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Mark Schneider and Mark Schneider Jr. - Head Shapers of Schneider Surfboards

Head Shaper:

Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Jr.

Behind the Brand: A collaborative father/son team can be found at the heart of this operation. Mark Schneider Sr. started surfing in the '70s, and launched his own surfboard label in 1989. Based out of his hometown, San Diego, California, his business has always drawn inspiration from forward-thinking shapers and surfboard designers. "For us," Schneider says, "it's important to push design and materials to the limit for the most responsive surfboard that can be made." As the brand developed around these tenets, Schneider's son, Mark Schneider Jr., took an interest in the planer as he grew up as well. He spent his days in the surfboard factory, watching his dad shape, and began his career making mini-finger boards from the scraps he found around the shaping bay. He moved on to build his first surfboard at age 10, and has been shaping and working on surfboards with his dad ever since.

About his Most Popular Models: "Our most popular models are the Orb, the MS-1 tri-fin shortboard, and the MJ-4 pin-tail quad-fin, which are utility boards for everyday use. With an ORB, an MS-1, or MJ-4, you're set for 1-foot slop to overhead, barreling waves."

Taking the Pulse: "Ninety-nine percent of our positive feedback from beginners and pros alike points to our EPS Epoxy Carbon composite stringers. They are lighter, faster, stronger, and offer more control. Most of our top guys are riding the same materials with parabolic stringers. This is the future of surfboards."

Shop Talk

At the end of the day, what's the most important aspect of the surfboard—the one the customer should be most concerned with? "It's getting the surfboard that's right for them, which means more volume for the recreational surfer and thinner, performance tri-fins for the advanced guy."

If you could only have three surfboards, which designs would you choose? "I'd take the Orb, the MS-1 or the MJ-4, and the Sniper, which is a step-up board for those days you need more board. I'd get them all in EPS Epoxy. The Orb for the small weak days, the MS-1 or the MJ-4 for good days—waist-high to a little overhead—and the Sniper for big, powerful, overhead days."

What's the most exciting thing about surfboard technology right now? "Building old shapes with new materials, building new shapes with old materials, and building new shapes with new materials."