Boom Surfboards built for local breaks by local surfer/shaper

Date Published: 
July 4, 2014

Coastal Point • Submitted : A surfer catches some air on a Boom Surfboards Mamba 2, hand built by Eric Nygard. Nygard custom builds his boards for the local waves, which can be really hard on regular boards.Coastal Point • Submitted : A surfer catches some air on a Boom Surfboards Mamba 2, hand built by Eric Nygard. Nygard custom builds his boards for the local waves, which can be really hard on regular boards.Surfboard shaping is an art form. No two hand-shaped boards will ever be exactly same. And each board is designed for something different — big surf, small surf, more speed, more maneuverability, a different type of wave. And much like no two boards will ever be shaped the same, no two breaks are the same — and certain breaks require certain board features.

Eric Nygard, local surfer/shaper and owner of Boom Surfboards, knows this and has dedicated his craft to designing boards specifically for surfers looking to take on the often-unforgiving Delaware beach breaks.

“I like shore break,” Nygard said. “It can be by and far the most beautiful wave ever when it’s on, but it also wreaks havoc on surfboards, so I have focused everything I have on making stronger, lighter, more resilient performance boards without passing any extra cost to the consumer.”

After an influx of broken boards in his repair days, Nygard was inspired to start shaping on his own — determined to create a stronger board. At first, however, he started with skimboards.

“I started off with skimboards because I was in school doing research on composites,” he recalled. “I was just always focused on making a stronger board. They were starting to sacrifice strength, and it would break — especially in shore break like we have.”

While Boom still makes skimboards, Nygard eventually moved on to shaping surfboards, using similar glassing principles and techniques in the process.

“I try and just use really good materials,” he explained. “I use epoxy and a higher-grading glass. They’re much stronger than pretty much every board you’ll walk into a surf shop and see. I just wanted to make boards for [surfers] like myself who loved to go hard but couldn’t afford the right equipment.”

It wasn’t long before Nygard found the right surfers to test his products, both locally and in Puerto Rico — a popular surf-trip destination for East Coast surfers.

“For a while, I was flying back and forth to Puerto Rico like every two weeks,” Nygard said of testing his boards in Boom’s early days. “I’ve been the luckiest guy in the world, stumbling into the right people — Matt, John, Tito, Troll, Lief, Jordy, Dave, Tom, Zane, the entire island of Puerto Rico — I just had so many guys running mini focus groups as I was shaping. It wasn’t hard to dial in even the finest details. It’s the best feeling in the world seeing someone rip on something you’ve put your life into.”

Soon after, Nygard began to produce some of his now-signature boards, including the Mamba 2 — a step-down rounded pin and his personal favorite.

“It’s like a one-board quiver,” he said of the versatile shape. “It’s pretty much the perfect East Coast storm board. It holds in really well. Even when it’s small, it works really well. You can still turn it around.”

Other signature Boom shapes include the Lucy, a deep single-concave with constant rocker and plenty of “hidden float”; the Filet Mignon, a standard-shape double pin; the Slay Mignon, ideal for contest surf, with a wider performance nose; The Twerk, a loose and fast shortboard; and The Stick of Death, a full-rails rounder pin.

“We have a few more shapes, but these are the go-to’s,” Nygard explained. “They all have their place, but I try to make everything pretty versatile, so you’re solid with one board if that’s all you can afford. [They’re] all available in different constructions, from our entry level e-vac all the way to the ridiculously strong pro-vac, which is insanely light.”

Originally getting into shaping in order to surf and travel more, Nygard has since found that the time required in the shaping bay has left his passport unstamped for a while. But now he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I thought once I started making boards it would allow me to travel and surf more, but its non-stop in the shop,” he explained, “which is perfect, because other than surfing, all I want to do is tinker.”

To see more Boom shapes and find out more about their other products, check out their website at www.boomsurfboards.com, or visit the shop at 20340 Coastal Highway in Rehoboth Beach. Boom is also on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/
Boom-Surfboards.