“One of my favourite creations,” says Craig Lindfield-Butler, owner of Brighton-based Supernova Surfboards, “is a 22ct-gold board that I made for the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition 2015. It is now on display at Norman Cook’s – aka Fatboy Slim’s – seaside restaurant in Hove.”
Most of Lindfield-Butler’s custom-made surfboards, however, spend more time in the water than on display. “Whether you’re a hardened professional or an enthusiastic amateur, a custom surfboard provides a faster, smoother, easier ride,” he says. And as one of the only UK makers of bespoke boards, he has garnered a loyal following of surfers from Cornwall to Santa Cruz in western California.
Every customised Supernova creation is optimised for a client’s ability level and typical surfing terrain, and is handcrafted in the Brighton shop. Lindfield-Butler offers an in-store or home consultation, but specifications can also be discussed by phone and email. After the basics of height, weight and age have been considered, boards are further developed according to the customer’s stance and flexibility preference. All of the measuring, shaping and sanding is done by Lindfield-Butler himself, who has more than 30 years of design experience, and most commissions take between four and six weeks to complete.
There’s also the more colourful part of the commission to consider – the selection of graphics, which can range from subtle resin tints to wild neon hues, from patterns and prints to insignias and logos, all of which are sealed into the board for durability. Other options include colour-changing surfboards, as well as versions that glow in the dark for late-night carving.
“Surfing is all about feeling confident on your board and riding the waves in your own style,” says Lindfield-Butler – and his one-of-a-kind creations take diving and dropping to a whole new level.