Behind the Brand: Infinity Surfboards has been a stable force in Orange County's highly competitive market for nearly 40 years. The well-rounded family operation is anchored by Steve Boehne, its founder, who says he was blessed to both know and have learned from shaping luminaries like Gordon Duane, Bruce Jones, Ben Aipa, and Dale Velzy. Steve built boards for early pro surf stars like Shaun Tomson, Mike Crukshank, Kevin Billy, and Dan Flecky in the '70s, and Pat O'Connell (who grew up alongside Steve's son's Dan and David) in the late '80s. Today, his son Dan has taken up a lot of the high-performance shortboard duties, catering to a new generation of hot surfers, including Justin Quirk, Geoff Brack, Anastasia Ashley, and of course, his brother David Boehne. Shaper Ryan Engle has bolstered their longboard program, bringing rippers like Taylor Jensen and Brett and Cole Robbins into the fold. Naturally, Steve still keeps his hands in just about everything, from longboards and specialty paddle craft to tandem boards (where he and his wife, Barrie, are legends in the tandem surfing world). Yet over the past few years, Steve's championing of the Stand Up Paddle movement has been huge. Infinity was the first West Coast brand to offer a diverse range of boards and paddles, and they also sponsored California's first SUP contest in 2007 at San Onofre.
About his Most Popular Models: On the high-performance short board side of things, it's the "Bigote" that's shaking things up. "Bigote is Spanish for mustache," says Dave Boehne, who's in charge of marketing. "And that's how it feels: smooth, quick, and pleasing everytime." He has an equally colorful description of the 5F fish's capabilities. "It feels like you're riding a bar of soap around the bathtub! Brack surfs like a flying squirrel on acid on it." As for the SUPs, the Infinity team has been focusing on smaller, high-performance models like the 8'6" Carver, and is utilizing Aviso and Surftech technologies on their staples like the Rad Noserider and Secret Weapon.
Taking the Pulse: "I would say the open mindedness in young surfers today has opened up the possibilities and creativity," says Dave Boehne. "Old is new again and it's been fun incorporating old theories and modernizing them for today's style of shredding."Shop Talk
What aspect of design has provided you the biggest growth opportunities? "For me as a shaper, it's the tremendous knowledge gained from shaping and riding SUP boards," says Steve. "They are so many factors to consider, it's just a shaping science unto itself."
What contributions are you most proud of? "Well, at a time when glass shops are closing, and shapers and glassers are quitting the profession, Infinity Surfboards has invested over $1,000,000 into our new surfboard factory in San Clemente," says Dave. "We are dedicated to making a wide variety of boards by hand in the U.S. Come on by and crack a coldy with the boys!"