The boards that make Green Room famous…
Tell us about Green Room Board Sports.
When you say “Green Room”, the shop is what most people in our area (Wilmington, NC) think of. However; what most folks don’t realize is that we also have two other major facilities in town where we conduct our production and development work. The “Shop” as we like to call it, is really Green Room Board Sports. It’s a full blown surf and skate shop that also serves as a retail outlet for our board manufacturing division, Green Room Board Company. The Shop offers the usual fare of surfboards, skateboards, and clothing, as well as full line of surf and skate accessories. However; we only sell surfboards shaped by master craftsmen carrying the “Green Room” label.
Tell us a little about the reasoning behind not carrying other surfboards from other shapers?
Our boards are quite unique, and we want to showcase them in that light. Our factories produce the finest Epoxy/ EPS surf boards available. We only use the highest quality materials, and the guys shape them to exacting detail, one at a time. The majority of our customers tend to be experienced surfers looking for specific qualities that are not often available in mass produced, off the rack boards. I’d estimate that over 80% of our board sales originate from custom orders. Judging by the ever increasing number of Green Room labels I’ve seen in the water lately; I’d say that we have many satisfied customers. The next time you’re in any of the Wilmington area surf shops, take time to notice how few if any GR “trade-in” boards you see in the used racks. There is a reason for that!
As a full-service surf shop, Green Room carries everything you need…
In recent years it seems like everyone has jumped on the Epoxy/EPS bandwagon. What makes yours so unique?
That’s where the science comes in. Over the past three years, our research team has partnered with the scientist at BGF to create a “state of the art” epoxy laminating system that is unmatched in the industry. The system features our Green Room, Ol’ #7 Resin, which we manufacture right here in Wilmington, and a custom designed version of BGF’s Aerialite fiberglass cloth. What makes this system so unique is that the two components have been structurally engineered to “chemically bond” with each other. The chemical bond produces a surfboard that is very durable and light, but exceeds the flex characteristics of traditional polyester construction. We have also structurally engineered Ol’ #7 Resin to dramatically reduce the effects of yellowing caused by UV sunlight. No other system in the world has these two advantages. This one of a kind laminating system is now known in the industry as the “Aerialite Surfing System”. Another particular advantage of our boards is in their construction. We use only “S” type cloth on all our boards as opposed to the “E” type commonly found on most other stock models. The S type is superior in its strength and durability, but it cost twice as much for us to use. As I said before; Green Room does not cut corners on quality. The Aerialite Surfing System is available with both S & E type cloths.
Can people purchase your Green Room boards from their local surf shop?
Yes & no. Our shop is presently the only retail outlet in the Cape Fear area selling the Green Room label. There has been such a tremendous demand for our surfboards during the past several years that we are now supplying other shops outside the area as well. We currently have distributions in South Carolina, Florida, California, and Puerto Rico. There are also major surf tour companies in El Salvador, and Costa Rica inquiring about stocking our boards for their patrons.
Tell us about the interest you’ve seen from other shapers regarding “Aerialite.”
To me; that’s the really exciting part of our business. We are a small company, and we only produce at most 200 boards per year. That number is not likely to change much with the amount of detail we put into our production, plus it’s also not part of our long term business plan. However, we are committed and capable of supplying other board manufacturers, large or small, with the finest building materials available. Our resin works outstanding by itself and we are literally selling it to board manufacturers all over the world. We are currently supplying major accounts up and down the east coast, including Atlantic Surfing Materials in Florida. We also service major accounts on the gulf coast, and in California. Outside of the US, we are supplying our products to shapers in Puerto Rico, Panama, Hawaii, Tahiti, and Japan. There are some major labels using our epoxy resin on their own boards. You could be riding a board with our technology right now and not even know it. In fact; there are at least four surfers on the WCT riding boards made with Green Room resin. It’s a very exciting time for us. I feel so very blessed to be involved at the ground level.
How do you handle the product development/testing for new shapes and technologies?
Now that is the FUN part of our work! Our development team is constantly seeking feed-back from the people who use our products, whether its surfers using our GR boards or shapers using our materials to make their own label. We insert that input right back into our development program to actively search for any areas where we could improve. We have developed close working relationships with most of the other shapers using our system in order to help them maximize their work and further our own research. We also have a core group of young rippers, seasoned veterans, and industry sponsored professionals putting our boards through the paces. Our boards have been field tested on east coast beaches, OBX hurricane swells, Caribbean reef passes, Central American point breaks, and California dream waves. It involves a lot of travel, but every successful team has to make sacrifices. We call it “LTD”, living the dream!