Our Story

“Stick to what you enjoy and you’ll end up doing something you love.”

Since James founded Otter Surfboards in 2010, we’ve been hand crafting personalised wooden surfboards, paddleboards, bellyboards and handplanes.

Made from locally grown timber from regenerative, sustainable woodlands, they marry our two deepest passions and allow our customers to enjoy the oceans and rivers whilst being kind to our planet.

Our biggest love and focus has been running our workshop courses, which we have been doing since 2011.

Originally, when James set out to make wooden surfboards, he’d imagined being one man in a shed fulfilling a handful of custom orders per year. That was, until he had a visit from a local surfer, Steve.

They chatted over a cup of tea or two when Steve dropped by the workshop and connected deeply about their love for surfing and woodwork. Just as James was thinking of getting out an order form, Steve made a proposition; would James be willing to take him through the process of making his own wooden surfboard, sharing every step along the way?

James rocked on his feet a little. Would he give up three years worth of development and learning just like that? He had to think about it, but, if Steve wanted to go through the process, wouldn’t there be others?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

Through making that surfboard with Steve (our original Pieces of Eight model) it became apparent that sharing the process with others would be the future direction and focus of James’ life. Not only was he able to re-live the emotions of making his first surfboard again and share the joy of making something to play in the ocean with, but he saw Steve’s skills, confidence and ability develop as their personal connection deepened.

Real magic lies in the making.

Since the workshop with Steve, we’ve helped over 200 people make their own wooden surfboard. Find skills they didn’t know they had. Experience a different kind of focus. Push comfort zones. Laugh lots. Cry too. Build new friendships. And transform.

The days are challenging. But the rewards are worth it.

Share time with us, reconnect to your own two hands and make something memorable, here in Cornwall.

Love, Learn, Reconnect.

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