Bill Foote

Bill Foote at his Maui home

The surfboard in Hawaii has a deep and spiritual history. In this modern era of mass produced popout boards, the custom Hand-Shaper is an increasingly rare breed of artisan who continues to respect the importance of carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of constructing sacred craft. Bill Foote… is one of those legendary Hawaiian surfboard shapers… where quality, innovative design, and customer enjoyment of his boards is what he really cares about and focuses on. Bill’s constantly evolving designs are borne out of a rare and unique depth of experience that spans over a 40 year period as a well respected and world renown Surfboard, Stand Up Paddle, and Sailboard shaper.

Vardeman E/Coast Surf Team

Beginnings, East Coast US…
As a young boy who started surfing in 1962, he knew from the very beginning that his life would revolve around a deep love-affair with surfboards and the ocean. After graduating from High School he left the US East Coast and spent several years in Puerto Rico following his search for bigger waves. At the age of 21, Bill realized the epicentre of the Big-Wave world was the North Shore of Oahu. He pursued his passion for riding big waves above all else, and made his new home a small cottage on Huelo St at Sunset Beach for the following 18 years.


Bill 'n Buster

Big-wave riding, Sunset Beach Oahu… Bill’s quest for finding the best wave-riding equipment led him to riding boards shaped by Richard Brewer, Tom Parrish, Rick Irons and Reno Abellira… to name a few. With prompting and coaching from these great craftsmen, Bill began experimenting with producing his own surfboard shapes. He began fine-tuning his craft in earnest and produced surfboards under his Sunset Beach label.. Paumalu Surfboards circa 1970-1990 (and is acknowledged in The US Surfing Heritage Foundation).


Ho'okipa Maui

Windsurfing, Hawaii, Europe, Asia… In the early ’80’s and with the advent of the Windsurfing phenomena, Bill’s interest diverted to adding this sport to his repertoire. He became an avid lover of this exciting wave-riding sport, however.. while still maintaining his standing within the North Shore big-wave riding community. His natural curiosity and passion for designing and shaping, combined with his ever keen observation skills and love of wave-riding.. drew him deeper into the dynamics of not only board-design, but now also board-construction methods. The trigger for this being that the sailboard required a higher level of strength and speed, compared to the standard surfboard. This fast and furious sport took Bill to new heights as a well respected and sought-after Sailboard designer and shaper, which saw him travel extensively throughout Europe, Japan, East and West Coast US. The windsurfing phenomena led him to finally make his new home in Maui in the mid 90’s.


preferred medicinal beverage

Standup paddling Maui… Around 2005, Bill’s association with Laird Hamilton led him to join in the resurgence and re-invention of standup paddling on the island of Maui. From an old 12’8″ board that Laird initially experimented with.. the interest, excitement and redevelopment of the modern-day ‘stand up paddle board’ quickly grew. Bill keenly recognised the ease of accessibility to the ocean and its’ waves that this craft would give it’s users. He began working on board designs for not only performance, but also stability.. to enable the acceleration of the initial learning curve of ‘paddling while standing upright’.

Bill Foote


Today 40 years on…Bill Foote draws on his depth of experience to constantly refine all his board designs and construction methods… ensuring he offers the highest quality, innovation, and greatest enjoyment of water-time to his customers.. at whatever experience level you may be, and in whichever environment you like to use your boards.
Bill lives on his beautiful property in Haiku Maui, and is passionate about creating exceptional surfboards, stand up boards, and sailboards that perform at all levels. In the competitive world of big business, where profit at any cost seems to dominate… Bill Foote’s business philosophy is headed in the other direction of maintaining a sustainable business based on some of the simple truths of life….’love what you do, do it well, share it with others of like-mind ‘.

In August 2011, Bill Foote was celebrated amongst an elite 20 Custom Surfboard Shapers in an Exhibition entitled ‘Maui Shapers’, along with ‘Surfer Art’ by Hall-of-Fame surfer and artist Jon Severson, at Puka-Puka Gallery, Paia Maui.