Known by many as the “Father of the Modern Longboard,” Steve Walden shaped his first surfboard in 1961, at age 13, and never looked back. Eight years later, the native Southern Californian opened his first board factory and store in Huntington Beach, then moved to the North Shore of Oahu in 1972, where he made a name for himself as a prolific longboard shaper. While the rest of the surfing world was fixated on short single-fins, Walden continued to faithfully hone his longboard designs. Over the years, he shaped for prestigious labels like Lightning Bolt, Local Motion, HIC, and Channel Islands, but it was always his own boards that set him apart. By the early 80s, Walden returned to California where he unveiled his wildly successful Magic Model with its radical rocker, down-turned rails, and super-fast Turbo Hull bottom contour.
With arguably the most advanced and high-performance longboard on the market, Walden was uniquely positioned to capitalize on the resurgence of longboarding in the late 80s and 90s. To date, Walden estimates he’s personally shaped more than 20,000 boards, and in 2004, he teamed up with Global Surf Industries to distribute his shapes and expand the Walden Surfboards brand worldwide. These days, when he’s not mowing foam, Walden is surfing. Though he competed some as a teenager, he returned to contest surfing at the age of 30 and has been a regular on the winner’s podium ever since. In fact, Walden still holds the record for the longest noseride in competition history with an epic 25.5-second ride.