The Boardroom International Surfboard Show presented by Santa Cruz Skateboards
October 8/9, 2016
Kaiser Permanente, Santa Cruz, California
The Boardroom Surfboard Show presented by Santa Cruz Skateboards (2011 Sacred Craft) returns to the robust Nor Cal surfing community of Santa Cruz. The Boardroom International Surfboard Show presented by Santa Cruz will take place October 8/9 at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. The surf lifestyle celebration showcases the surfboard manufacturing industry and features exhibits, demos, seminars, a vintage surfboard swap, music and hundreds of state-of-the-art surfboards and hard-goods from the surfboard industry’s finest craftsman, designers and manufacturers.
A pillar of each show is the Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters Shape-off presented by US Blanks. In Santa Cruz this October The Boardroom International Surfboard Show presented by Santa Cruz will pay homage to iconic board builder John Mel.
“I am very honored to be included as an Icon of Foam,” said John Mel. “We (the Mel family) are fortunate to have had the support of the local surf community as our shop enters its 47th year in Santa Cruz, and with three generations involved in the business we are looking forward to gathering with everyone at the October Boardroom Surfboard Show.”
As newlyweds in 1968, John and Kim Mel hopped in their Volkswagen bus and set off from their home in Torrance to Santa Cruz for their honeymoon.
They fell in the love with the world-class waves at Pleasure Point, wondered at the area’s natural beauty and even drove by sleepy 41st Avenue — then flanked by cattle ranches, a supermarket and a few shops.
After their trip, the Mels briefly relocated to Oahu’s North Shore. Having been trained by well-known surfboard shapers Skip Frye and others at the Gordon & Smith factory in San Diego, John Mel shaped surfboards in Hawai'i.
After about eight months in Hawai'i, he wanted to continue shaping but also start a business that was more financially secure. So when Kim became pregnant with their only child, Peter Mel, they decided to move to Pleasure Point and open a surf shop.
They set up shop first on Portola Drive, and then on 41st Avenue near Alameda Avenue, where the Best Western Plus now stands. It was 1969. Three locations and 45 years later, Freeline Design Surfboards is still going strong. — Courtesy Santa Cruz Sentinel, Stephen Baxter
Six shapers will honor Mel as they compete to replicate a classic John Mel Freeline Design surfboard. Each shaper will get 1.5 hour in the shaping bay — strictly timed. Ryan Lovelace is the defending champion (Lopez Tribute). The winning shaper will walk away with $1K prize and his name etched into the Mike Marshall Perpetual Trophy alongside past winners Ricky Carroll (’07,’08,’12), Marc Andreini, Wayne Rich (’10,’11), Pat Rawson, Matt Biolos, Ward Coffey, Stu Kenson, Matt Calvani, Roger Hinds (’14,’15), and Ryan Lovelace. All six shapers will showcase the sacred craft of surfboard building by honoring John Mel in the shape-off.