Long-time surfboard shaper and fine artist Bill Stewart was born in 1951 in Bowling Green, Kentucky and raised in Hollywood, Florida. Articulate and quick-witted, Stewart has whimsically referred to himself as “Kentucky’s greatest surfer.” Better known today as “the Father of the Modern Longboard,” Bill’s surfboards are progressive and innovative in design and unique cosmetically.
Stewart started surfing at age 13 and shaped his first surfboard in 1967. Then in ’71, he bought an old van for $500 and headed west to Southern California. He soon found work at Rick James Surfboards, then moved to South Shore Surfboards before landing a job as a shaper and airbrush artist at Hobie. By 1979, Bill was ready to go out on his own, and Stewart Surfboards was born. His first shop was in Laguna Beach, but Stewart soon moved his business to San Clemente, where it continues to operate today.
Bill Stewart’s name will become indelibly etched in surf history as a premier shaper, designer, artist and competitive surfer. He has personally shaped in excess of 40,000 surfboards, and his pride and joy has got to be his legendary Hydro Hull. As an accomplished artist, his unique airbrush finishes are recognized worldwide. While Bill is taking more time for friends and family these days, the Stewart Surfboards brand continues to be a force in the surf industry.
Until next time,