All About Surfboard Art in Hawaii

surfboard art in Hawaii

Surfing is not just a sport, it's a culture that encompasses everything from the waves to the boards. For many surfers, the board is an extension of themselves, a way to express their style and personality. And what better way to do that than with surfboard art

Surfboard art has been a part of surfing culture for decades, with surfers and artists collaborating to create unique and visually stunning boards. From classic pin-striping to abstract designs, surfboard art has evolved to become an integral part of the surfing experience. 

In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of surfboard art, exploring its history, styles, and some of the most iconic examples. So, whether you're a surfer, an artist, or just someone who is interested in collecting Hawaii art, join us as we explore the colorful world of surfboard art.

The History of Surfboard Art in Hawaii

woman with abstract painted surfboard art

Hawaii is a hub for surfing and surf art and has produced several of the world's most popular surfboard artists. Among them is Eduardo Bolioli, who is recognized for his innovative and distinctive surfboard art style. Bolioli's unique designs are inspired by a combination of Hawaiian culture and his South American heritage, resulting in an eclectic mix of vibrant colors and bold graphics.

Drew Brophy is another renowned surfboard artist from Hawaii who has been designing boards for over three decades. He is known for his intricate and colorful designs featuring waves, sharks, and other oceanic motifs.

John Pyzel is also a popular surfboard artist who has designed boards for some of the world's top surfers such as John John Florence and Kelly Slater. Pyzel's designs typically showcase the power and beauty of the ocean with their bright colors and bold graphics.

How Do I Turn My Surfboard Into Art?

Surfboard artists use a variety of techniques to create their unique designs. One technique involves drawing directly onto the board with a pencil or pen, which can then be filled in with paint or markers. 

Another technique is painting, which involves using a variety of paints and brushes to create detailed designs and color palettes. 

Additionally, some artists may use carving techniques to create 3D effects, such as sculpting the board to create raised elements or using a router to create intricate designs.

A colorful painted surfboard art mural

What Paint is Best For Surfboard Art?

Painted surfboards are one of the most common forms of surfboard art. The best paint to use depends on the artist's personal preference and the desired effect. Acrylic paint is a popular choice for airbrushing, as it dries quickly and is easy to blend, allowing for smooth transitions between colors. 

Enamel paint is another popular choice, as it is durable and resistant to chipping and fading. Additionally, some artists use watercolor or oil-based paints for traditional hand-painting techniques. 

It's important to choose a high-quality paint that is designed to adhere well to the surface of the board and withstand exposure to saltwater and sunlight.

What can I use to draw on my surfboard?

Drawing on surfboards can be done with a variety of materials, each offering unique effects and benefits. One popular option is using Posca markers, which are opaque and can create bold, vibrant lines and designs. Sharpies are another popular option, as they are widely available and come in a variety of colors. 

For a more traditional approach, pencils and pens can be used to create intricate designs and fine details. Some artists also use laser-cut vinyl stickers to create detailed designs and patterns, which can be layered and combined to create a unique and textured effect. Additionally, some artists use carbon paper to transfer designs onto the board, allowing for precise and accurate tracing. 

With any material, it's important to use a high-quality product that will adhere well to the surface of the board and withstand exposure to saltwater and sunlight. With the right materials, surfboard art can be a stunning and expressive form of personalization for any board.

What are some other popular ways to create surfboard art?

Surfboard artists like Bree Poort create stunning works of art using resin tints. Resin tints are a type of pigment that can be added directly to the epoxy resin used to seal and protect the board. 

By using different colors and layering them in various ways, artists can create a unique and translucent effect that adds depth and texture to the design. 

Oahu artist Bree Poort with resin surfboard art
Artist Bree Poort carrying one of her beautiful​​ resin surfboards

To create a resin tint design, the artist mixes the desired colors directly into the epoxy resin, then pours the mixture onto the board and spreads it evenly with a squeegee or brush. The artist can then manipulate the design by tilting the board, swirling the colors together, or adding additional layers for added depth and texture. Once the design is complete, the board is allowed to dry and cure, creating a durable and long-lasting work of art.

Many artists also use mixed media for added texture and dimension, incorporating materials like fiberglass cloth, wood veneers, and metallic foils into their designs for added texture and dimension.

Carving is a technique used by some surfboard artists to create unique and textured designs on the surface of the board. This technique involves removing layers of foam or wood from the board to create raised elements, patterns, and shapes. Artists use a variety of tools, including routers, sanders, and chisels, to carve intricate designs into the surface of the board. The process can be time-consuming and requires a great deal of skill and precision, but the results can be stunning and truly one-of-a-kind. By using carving techniques, surfboard artists are able to create unique and tactile works of art that enhance the natural beauty of the board.

Where can I buy surfboard art?

There are many places to buy surfboard art, both online and in-person. One popular option is to purchase directly from the artist, either through their personal website or at local art fairs and markets. Additionally, many surf shops and outdoor retailers also offer a selection of surfboard art for sale, ranging from hand-painted designs to laser-cut vinyl stickers.

Commissioning an artist to make custom surfboard art can be a great way to get a personalized and unique design that reflects your personal style and preferences. The first step is to find an artist whose style and work you admire and reach out to them to discuss your ideas and vision for the piece. Many artists have a contact form or email address on their website where you can send inquiries about commissions. By commissioning an artist to create custom surfboard art, you can create a one-of-a-kind piece that truly reflects your personality and style, and supports the work of talented artists in the process.

Whatever your preference, there are many options for buying surfboard art that allow you to find the perfect piece to personalize and enhance your board.

How Can I Display Surfboard Art In My Home?

Paddling out to your favorite surf break isn’t the only way to enjoy your surfboard art. Displaying surfboard art in your home can be a great way to showcase the unique and stunning designs of these works of art. There are several ways to display surfboard art, depending on your space and preferences.

One popular option is to mount the board directly on the wall using brackets or wall mounts, which allow the board to hang vertically or horizontally like a piece of art. This is a great option if you have a large and open wall space where the board can be the centerpiece. 

Another option is to use a floor stand, which allows the board to be displayed in a more freestanding manner, like a sculpture or piece of furniture. This is a great option if you have a smaller space or want to be able to move the board around to different locations. 

Finally, some people choose to display their surfboard art as a functional piece of furniture, such as a coffee table or bench. This allows the board to be enjoyed and appreciated in a more interactive and everyday way.

Whatever the approach, displaying surfboard art can be a great way to enhance your space - especially if you display your surfboard art alongside other coastal themed pieces such as seascape paintings or ocean art!

How Do I Care for My Surfboard Art?

Proper care is essential to keep surfboard art looking its best for years to come. The first step is to avoid leaving the board in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures for extended periods, as this can cause the paint and resin to fade or warp. Additionally, avoid resting the board on hard surfaces or dragging it across the ground, as this can cause scratches and damage to the artwork. 

When transporting the board, use a protective cover to prevent scratches and dings. It's also important to regularly clean the board with fresh water and mild soap, avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers that can damage the artwork. 

Finally, store the board in a cool, dry place when not in use, away from moisture or extreme temperatures. By following these tips, surfboard art can be enjoyed for years to come!

Surfboard art with resin being poured

Surfboard art is a fascinating and diverse form of artistic expression that has been around for decades. Whether through painting, carving, or resin tinting, artists can transform surfboards into stunning works of art that reflect their unique style and creativity. Different materials and techniques, such as posca markers and laser-cut vinyl stickers, offer a range of options for creating custom designs. Careful maintenance and display can ensure that these works of art are enjoyed for years to come. 

Whether you're a surfer looking to personalize your board, or an art lover seeking a unique and striking piece for your home, surfboard art offers endless possibilities for creativity and expression. From commissioning a custom design to purchasing a piece from a favorite artist, there are many ways to support and appreciate this dynamic and exciting art form.

If you love surfing in Hawaii and art, be sure to check out our collection of Hawaii surf art below!