Ian Balding's passion for the ocean started at a young age. A few old copies of surfer magazine at his uncle's house were all it took to ignite the fire. Since then his life has literally revolved around the ocean. If Ian wasn't in the ocean surfing, he was out body surfing, body boarding, fishing, boating, wake surfing, you name it. His love for the life aquatic naturally led to studying, and ultimately building, shaping, and glassing his own unique surf craft.
After years of living back and forth from coast to coast Ian now calls Southeastern NC home. Surfing the beaches of the North Carolina outer banks barrier islands, and living and working specifically in Wilmington. Ian's work originally consisted of foam surfboards and body boards made for himself and a few friends. "I just wanted boards that rode waves the way I envisioned riding waves" says Ian.
Ian's lifestyle revolving around the ocean has led him further into building surfboards that reflect the beauty of the natural environment, and perform in all wave conditions. His samplings of the wide variety of waves this planet has to offer has influenced his design concepts in many ways. On a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands years ago he had a chance encounter with an ex-pat surfer/shaper living a simple surf centered life on the coast of Ecuador. The meeting proved to be a pivotal moment in Ian's life, as his new friend introduced him to Balsawood. Ian was an instant believer in the material, and Ecuador is known for naturally yielding the lightest and strongest Balsawood on the planet. Balsa is not new to surfboard construction. In fact Balsa boards date back into the mid to late 40's in California. Although ultimately losing steam when foam took over as the new "high performance" core material.
However, Ian's love for wood surfboards and environmental sensibilities kept his hands in the material almost exclusively for over ten years. He's always been a believer in trying to lessen his environmental impact by using the renewable resource of wood. Ian uses only responsibly managed wood products and gives back by making sure trees are planted in replacement of the materials he uses. That being said, he spends much time and effort selecting the woods used in his surfboards. Constantly searching for greener materials for the construction of his boards, Ian is always testing new materials for shaping and glassing.
Ian's passion however, is not exclusive to wood surfboards. He builds all of his boards, whether wood,foam,surf, or paddle boards, with the same attention to detail. Apart from shaping, Ian's life-long background in carpentry, and art allow him to build all of his boards with the skillful techniques of old world craftsmanship. Ian's goal is simply to blend your boards natural aesthetics, with artistic embellishment, and performance into a fully functional piece of art for you to enjoy.
Take a minute to step into the custom shaping room with Ian Balding to learn about the man who shapes ridable art.
Check out all of the newest designs in the art of wood surf craft... Longboards, fish, eggs, bodyboards to hand planes. You name it, Ian makes it. Get inspired...!
Ian's passion for a good piece of clothing mirrors his passion for quality surfboards. Check out Ian's newest gear, and Support the art of the custom surf craft!