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making quality handcrafted


humble home based shaping bay in


full range of custom made


Roots-up surfboard shaping company

Hutchison Handcrafted Surfboards is a roots-up surfboard shaping company, living large on the North Coast of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.


Johno Hutchison AKA “HUTCH”, has been making quality handcrafted surfboards for the past 30years and piles his trade, daily in his humble home based shaping bay in sub-tropical Ballito, specializing in custom hand-shaped surfboards to suit each individual surfer’s needs. Using only the finest materials, each surfboard is shaped, designed and custom built to your exact specifications, with no shortcuts taken.


Our boards are inspired by the past, present and future of board design. We enjoy making boards reminiscent of days past and keenly keep an idea of what’s happening in designs of the present. Travelling abroad and locally, being involved in contests and surfing different spots helps keep it fresh.

Our boards

“Hutch” has a simply philosophy: Stoke and passion for both surfing and the ocean – ENJOY both daily.


These are surfboards shaped by surfers for surfers, no matter what level you may find yourself at. Our mission is to create a perfect surfboard each time, which is totally unique. When it comes to anything to do with a spray gun, if Picasso was into graf-art and surfing, you wouldn’t get much closer than some of designs coming out of this factory.


After watching an old school movie with some mates, the idea was born to try and make an Alaia and learn to surf it. A good friend of mine, Conrad Nalson, is a master craftsman and specializes in building beautiful pieces of furniture using various timbers. He owns a successful business in the small village of Umhlali on the North Coast. He took it upon himself to glue up our first Alaia blanks using timber from his stocks – and so our first Alaia’s were made and shaped.


Since then, things developed quite fast and we were able to import Paulowina timber from Australia. Paulowina is used because it has very few knots and it’s relatively light with good flex properties.


We decided to glue up blanks to include strips of various other timbers to create boards that all look different, are mind blowingly beautiful and fully functional.


We have spent many fun filled hours in the factory shaping Alaia boards and surfing them later. There is a definite art to being able to ride and even paddle these boards. Quite a few mates have joined in and shaped their own boards. There is no right or wrong method but the amount of pleasure one gets from making and surfing your own Alaia is immeasurable.


Customers have the opportunity to purchase blanks and have them glued up to their own specs. Alternatively we can shape it for you. The boards are sealed using linseed oil and bees wax and smell awesome. Many of our customers have mounted the boards on their walls or found places in their homes to display them bring warmth to their living areas and telling all that they are surfers! So far our boards have been used all along the South African coast and all who see them are blown away by just how beautiful they are. Using one at The Point in JBay, good friend John McCarthy, said it made him feel so at one with the waves and the feeling of speed as one cruises the wall, with water chattering under the board, is unbelievable.


Riding these boards, that are made in the same manner as the first Hawaiian surfers used to, is truly an amazing experience.


Surging through the swells as Kommetjie’s Long Beach, teen surfer Mikey February shows the skill that is taking him to the top of the game. At just 14, Mikey is already ranked fifth in South Africa’s under-18 surfer standings, and he is gearing up to compete in the world Championship to be held in France later this year.

Living just metres from the surf, he strolls down for a practice session at least five times a week. Mikey recently took first place in the Volcom surfing contest in Durban and was placed fifth in the Oakley Junior Pro’s under-20 division. Earlier this year, he came second in the under-16 division of the Quiksilver King of Groms competition. Mikey said that after stepping onto a board just over seven years ago, he never looked back.

Mikey hits the waves on custom-made Hutchsom Handcrafted Surfboards. He has been working with brand owner, John Hutchison, for a few years and he is probably one of the only 14-year-olds in the country to have a surfboard named after him – the Mikey model. Taking to the sea, he glides from one watery mountain to the next, seldom losing his composure in Long Beach’s choppy water.

A wild teenage girl orchestrates a romance between her nanny and her father, who is a recovering addict.

Mark Shepperson

What do you enjoy about surfing? Everything !!!! I love the sea, the waves, the freedom, the adrenaline, the exercise and surfing with my friends. I live to surf!!!

Are surfing contests important to you? Contests are important to push one's surfing to new levels and to improve one's surfing ability (reading waves and surfing under difficult situations). As well as building confidence, focus and drive to do well. Contests add a different element to one's surfing.

Boards? Extremely fast and responsive! However a certain level of strength is needed. I like a board that allows me to do the tightest turns possible on a wave yet still allow me to do huge arcing turns and throw the tail around on an open face.

I am passionate about the ocean, surfing and my Hutchison surfboards. Surfing is an art form that gives you the ability to express yourself in a truly liberating style. It’s a lifestyle that keeps me fit and stoked. I love Hutchison surfboards as they are the best high performances surfboards around, offering the strength, speed and responsiveness I need to surf with full confidence in all conditions.

Sid Boulanger

Been surfing around 29 years. Been riding Johnos boards for about 21 years. I am 38 years old, male, 5”6” .72kg love travelling, braais, beer and golf. Can’t handle crowds in and out the water. Hate shopping centres!!!! Supported by Rip Curl Wetsuits, Groundswell Surf Shop and Hutchison Handcrafted.

The boards are strong and of good quality and always get exactly what I want!!!!! I ride a 5”7” swallow tail short board and 5”8”round tail step up. I also have a fun 5’2” twin fin fish with a swallow tail for summer dribble. Also have 2 Alaias.

Gunter Schultz




Jaco Kapp

When I moved to the North Coast I only heard good things about Hutchison Handcrafted boards….I decided to try one and haven’t surfed another shapers board since. Hutchison Handcrafted boards are of the highest quality shaped by a master craftsman. All my boards from Johno have been magic boards made with attention to detail. So stoked to be part of his team.

Recent Achievements: Current KZN Mens Team No. 2 seed and KZN Team Captain, Ranked in the Top 20 on the local Pro Surf Tour (PST) 2014.

Matt Kruger

I've made the springbok team 5 times. once for u16 and twice for u18 and twice for the open team. ive won sa champs 3 times. made finals for sa champs 6 times. ive had a year break from competitave surfing but will be getting back into it next year. i want to be pst champion and sa champion again. ive been with hutchinson handcrafted for about 10 years and having a shaper that knows your surfing for that long is always beneficial. we have worked on different shapes and designs and all the time have been progressing on whats best for me and whats best for different types of waves.

Jono is a great shaper and he always takes his experience and knowledge of shaping and puts it into his shaping. as his logo says- "handcrafted" so there is no cutting corners and thats why i like him shaoing my personal boards. and lets not forget lucky who puts his artitstic skills and galssing skills to good use. lucky seems to get what im thinking when im looking for a spray or design on a board.

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