Union Surfboards, a new Brooklyn-based surfboard company in NYC, is opening doors to their shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on March 11th 2015. Founded by Chris Williams and Jeff Schroeder in 2014, Union builds performance surfboards for the New York surf community. Through one-on-one collaboration, the team tailors boards to fit customers’ individual style, size, and skill level, and the conditions in which they ride.
Long reserved only for professionals, Union establishes the dialogue between rider and shaper, providing surfers the opportunity to be involved in every phase of the production cycle. The new Greenpoint space will serve as a hub to the Brooklyn surf community, with an open invitation to stop by, talk shop on design and use the Union facility for those who are interested in shaping their own boards. Union strives to give surfers the freedom to design the board they want, and provide the guidance to ensure they get it.
Jeff Schroeder, co-founder of Union says, “Personalization goes deeper than just paint color and graphics. The physical board can be a reflection of the person riding it. Empowering surfers at all levels with the chance to bring their ideas to life, in absence of the resources needed to make a surfboard—that’s what Union is all about.”
Inspired by Brooklyn’s creative energy and the burgeoning NY surf scene, Schroeder and Williams opened their original shaping bay within a month of landing in New York. Williams, fourth generation in his family’s shipbuilding legacy, is an accomplished sailor and surfer from northern CA. After owning numerous surfboards throughout his life, he realized shaping was the only way to bring the best aspects of each together. Schroeder, who moved to Brooklyn from Los Angeles just over a year ago, has produced films for some of the most renowned names in professional surf, skate and snowboarding such as John John Florence, Jordy Smith, Paul Rodriguez, Ryan Sheckler, Travis Rice.
“It seems counter-intuitive for a surfboard company to set up shop in NYC,” says Chris Williams, co-founder and head shaper at Union, “The cold winters and wave-less summers certainly don’t help to establish it as a known surf zone, but with 8 million people there are markets and communities for just about everything. There’s a place just outside the city where Brooklyn artists and Wall Street tycoons come together to share in the occasional perfect waves. We want Union to be a representation of that community, giving legitimacy to what seems ironic, supporting and showcasing this masked group of core New York surfers.”