Words & Images By Chris Smith
Occupation: Surfboard Designer (Airwave)
From: Chester, Cheshire
Josh started surfing the year before university, meaning that now he has been surfing a total of seven years! He has been nipping back and forth to Cornwall his whole life, having grandparents and also parents who surf meant that it was really just inevitable. His first lesson was in Croyde and from there his passion started to become more serious upon joining his uni’s surf club, which he lead during his final year.
Josh’s passion for surfing then worked its way into his creative work. Whilst studying for a Masters degree, (at this point Josh did explain the work he was studying within engineering, but even in layman’s terms, it sounded pretty complex) Josh started to design boards, even targeting his dissertation towards this aim. In his spare time he pushed this creative outlet to its limit, testing the boards he had designed in Portugal.
From full-time engineer to full-time surfboard designer, Josh has built Airwave surfboards from the ground up. Now regularly testing new designs at the Wavegarden in North Wales, he has plans to launch a website, bring out a clothing line just in time for Christmas and begin pushing the brand across the nation.
Best Moment: Josh is an incredibly humble and hence his best moment reflects that:
‘There’s something really fulfilling about seeing someone enjoy riding one of my boards, as a creative there is nothing greater that seeing satisfaction from your customers’
Josh gave me the example that the first time he saw someone perform a backhand snap on one of his boards ‘it was like I had done it’.
Scariest Moment: It was Josh’s first day in Bali and he was caught by a sneak wave whilst paddling back in to climb out. This wave dragged him over a reef twice, shredding the left side of his body – as it goes this is one of the more painful sounding moments I’ve heard.
Thanks for the interview Josh and I look forward to hearing more about Airwave soon (Airwave will be joining the ‘Community’ section of the site in the not too distant future).