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Surfboard Shaper & Surf Coach Jud Lau


surfer and shaper Jud Lau

Maui in the 70’s

My full name is Judson Hung Sun Lau, and I am a surfboard shaper and surf coach. My parents moved from Oahu to Maui shortly before I was born, and I was lucky to grow up here in the 70’s/80’s when Maui was a relatively slow paced and quiet island paradise.

There was just a few stoplights on the whole island then, and we were only accessible via an inter-island flight from Honolulu!

Fourth generation born in Hawaii

My full name is Judson Hung Sun Lau.  Judson was my grandfather from my mother’s side, Judson Lindsey Gressitt.  He was an entomologist and traveled the globe extensively, but home base was on Oahu.

He started the Entomology department at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and it is now named after him.

Hung Sun was my grandfather on my father’s side.  He was born on Oahu of Chinese descent, and I am of the fourth generation of this family born in Hawaii.

Surfing at the age of 14

I started surfing at the age of 14, and after high school. I moved to Honolulu to study at the University of Hawaii, and to surf the North Shore of course!  One thing led to another, and after graduating from UH with a Sales & Marketing degree, competing in amateur and then professional surfing events, getting married, working in several different positions in the surf industry, having two boys (now 15 and 17), taking up the craft of surfboard shaping, and opening and operating our own retail surf shop for 12 years:

I now find myself still loving the art of designing and shaping surfboards just as much as ever!

Surfboard shaper

I have been shaping for just over 10 years now, and at this point have shaped just over 900 boards.  The first 650 were shaped by hand start to finish, without the use of CAD software and a CNC machine.


Surf coach and his Groms

A few years ago I began my last venture, working with some of the young surfers here on Maui. I help them with their technique and wave knowledge through the use of video analysis. Also, we work on competitive strategy with practice heats and other surfing games and drills.

I spend a lot of time talking with them about mental preparation, the importance of keeping their focus, and staying in a good head space.

And as always, there is no substitute for hard work and determination, dedication and devotion!  As coaching becomes more and more prevalent in the sport of surfing, this seems to be a well timed endeavor, and hopefully to the benefit of Maui’s up and coming competitive surfers.

Surfboard shaper Jud Lau with his groms Jud and his groms

The future

My plans are to continue shaping boards forever, constantly trying new things and experimenting, to keep the performance of our equipment continually progressing.  My short term goals are to begin to grow sales outside of Maui, and then outside of Hawaii.

The challenge with being a shaper is to be both right brained for the creative side (designing and shaping) and at the same time left brained for the logical and analytical, sales side of the business.

The Surf Business

Our latest undertaking, however will probably help us with the sales side of our surfboard business: My wife Kelly and I have just recently made a move back to the wholesale side of the surf industry, picking up a couple lines that we will work with as sales representatives in the Hawaii region.  I am hoping to piggyback some surfboard orders! I am also excited about continuing to work with my team riders, helping to coach them to achieve their goals and aspirations as well as to be good people!  Working with the youth, and seeing them progress is incredibly rewarding!

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