SAYVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- At just 16, Michael Becker was making surfboards in his backyard with his parents financing his project.
Now he has his own shop "Nature's Shapes" making custom boards. The boards are made to order - whatever size, color, or design you want!
"We are trying to keep everything locally made here," Michael Becker, owner of Natures Shapes.
Touring his workshop, the entire process goes from a piece of foam to precision shaping using computer software, to perfect pigments mixed by hand.
"The machine knows X-Y-Z and machine reads it and cuts the shape. We refine any small changes," Becker explained.
For the color, they do whatever the customer designs. Their painter has been mixing for 50 years and sometimes he uses several pigments for hours to get the perfect shade.
Mike's own experience as a lifetime Long Island surfer allows him to provide tips for custom boards based on local waters, types of waves - making each creation ideal to surf local waters.
"This is a custom-made board for the Skudins for Wounded Warriors Project and they do it for a fundraiser every year," Becker said
But if you really want to do all the work, there's a workshop in Amagansett that lets you literally take over and build your own surfboard!
"we teach people how to make hollow wood surfboards," Becker said.
"Grain Surf" is for beginners to pros! No experience necessary.
"Anyone can do it," according to Peter Spacek who has been surfing 48 years. He moved permanently to Long Island in 1980 and surfs "mostly secret spots in Montauk."
"I'll be able to surf it 4 days from now," he said.
It's a labor of love -- from woodworking to sanding and planing with woodworking tools. Owners Brian and Ainsely Schopfer help with every part of the process in the 3-4 day workshop.
"This is something I will have forever I will give it to my daughter," Schopfer said.
Brian explains people bond with their creation! It's easy to see how doing the work by hand increases your investment! It really is a chance you cannot pass up!
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Build your own surfboard on Long Island
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