We’ve all heard the old saying that “necessity is the mother of invention”. For surfboard shaper Jacob Ells, this age-old adage rings especially true. In his early 20’s Jacob found himself a student at the University of California Santa Barbara, living a stone’s throw from the waves of Sands, Devereux, and Campus Point. Caught between a full class load and a Top-Ramen budget, Jacob was itching for a good board but couldn’t fathom shelling out the cash for a new one. There was only one solution.
With some guidance from friends and a few tips on surfboard design, Jacob got his hands on an old blank and shaped himself a board. It wasn’t exactly a polished work of art, but it was magic under his feet. Pretty soon, he was itching for another magic carpet to ride.
Jacob in the bay, doing what he loves.
For the next ten years, Jacob dabbled in shaping and board design and “product testing.” He spent a few years sailing across the Pacific, surfing countless waves in solitude, and exploring areas of the planet he’d only seen in pictures. Still, Jacob was thirsty for a more intimate knowledge of surfboard design.
In 2014 he decided to turn his hobby into a profession and he hasn’t looked back since. All Jive Surfboards are hand-shaped by Jacob in Carpinteria, California and the continuous quest for knowledge is what drives Jacob. “It’s funny, the more I shape the less I know,” he says.
As for the boards that don’t come out as planned? “My favorite thing is when I surf one of my boards for the first time and it doesn’t work as expected. After years of surfing my boards, they can still reveal new things.”
Intergalactic surf craft hand shaped by Jacob Ells.
That’s just the kind of guy Jacob is – always finding the stoke. He and his family live minutes away from Rincon Point (one of California’s great breaks), and he’s never too busy to sneak in a quick sesh. “The best part about Rincon is that it’s so diverse – I can have the same amount of fun in a variety of conditions.” As a surfer, a craftsman, and one epic dad, Jacob inspires us to get out there and find our stoke. If you’re in the market for a custom surfboard, look no further than Jive Surf. Tell ’em Toad sent ya.