Categories: Business

Designed for Oregon’s Wild Waves

written by Bronte Dod | photos by Bruce Ely

Flatter, fatter and with less power than in California or Hawaii, waves in the Pacific Northwest call for a different kind of surfboard.

Michael Hall, a 30-year-old middle school science teacher, decided to make his own surfboard since he couldn’t find one designed for Oregon’s coastal waters. He then started Blackfern Surfboards in 2010 to reflect surfing in the Pacific Northwest, which Hall describes as dark, rugged and wild.

Learning to shape boards required trial and error. Cutting and sanding is noisy; the resin drips and smells strongly. Dust gets everywhere. Due to the mess, Hall built his own workshop in the backyard of his family’s Southwest Portland home. Hall makes around seventy-five custom surfboards a year.

“Hopefully when one of my customers sees somebody else with a Blackfern board, automatically there’s a connection at a values level, and the person doesn’t feel like a stranger,” Hall said. “That’s an opportunity to build a connection and foster a positive and healthy surfing community.”

Published by
Lindsay McWilliams

Recent Posts

Four Faves for Donuts—Don’t be so square!

            written by Jen Stevenson NOLA DOUGHNUTS Mardi Gras is just a king-cake-splattered March memory,…

1 month ago

Enviro-Breweries for a better world

written by Jeremy Storton I sat typing away at my keyboard one wintry day at a local brewery. A beautiful,…

1 month ago

Best places for a bountiful brunch

BEST PLACES FOR BOUNTIFUL BRUNCHING HUNNYMILK With both a West Burnside brick and mortar and an eastside weekends-only pop-up, this…

1 month ago

Modern Outdoor Finds—Make your patio pop with these products

    If you need an update for a decrepit picnic table, try the Aviara Aluminum Rectangular Dining Table from…

1 month ago

DIY Concrete Planter

illustrated by Esther Loopstra AS ANYONE WHO HAS EVER STROLLED through the nursery knows, outdoor pots can add up. Try…

1 month ago

A timber-frame outdoor pavilion draws a West Linn family outside

written by Melissa Dalton An Outdoor Pavilion, rustic and accommodating When Daniel Harkavy and his wife bought their West Linn…

1 month ago