Ike Surfboards Shaper John Eichert

Ike Surfboards Shop

John Eichert and the History of Ike Surfboards

John Eichert of Ike Surfboards is a renowned surfboard shaper who has spent his life riding waves and shaping boards. Born and raised in Montecito, California, John developed a passion for surfing at a young age and quickly became enamored with the art of board shaping.

As a teenager, John started shaping his own boards in his parents' garage, experimenting with different designs and materials to create the perfect ride. At the age of 14, he started surfing on an old 10’ 8” balsa wood board. In 1957, he began to shape lighter surfboards with his childhood friend Tucker Stevens. They called their young enterprise “Ike and Tuck Boards,” and shaped in a 14’ x 14’ shack in the backyard of his house until 1960. 

After graduating from high school, he began working as a glasser in 1961 with local surfboard shaper legend Renny Yater  of Santa Barbara Surf Shop. He glassed Yater boards in Ventura at Jack Hiren’s glass shop. Later that year, Ike opened up his own surf shop in Santa Barbara at 24 East Cota Street. Ike honed his craft and developed his signature style, creating the surfboard design creations he would become known for, such as the “V-slot” removable fin, the “V-Tail,” an early 3-fin surfboard, and George Greenough’s first knee boards. 

Ike removable fins

Ike removable and adjustable fins options from the early 1960s

By the mid-1960s, Ike moved his shop to a bigger space in Goleta. During these years he developed the “halo fin” and fiberglass stringers. After 1966, he closed his own shop and continued shaping under the Ike label for Doug Roth Surfboards and Yater Surfboards. Fun fact: most of the Yater Spoons of the 1960’s were shaped by Ike.

From the late 1970s to 1990s, Ike moved away from Santa Barbara and shifted his handicraft focus to boat building and fishing in the Puget Sound and then Avila Beach. He continued to hand shape boards and in the 1990s, returned to Santa Barbara where he shaped out of his backyard as Ike Surfboards.

Ike Surfboards remains one of the most respected names in the surfboard industry, known for its high-quality craftsmanship, attention to detail, and innovative designs. Ike personally hand-shaped Ike Surfboards for over 50 years, working closely with each of his clients to create custom boards that are tailored to their specific needs and riding styles, ensuring that they get the best possible performance out of each ride.

John's shaping philosophy is rooted in his belief that every wave is different, and every surfer is unique. He approaches each board as a one-of-a-kind creation, taking into account factors such as the rider's skill level, the type of waves they'll be riding, and their personal preferences.

One of John's signature designs is the "Retro Egg," a board that combines elements of traditional longboarding with modern shortboard technology. The Retro Egg is known for its smooth ride and versatility, making it a popular choice for surfers of all skill levels.

In addition to shaping boards, John is also an accomplished surfer and has competed in numerous contests throughout his career. He has a deep respect for the ocean and the natural world, and is committed to creating sustainable, eco-friendly surfboards that minimize the environmental impact of the surfing industry.

John's dedication to his craft, his commitment to sustainability, and his love for the ocean have made him a beloved figure in the surfing community. His handcrafted surfboards are sought after by surfers around the world, and his influence on the shaping industry can be seen in the work of countless other board shapers who have been inspired by his innovative designs.