There is nothing more exhilarating for a surfer than catching the perfect wave on a surfboard that is responsive and well crafted. Gary Linden knows this and has been making some of the industry’s best surfboards for 40 years in his small warehouse and retail shop in Oceanside, California. As an avid surfer himself, Linden understands the needs of surfers and crafts his boards with the precision and care that comes from experience and passion. He also is concerned about the use of environmentally unfriendly petrochemicals by other surfboard manufacturers. To help combat this, he has placed a focus on making a line of “Recycler” surfboards, made using the Agave Americanas plant, for a sustainable surfboard that is as good for the environment as it is for catching the perfect wave.
Gary Linden has just the right amount of surfer attitude honed by time spent chasing waves, and surfboard production know-how from years spent honing his skill and serving in various surfing industry organizations. He officially opened his own surfboard shop in 1978, and has since crafted boards for some of the world’s top professional surfers, including Taylor Knox, Todd Holland and Margo Oberg. During the 1980’s, Linden gained a reputation as one of the top surfboard shapers on the American mainland, a reputation that has allowed him to live the lifestyle of both successful business owner and laid-back surfer dude.
In order to produce the highest quality surfboards, Gary Linden relies on an extensive background of experience in the surfing world. For ten years, he was a world pro tour judge. He also served as president of the Association of Surfing Professionals and was an organizer of several big–wave competitions. As proof of his devotion to the surfing industry, Linden even became the general manager at Walker Foam after Clark Foam closed down, simply so he could help increase production of blanks that supplied surfboard producers with the tools they needed to meet demand.
Why are Gary Linden surfboards a step above? One reason is the discovery Linden made about the placement of the surfboard’s stringers. After years of making surfboards with the stringers in the middle of the board, which offered the ability to flex and release, Linden found that this does not help with the direction that the board is heading. He tried placing the stringers along the rail and discovered another level of responsiveness. With the stringer-on-the-rail design, Linden’s surfboards give surfers the ability to bend the board with the wave and send them in the direction of the turn. Another reason Linden’s surfboards are unique is the availability of a surfboard for every style of surfer, from classic longboards to vertical climbers to sustainable boards.
The Agave model surfboard produced by Linden is an example of how a quality, top-of-the-line surfboard can also be 100% sustainable. Using material from the Agave Americanas plant, which Linden finds dead on roadsides and in backyards and then mills, Linden creates a beautiful, organic board that is a complete contrast to the foam core board that is often outsourced overseas. The Agave recycler takes the concept one step further, as Linden took apart an old project and reworked it into a new surfboard, finished with water soluble linseed oil and hemp cloth. The idea of the Agave boards is to provide inspiration for what can be done in the surf industry that is quality as well as sustainable. The Recycler board provides a blueprint for the future of surfboard design and enables surfers all over the world to become stewards of the earth while enjoying their passion - using the oceans for their playground.