Welcome to Nobbywood Surfboards,
the Japanese wooden surfboard company's website.
During the early 1960s, the surfing culture was introduced to Japan by Americans living here.
Before then, ”Itako-nori" timber belly boards were ridden in Japan, although unlike in Hawaii, where kings enjoyed surfing, the sea was seen as a place for fishermen to work in, and not for amusement.
Soon after, the shortboard revolution, in which the length of surfboards became shorter and shorter, led wooden surfboards to be forgotten even before most Japanese surfers even got a chance to experience them.
Therefore, wooden surfboards making a comeback during recent years are a totally unknown item to most Japanese surfers.
However, I believe in the great potential wooden surfboards have in Japan, a country which already boasts a complex wooden culture that encompasses architecture, furniture making, and utensil manufacturing, added to a vast richness in forestry resources.
I, myself am from a generation unfamiliar to wooden surfboards, and had to re-evaluate my opinion on them as being just "nostalgic old boards". This revelation has brought me to a point where I no longer wish to return to riding or shaping foam boards, and now want nothing more than to enjoy my renewed wooden quiver.
NOBUHITO "Nobby" OHKAWA: wooden surfboards builder
From the time I was 26, I worked as a surfing instructor at Infinity Surfboards, Japan. This experience gave me the opportunity to go to Infinity Surfboards headquarters in Dana Point, California, where I met some wonderful shapers. I yearned for their lifestlye, and wished to become a shaper myself.
Following that event, I had several opportunities to stay at these shaper`s homes, gaining and sharing experiences with them and their families.
Upon returning to Japan, I taught myself the skills of shaping and glassing and from 2007 onwards, I have been making wooden surfboards and other surfcraft.
Photo by Ryo Uchiyama