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Jim Richardson is co-inventor of the Surflight technology and founder of Surflight Hawaii.  Jim began building surfboards in Santa Cruz, CA at age 16 during the short board revolution of the late 1960’s.  His shaping career peaked in the late 1970’s when he worked with Dick Brewer Surfboards and Local Motion, lived on the North Shore, and made boards for top pros like Buzzy Kerbox, Mark Richards, and Mark Foo.  He began working on alternative constructions with better flex at that time.  Meanwhile, he finished college at the University of Hawaii then headed to MIT and Wharton where he completed a PhD in 1988.  He returned to Hawaii to start a career as a professor at the University of Hawaii College of Business where he continues to teach entrepreneurship and business strategy.  He maintained his passion for surfboard building, making some flexible constructions in his garage in the 1980’s.  In the early 1990’s, he teamed with Mike Croteau of Santa Cruz to develop the first prototype of the Surflight technology.  They decided they had something special and applied for a patent.  Jim went on to found Surflight Hawaii in 1996 along with several backers.  As President, Jim continues to oversee the business, do R&D, and of course, test the boards in his favorite North Shore breaks.


Jeff Johnston is a master surfboard builder, the main shaper for Surflight Hawaii, an outstanding surfer, and our shop manager.  Jeff is recognized as one of the best shapers and glassers around.  He is sought out by many of Hawaii’s top shapers to glass boards for their best pro riders.  Jeff was also a successful competitive surfer, winning the NSSA Nationals in 1978 and competing professionally for a number of years after that.  Jeff began glassing boards as a young kid in the late 1960’s.  When he was surfing Pro in the early 80s in Hawaii, he was always breaking boards. In order to get boards in one day, he learned how to shape.  Since then, he has gone on to shape for brands like Town & Country in Hawaii and Pukas in Spain.  He has shaped thousands of boards, including for riders like Andrew Doheny, Kanoa Dahlin, Adriano De Souza, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Fred Patacchia Jr., Sunny Garcia, Tom Curren, Dane Kealoha, Andy & Bruce Irons, Johnny Boy Gomes, Chris Ward, Matt Archibald, Brian &  Rusty & Buffalo Keaulana, Ross Williams, Lance Hookano, Kahea Hart, Jason Shibata, Keala Kennely, Lisa Anderson, Shawn Briley, Dayton Segundo, China Uemura, Danny Fuller, Jeff Hackman, Myles Padaca, Mark Occhilupo, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Pancho Sullivan, Elijah Young, Allen Sarlo, Fred Patacchia, Gary Elkerton, Russel Winter, Michael Lowe, Armando Daltro, Marcelo Nunes, Jamie Obrien, David Riddle, and more.


Growing up, Jeff’s home break was Newport & River Jetties.  He moved to Hawaii in 1980. Lived at OTW for 8 yrs. Then it was Backdoor, O.T.W., and Pipe.  He loves to surf Backyards and Haleiwa.  He surfs wherever the waves are good, all over the North Shore. You can say he is a North Shore surf dog.


The special thing about Jeff is that he continues to experiment and innovate with both shapes and constructions.  Few shapers understand the interaction between their shapes and construction as well as Jeff.  His secret to making magic boards? “I have had a lot of them. I know boards from start to finish. I can do all steps in production. This helps in fine tuning the boards and gives you a better chance in getting a magic one. Fine tuning is the key.”



Dillon Rowley is the apprentice surfboard builder at Surflight.  He has proven to be a fast learner who shows the focus and attention to detail needed to make high quality surfboards.  Dillon is responsible for making the Surflight blanks and getting the skin on them after they are shaped.  When he is not building boards or out ripping on them, Dillon can be found studying for his classes at Leeward Community College or playing drums in his rock band.

JIm Richardson

Jeff Johnston

Jeff at Haleiwa

Dillon Rowley