How long have you been running Otter Surfboards?
James made his first wooden surfboard in 2008 and set up the business in 2010.
Originally selling commissioned surfboards, the business soon expanded to run workshop courses in 2011.
Creating environmentally conscious surfboards and sharing the fun of making them has been the core focus of the business ever since and we’re lucky to have a small, passionate team that all share the belief in what we do.
Do you take on work experience, apprentices, work placements or internships?
We normally take on one or two teenagers for work placements each year with local schools. We hope to inspire future generations to follow their hearts and find fulfilling work that they are passionate about.
We don’t take on apprentices, because we have always felt that our work is too niche to provide a well rounded and thorough apprenticeship to set people up for a life of woodwork.
Sometimes we provide work placements for university students, but we can rarely commit to long term placements because of the natural fluctuations in workflow and workload of the workshop.
Would you guys ever sell plans?
We’re not planning on it.
We’ve tried a few times in the past, but always worry that the quality of the boards that get made aren’t up to the standard of those that are made through our workshop courses, which would be a real shame.
That coupled with the fact that we are a small team, focused on delivering the best workshop experiences that we can, means that we would be really stretched to provide the necessary support for people making surfboards at home.