Wayne Webster Q & A

Webby in his shaping bay. Ballina, NSW. Photo: Roadie

A couple of years ago while on a boat trip in Panama, one of my friends kept raving about his new magic board, a tiny 5’6 quad fish that was his small wave destroyer, shaped by his friend back in Lennox Head. A few years later, I finally got the chance to visit Lennox and enjoy some of the local specialties, such as “The Point”, “Boulders”, “South Wall”, and “Speeds”. It seems that everywhere I went there was this reoccurring logo which stood out in the lineups. A few days later at a backyard grill party I finally met the shaper behind the logo, Wayne Webster. The following is a conversation I had with him in his shaping shed, just outside of Ballina. – Roadie

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Wayne Webster, I am 38 years old and I shape surfboards.

How long have you been here in Lennox?

I’ve been here in Lennox Head for maybe 18 years and I have been shaping boards for 22 years.

Webster team rider Luke Streader. Photo courtesy of Webster

So where’d you live before Lennox?

I grew up in Newcastle, sorta down near Sydney. Yeah, living in Newcastle I kinda got sick of seeing big south swells with nowhere to surf down there, so, yeah, I moved up here to Lennox where we can enjoy the swells.

Perfect. So when did you start your own label here?

I’ve shaped for a lot of different companies for a few years now. I’ve started my own business here in the last 18 months, yeah, just kinda opened up a little showroom and pretty much this is the first shed I’ve had.

I see a lot of your boards out in the line-up. It seems that a lot of the locals are really keen on ’em. What’s the proper board for the waves out here?

I think really just a good sorta shortboard, you know. Really for the waves we get around here, pretty much 99% of the time that’s what we ride. For summer it’s good to have something a little bit wider with a bit more surface area so you are kinda above the wave, to get you going a bit but we don’t really have much use for guns and stuff out here, well sometimes, but yeah, it’s pretty rare- it’s mostly shorties.

Tony Chavez. Riding a Webster at Uluwatu. Photo: Fred Turmel

So I have to ask, what’s your favorite wave in the world?

Wow, my favorite wave in the world, well, I reckon I’ve got a few, but umm…

…Top 5?

I just like off-shore clean days anywhere. But yeah, maybe Kirra, old Kirra was awesome. Sunset and Waimea, they’re fun… but yeah, I’d just be happy to go surf today, you know.

Lennox Head local gets pitted at the point. Photo: Roadie

So what’s the future like for Webster Surfboards?

Aww man, I don’t know. It’s pretty hard to plan stuff like that. I mean I started this shed just wondering if anyone was gonna walk in, you know, and 18 months later I kinda need a bigger shed (laughs). Yeah, I guess its kinda doing all right. (big grin).

Now, almost a year after that conversation, it seems like he has been doing all right. Webster Surfboards has a vibrant website which sports his official lineup of board shapes as well as some surfers proud to have his boards under their feet, such as big wave riders Mark Visser and 2010 Billabong XXL Winner Sebastian Steudtner, charger Anthony Walsh, ultra-grom Zac Wightman, local shredders Mark Hernage and Luke Streader, and longboarder Ben Dickens. For more info, check out the website: www.webstersurfboards.com.au

I’m looking forward to finally calling one of his hand-shaped boards my own. -Roadie

Tony Chavez enjoys his magic board. Keramas, Bali. Photo: Fred Turmel