challenge myself to create ever more beautiful and storied surfboards. Many years ago, a friend of mine made me promise that each surfboard I created would be better than the last. I’ve kept that going for over a decade.

In the future, I could envision opening a store, giving workshop classes, and ramping up our wholesale business. We’re continuously working with artists around the world to create new apparel designs for us that are inspired by my surfboard designs, and they sell well when printed on environmentally responsible clothing. Midtown Surf Shop in Santa Cruz and Carmel, California is our primary retailer right now, and I envision expanding our wholesale reach to other stores around the country.

I expect that the surfboards I create will always be exclusive, and I don’t plan to build more than 10 or 12 a year, but other parts of the business can certainly scale.

Pricing:

  • Reclaimed wooden surfboards: Start at $8000
  • Eco apparel: $30+
  • Bodysurfing handplanes: $275+
  • Wooden surfboard fins: $200+
  • Save-A-Surf Box: $55

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

The profile image is credited to: Sebastian Stiphout Photography. All the others are credited to Ventana Surfboards & Supplies

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