SAFARI HISTORY


OUR STORY - SAFARI SURFBOARD HISTORY

EST - 1963

Becoming the dominant surfboard manufacturer in Africa required the efforts of passionate surf professionals over a period of 56 years. Founding the company were South African Surf Legends Max Whetteland and Baron Stander, who together in began shaping Safari Surfboards in a small workshop off Umgeni Rd, Durban, using the best materials available at the time.
Surf legend & SAFARI SURF founder, Max Whetteland at the 1st World Titles in 1964. 
The 1965 SAFARI SURF productions team including founder Baron Stander. Left to Right: Tony Ceriff (Shaper), John Helsdon (Sander), Baron Sander (Glasser), Andrew Ogilvie (Shaper).  
An early SAFARI SURF advert.
GLOBAL EXPOSURE
In 1964 the Australian's staged the very first ever World Surfing Championships at Manly Beach Sydney, and Max with his Safari board became South Africa's first surf representative on the global stage. Baron Stander featured in a documentry film on surfboard manufacturing directed by Cliff Matchett, set in the original Umgeni Road Safari factory that we still work in today in Durban.
Baron Stander 1977 featured in a documentry film on surfboard manufacturing directed by Cliff Matchett
 
FORGING AHEAD
The 1965 Safari production team was based at the Somtseu Road Factory, Andrew Ogelvie at the time was still in matric and shaped boards after school. Graham Hynes first bought out Max and then Baron from the company. He and his wife Lorraine were the driving force behind Safari's success over a period of 40 years. Graham made a lasting imprint on South African Surfing with his coaching and management of SA's National Team. At 82 years of age he is still coaching SA teams today, although he handed over the reins of Safari to Spider in 2002.
 
Graham Hynes, Safari owner & SA Coach 1987
 
ENTERS THE SPIDER

Spider shaped his first board in 1965 at the tender age of 16 and founded War Surfboards before joining Graham Hynes at Safari as their main Shaper in 1972, following the departure of Andrew Ogilvie.

He is still in the shaping bay or on the beach everyday and has become one of the world’s most experienced and prolific shapers. Spider's creative approach to surfboard design developed through his relationship with Shaun Tomson. Their partnership broke with conventional design and the results were boards which suited Shaun's style of manoevering far back in the barrel. 

Spider in the SAFARI SURF shaping bay 1976.

  

GUNS BLAZING INTO WORLD CHAMPS -1977  

In 1975 Shaun was making headlines in Hawaii on Spider's Pipeline Gun when he took the Pipe Master's Title, following with the World Championship in 1977

These victories brought world wide attention to Spider's shaping skills. Spider's Pipeline Gun features in the Quicksilver Masters Collection of boards that revolutionised surfing over the years. Under Graham's leadership Safari led the surf scene in South Africa and the rest of the world. 

World Champ Shaun Tomson. 1976 Pipeline riding the Spider “Pink Banana”. 📷: Jeff Divine

 

The "Pink Banana"  

  

A young Shaun Tomson with a Spider Murphy twin fin, next to Warren & Richards. 📷: Mark Richards - The Daily Telegraph.  

 

SPIDER - CONSIDERED ONE OF THE WORLD CHAMPIONS OF SHAPING

 Having shaped boards for more than 20 World Champion surfers over a 54 year period, Spider has developed a consultative style that has and still does bring out the best from some of the world's most innovative surfers.  He is still shaping on average 10 custom boards a day and if you are lucky enough to have a factory tour you will see him in action.  

Shaun and Spider in the SAFARI shaping bay.

 

Spider 1985

 

 

 

Spider with his board templates. 2010

  

THE FUTURE OF SAFARI

The future for Safari is continuing to use the collective experience of our team to ensure your board is personalized for stoke maximization, irrespective of your age or experience. 

We welcome walk-ins or emails to boards@safarisurf.com to help you choose the right board. 

Some of our most exciting on-the-go projects are:

An ECO drive where we are creating bricks from waste material, offering ECO poxy, using ECO glues and ECO shipping/packaging material. We are on the lookout for more ways to be eco friendlier.

A shop & factory overhaul. More parking, more Safari and surfing history and a completely unique experience that will be worth the visit for locals and tourists. 

Our new online store where you can order your board and surf accessories. Look out for new boards & new exciting surf accessories we will be launching online.

Up & coming Shaper's Sam Christianson & Oliver Packham are set to make their own footprint at SAFARI. They are  creating their own world-class boards already in demand by locals and competitive surfers. 

 

 

The current SAFARI SURF Manager, Admin & Shaping Team. BACK: Jeanine, Charlene, Rosie, Monika. FRONT: Duncan, Tash, Spider, Cara 

  

 

SPIDER'S MAGIC TOUCH

To keep things fresh Spider regularly meets with our up and coming groms. Training with them daily gives him inspiration for new ideas and encouragement to dig deep into his wealth of experience. Safari’s groms are dedicated and over time have developed unique styles that are the formula for future champions. They grab onto anything new and different and strive for new levels in their surfing every day.

Spider is in the ocean at first light every day, testing new designs and techniques. His rigorous training and healthy lifestyle enables him to surf Safari’s Pro Models at their limit and understand fundamentally what makes them work. This dedication is critical to the feedback loop which goes into the shaping bay, where he is constantly improving and refining his performance shapes as well as innovations in fun board design.

Safari will continue to fulfil our customer’s highest expectations through our combination of surfboard design and hands-on experience in selecting and designing the right board for you. This is our future and yours. 

Spider with up & coming groms.