SURFER's Complete Guide To Your Next Board




Glenn Minami- Head Shaper of Minami Surfboards

Head Shaper:

Glenn Minami

Behind the Brand: Since the late '60s, Glenn Minami has quietly built a reputation as one of Hawaii's most esteemed shapers. He started mowing foam at the age of 18 during the height of the shortboard revolution, and in just a few short years, became one of Town & Country's biggest secret weapons. He was with T&C during the pivotal 10-year stretch between 1973-1983, shaping for many of the world's best. His proclivity for precision is what set him apart. The accounting degree he earned in school led to surprising insights into shaping formulas, as he contemplated the use of every square inch of board surface and volume. By sticking with his numbers, he built a reputation for incredible consistency and quality long before computers came along to control the process. In 1984, he set off on his own, launching Blue Hawaii. Not surprisingly, riders like Sunny Garcia and Martin Potter stuck with him. Potter won his 1989 world title riding Minami's boards, cementing his legacy as a leading designer. Minami sold his Blue Hawaii label in 1997 and today stays involved in multiple board related projects. Minami Hawaiian Designs is his entry-level line of boards designed in conjunction with the Coastal Surf Designs team, whose factory is in China. The equipment is aimed at surfers looking for dependable, quality equipment at entry-level prices. "Our customers and shops that support us are telling us that the models we offer are on pace with the first-time Minami board purchaser—they are very progressive shapes for all levels of experience."

About his Most Popular Models: Minami's two most popular designs are his SSS and SWS models. The SSS (or Small Swallow Shredder) and the SWS (Small Wave Shredder) are both progressive hot-dog boards made for fun waves up to six feet. "They're an enormous amount of fun. And the GFH is our fun-shape/hybrid that's fun when things get really small. This thing keeps the fun in the lineup."

Taking the Pulse: "At the end of the day, a quality surfboard and design are the most important characteristics to have in your surfboard. Without having "quality" built into the product, all there is available is hype and promises. Quality takes a commitment to providing a solid design that is backed up with manufacturing construction to support the design. That takes an investment in time and money to ensure the product meets the customer's standards."

Shop Talk

What's the most common mistake the novice surfer makes when buying boards? "Many surfers will grab the latest technology, even if their level and ability cannot fit into that technology."

What makes this brand unique? "Minami Hawaiian Designs is our entry-level brand of models that gets surfers an excellent design, unreal value, and quality Minami surfboard to build and expand their surfing experience on. The models are on pace with the current design trends and work in a variety of conditions."