North Shore's Lucas Godfrey talks surfboards

Aloha my name is Lucas Godfrey and I am here to talk about surfboards.

Lucas Godfrey in the barrel at Pipeline
Photo: Shane Grace​​

Growing up on the North Shore of Oahu you learn the importance of surfboards and you gain a huge appreciation for them.

Surfboards are extremely technical with an endless amount of variables that will affect the performance of the board greatly. They come in all shapes and sizes and it's safe to say that there is a perfect board for every condition. 

Surfboards don’t last forever and the best ones usually have short lives. Sometimes it feels like you are always chasing the “Magic Board” and it can be surprisingly hard to find. Once you find a board that feels like magic it will increase your confidence greatly and you will feel unstoppable. 

Lucas Godfrey holding surfboard

My life revolves around surfboards and sadly I have a bad habit of destroying them so it came naturally to me to learn how to repair surfboards. My father, a lifetime craftsman, gave me my first surfboard which was in two pieces after being broken by one of his good friends. He then proceeded to teach me how to repair the broken board in order to go surfing on it in the days following. Fast forward to the present day I now own a Ding Repair shop and continue to carry on the tradition of repairing boards and surfing as much as I can. 

Lucas Godfrey with boards

I ride a variety of different surfboards depending on the conditions and living in Hawaii these conditions can change drastically from day to day. I have a great relationship with Bret Marumoto (@Bretboards) who is a long-time local shaper out here and I have been getting boards from him since I was a kid. 

My favorite type of board to ride is the Lone Wolf model which is a knifey semi-gun designed for big hollow waves particularly Pipeline. This board comes with a nice pin tail, thruster fin set up, lots of concave, and some foam under the chest to aid in those slabby double up paddle in scenarios. 

For my shortboards I have been riding this newer model that Bret has developed called the Free thinker I order it with a nice squash tail usually about 6 feet long and some nice concave as well. When it comes to tiny waves my favorite boards are generally twin fins. I like them in all shapes and sizes from keel fish boards to more high performance models. The level of fun is insane and they will make an average wave session into the best day ever. I have all my boards glassed at my local trusted surfboard factory called Third Stone where I am never disappointed with the speed and quality that I receive. 

Having good relationships with the people who make your boards and working with them closely is very important to ensure that they understand how you surf and exactly what you want out of a board, I also think it makes the whole process a lot more fun as well.

Here's a couple tips I have for getting surfboards to work well in Hawaii.

Lucas Godfrey

Foam is your friend! Because the ocean moves quickly and so do the waves and bigger waves come with more current and more chops, you will be surprised what you can do with a bigger board on a fast powerful wave. Same goes with the fins. I like large fins constructed with stiff materials to ensure that I can hold the board on rail without skipping out. Future Fins are in my mind the strongest and most reliable fin system.

Don't believe the hype! You do not need the latest most futuristic board to have the time of your life. I grew up riding yellow hand me down boards left over from traveling surfers just because no one else is giving that board love it doesnt mean you can't! Do the planet a favor, fix that board up, paddle out and pull in.

Paint your boards! Show some character, get artistic, try your best and don’t worry every good artist started somewhere. Plus it will look good in the photos.

Experiment a little. I see too many people riding the exact same looking boards, just because it works for them doesn't mean it's the best board for you. Take that gamble and be the innovator. Some of the boards that look the most weird have the most fun.

Stay away from epoxy surfboards unless the waves are small to me they just can't quite handle the chop, wind, and power that we deal with in Hawaii.

Double glass that board so it doesn’t break! Waves on the north shore eat boards like mochi crunch.

Don't forget about your leash which is a safety lifeline not only can it save your life it will also save your session. Go with a big leash and with trusted brands.

I hope you enjoyed this quick little glimpse into my thoughts and remember if you bust up your board on the North come bring it by the “Ding Ding Shop” but remember the better the waves are the longer you will have to wait for the repairs to be finished.


See below for some of Lucas Godfrey's favorite Roark gear.