About Mark Angell



Mark Angell has been living a surfer’s dream for over five decades and shaping for 50 of those years. He began shaping longboards, shortboards then sailboards and finally standup paddleboards, which he was responsible for shaping some of the original SUP’s on Maui in early 2000. Recognized as a high quality craftsman, he creates true custom hand-shaped boards designed with features that enhance the board’s purpose. He is an innovator, not a duplicator. Armed with his templates, planer and surform he creates magic for his clients. Mark has shaped through decades of design change, solidifying his expertise in the ever changing surf industry. Not only is shaping his craft, but he’s a core soul surfer dedicated to his passion both on land and in the ocean.

As a toddler, his mom took Mark to the ocean everyday and so it was only natural that it became his playground and his home. As a young grom, he saved his money mowing lawns and bought his first solid “water logged” balsawood surfboard for $20.00 and the “surfing bug” took hold forever. He and his buddies were surfing every moment they could; before school, after school and oh yeah, sometimes during school.

In high school Mark started actively competing in surf contests. Hobie recognized Mark’s surfing ability and signed him up as a team rider. It was on a Hobie board that he set and still holds the record for the longest noseride in competition, 39.6 seconds at the Cowell’s Beach Noseriding contest in l966. He also rode for other prestigious surf companies, such as Jabcobs and was a team rider for the very first O’Neill’s competition team. He consistently competed and placed in the finals in Longboard and Shortboard in Costa Rica, California, Maui, Oahu and Kauai. Still to this day he continues to compete and place in surf competitions in Hawaii.

His career as a shaper began building rental boards during the summer of 1964 at Otto’s Fun Sport, as portrayed in the book “Images of America, Surfing in Santa Cruz”. His mentors in early years were Don Hansen, Jerry Benson, Ken Tilton, George Olson and Doug Haut, shapers in the Santa Cruz area. Mark opened his first business, Kienholz & Angell in 1968 in Santa Cruz, CA. In a few years time, he decided to make a move to Kauai and opened a small shop on the east side in Kapaa. He stayed in Kapaa for about three years and then made the decision to move to Oahu to further his shaping career. There he shaped for some of the largest surfboard companies in the world such as Lightning Bolt, Surfline, Brewer Surfboards, Country Surfboards, Local Motion, Hawaiian Island Creations, Town and Country plus his own label, Mark Angell Surfboards. Yearly he found himself heading to Japan, sponsored by Mr. Namakawa of Central Beach Surfboards, where he would shape under his own label “Mark Angell Surfboards” and distribute boards to half a dozen retail stores throughout the island. In 1985 Mark migrated to Maui to be with family and expanded his knowledge by shaping sailboards for Sailboards Maui, while continuing his surfboard shaping business and eventually shaping only under his label. Sixteen years later he gravitated back to Kauai where he continues to shape, innovate and create some of the finest boards in the industry.

Through the years, he was fortunate to have shaped next to shaping legends Mike Diffenderfer, Dick Brewer, Al Chapman and Sam Hawk at Surfboards Haleiwa. Over time Mark has become somewhat of a legend in his own right as he is portrayed in the Santa Cruz Surf Museum as a local surfing legend. In 2011 he was invited and honored to participate as one of five “Master Shapers” at the Sacred Craft Expo in Santa Cruz.

During his speech at the Sacred Craft, Shaper, Ward Coffey put it so well; he said that Mark Angell was always an inspiration to him, that to own an Angell was elusive and magic. Marks reputation as an “underground shaper” has always created an aura of mystique. Thomas Hickenbottom author of “Surfing in Santa Cruz”, writes a wonderful acknowledgment regarding Mark’s reputation and his first surfboard shaping business. During his career Mark shaped boards for greats such as; Michael Ho, Derrick Ho, Dane Kealoha, Rabbit Bartholomew, Hans Hedemann, Cheyne Horan, Chappy Jennings, Vince Kline and continues to build top quality boards for the old and new generation of rippers in Hawaii and the mainland.

According to Angell, board building whether it’s surf or standup paddleboards is all about hydrodynamics and design. When he has a concept, he transfers it from his head, to paper, to foam and then tests it in the water. This is what truly sets him apart from most shapers; his ability to conceive and then create. It is his talent and knowledge that enables him to shape all styles and makes of high quality surfboards and paddleboards. Mark Angell is devoted to his craft and is considered a leading innovator and craftsman in the shaping world.

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