SF Surf Shop SF Surf Shop SF Surf Shop


John Schultze

Started surfing Northern California in the 70’s on singlefins. His father’s love of surf fishing and the ocean brought him to many of the top surfing beaches of Northern California. In order to meet the conditions of his favorite waves during the 80’s such as Moss Landing, Horseshoe’s, and Ocean Beach, John began building boards in the backyard of his family home (sorry Mom and anyone who currently owns our home). In 1987, after returning home from one of his yearly sojourns to Mexico he relocated to the Great Hwy.

This is where he met Bill Hickey. Bill was a master builder of surfboards and philosophy. The 80’s was the second coming of surfboard production. Grind them out for ($). This is when sanded finish, fin systems, and clear boards (not anti-establishment 70’s soul boards) were sold to cut the costs of labor and materials. Grubby thinned the blanks - it cut the shaping time. This allowed for the larger factories to produce more finished product ($). The surfer-shaper relationship began to fade away, especially with the advent of shaping machines allowing non free thinkers to build boards.

Bill built each board individually for his customers customizing shape and color, laying up fin stock to match the board, and glass on leash attachments which also matched the fins and board color. Embodying true craftsmanship, Bill utilized S-glass only, lam, hotcoat, sanded finish, custom pinlines (up to 21 pinlines), gloss, polish, and homemade bungee leashes if you were lucky. He did this since the fifty’s. John has never seen this attention to detail in the surfboard industry. Insanity? No. Integrity.

Kyle Bernhardt got John a job with ASD Sailboards in Mountain View, CA. Kyle was living in the Sunset and would pick up John to make the commute to work. In the 1990’s, Bob Miller was at the leading edge of Sandwich Construction. This is the process by which most modern epoxies are manufactured. Bob had recently returned from Maui and was at the forefront of modern sailboard design.


In 1993, Kyle and John started San Francisco Surf Shop. The mission statement was to make and sell custom boards for Ocean Beach and beyond. Kyle has now moved on to the North Shore and shapes boards for top pro’s under many labels. San Francisco Surf Shop boards and clothes remain available online.

John Schultze


Bill Hickey

info@sfsurf.com (I will pass on info to Bill)