Austin Surfboards in Virginia Beach Closed Permanently

Discussion in 'Surfboards and Surfboard Design' started by mattinvb, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. mattinvb

    mattinvb Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2014
    That was his original plan (as he told me in person when I picked up my last custom; that he was closing his shop at the broceanfront, and building a new facility at his house). He basically said he had every intention of doing that and was in the process of it when his kid was born. I would chalk him up as an acquaintance at best, so I really only have his post to go on, but in late december he said his son's birth had changed his priorities, citing the whole chemical thing.
  2. LazyE

    LazyE Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2014
    4 days vacation is two weeks of hell to catch up. You got a little flex in schedule but you pay for it by working the hours on a different day/night. You are not your own boss every one who walks through the door is your boss.

  3. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Fug those clients. They know they get a good deal from me and I guarantee my work for 30 days. If they give me schitt, like most restaurant mgrs tend to do, I set them free. They go from paying me 70 an hour to paying bigger companies 95 to 125 for someone who hates doing kitchen work. I could have all the Arby's, but they train the mgrs to be tail holes. and they scream like b1tches at the drop of a hat.
  4. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    Proud owner of a truly gorgeous Austin Soul Glide. Its a work of art.

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  5. KDog

    KDog New Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    I thought he was going to open a factory and shop in one place in Chesapeake, but would concentrate on making customer boards.
  6. Robh

    Robh Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2012
    Wow guess I'm going to have to take better care of the 2 logs I have from him. Hopefully he doesn't hang it up forever. True craftsmen are hard to find these days.
  7. cleavland steamer

    cleavland steamer Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2016
    wow, that is a beauty! Is it all black on the bottom? If you ever want to sell, I am interested!
    THE Steamer

  8. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    Bottom is just like the deck. Deep red tint with Black rails. It is a beautiful board.
  9. leethestud

    leethestud Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Yeah I was on 19th the other day and saw there is a day spa in that shop now. Shame.

    Austin did some good work. I think his reputation for glasswork landed him swamped in glass jobs which aren't very fun.

    Someone asked about Bill Friarson earlier in the thread, I know he is still shaping, putting out some good stuff, I have seen some promoted on the Sothis facebook page. Sothis appears to be the new tennants of the old seasoned / osb factory. I have no idea if they are the same folks / different name or what, I haven't had anything done custom in a while.

    I just ordered a JOB series catch surf odyssea. that's my feelings on fiberglass at the moment.

    For old time's sake, eat a 8===> yankee!!!
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  10. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Forum's been a little slow these dayz, WeeLee, under the new, post-Sklut Abondonerre clampdown regime.

    It's a relief, actually, to see you finally broke out of those latex bindings & red rubber mouf tether & got your frantic self loose from that Maine barn. 'Free at last, free at last, thank chucka-boo-boo, Lee is free at last!'
  11. your pier

    your pier Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2013



    Doin a little scrape and replace work before I take this one out with me today...picked it up off craigslist at a real good price

    It moves, but for me has to be just right spot and conditions to get in during the winter wette suite times
  12. johhnyutah

    johhnyutah Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2009
    That's a beautiful board, indeed. Bears a strong resemblance to Tyler's boards.
  13. EMazzSpicoli

    EMazzSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2015
    Would like to know how many cats commenting on how terrible biz ownership is have ever got a glimpse of it themselves.

    In other's dope what SI classic bros like SkegLegs bust back on the scene with a witty post. Dude, can you fight with Billy again please? That was hilarious.
  14. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    Hope the news on Austin is only temporary. The young man had been working rather hard for a decade or so and you know what happens.... we start running on fumes, and with the new kid in the family priorities can change.

    He built me about a half-dozen paipo boards during the past 8 years or so. After building my first one, the first he ever made, he went on to build 500+ and shipped them to every coast in the USA, Europe, HI, Australia and who knows where else. A shaper's shaper, not a scraper and his glass work was the product of an real artist. His reputation for building retro-1960s longboards is from coast-to-coast and worldwide. Many orders from France, Germany and to the East.

    His wife has a great job so health insurance isn't an issue. Great family, too. His dad is around my age, Austin is just a "kid" still, but none of us knew how old we were when talking shop or joining them on tacos & margaritas night out on Fridays.

    Ugh, now I have to find a new ding repair guy, too? <cringe>
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  15. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2006
    The closure doesn't sound to be temporary. There are not many shapers/glassers/builders along the East Coast much lesss close by. I have my eyes on one that come highly recommended by Austin. We will miss you young man!
  16. Ayoungbrwr

    Ayoungbrwr New Member

    Mar 13, 2016
    Austin Master Craftsman Series Paipo

    Austin made me this Paulownia and Balsa Paipo and it is super fun and fast! I hope he finds the time later in his long life to get back to shaping the woods and riding the waves!

    Attached Files:

  17. DosXX

    DosXX Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2013
    ^^^ Beautiful and functional artwork.
  18. rcarter

    rcarter Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    That is badass man!
  19. mattbaum

    mattbaum New Member

    May 1, 2016
    About a week ago I emailed the man to ask if he'd make me a custom noserider. I told him I could wait a year for it. His quick and friendly reply made me think that he is done with the surfboard business.

    From talking with others, I get the impression that being a shaper is a thin-margins business. I expect margins get really thin when you aren't willing to use the cheapest available materials and you aren't willing to outsource a lot of labor. My impression is that Austin wanted a lot control over his boards. It didn't look like there were many compromises in his boards that I saw. I am quite sure that he could have cut some costs, scaled up production, and made a decent amount of money off of the brand reputation that he built. I'm sure he knew that was a potential business move. I think it's cool that he decided not to take it. There's already enough shops out there just cranking out crappy to mediocre boards.
  20. bennysgohome

    bennysgohome Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    Exactly, these are the people who we should support not firewire crap.