Renowned surfboard shaper Michel Junod explores his roots over the past 40 years from surfing the Pacific Ocean to the professionals who taught him the intricate art and skill of surfboard design, making him one of the most sought-out shapers in California.
NCS: Please tell us a little about your surfboard label?
MJ: Michel Junod Surfboards is in the business of client service. I understand the importance of taking the time to talk to people, to gauge their wants and needs. It’s a key ingredient to my business, especially since the bulk of my boards are custom jobs. I find that a lot of my customers are surprised that a shaper will actually talk to them about the design of their board. Everybody wants to surf better and get more out of their new board, but frequently they don’t reach their potential because they aren’t on the best design for the type of waves they ride. This is where my experience and my input produces a board they can take to new levels of performance and enjoyment. I have been shaping since 1966. I also co-founded West Cliff Surfboards in 1970 in Santa Cruz with Chuck Strelitz. But several years later, Hawaii beckoned on me and I made my way to the North Shore. While producing boards under my own label, I shaped for the Lightning Bolt, Dick Brewer, and Surfline Hawaii retail shops in Honolulu. In 1978, I left for Kauai. After a two-and-a-half year stint in Chile in the late 1980′s I returned to Santa Cruz in 1990 and have been building boards under my label ever since.