No Matter The Medium, Hayden Cox Has It Dialed
Get to know the multidisciplinary shaper/artist in his latest profile.
Building a multi-national board brand is a lot harder than it looks.
Competing against the world’s top shapers with decades of foam dust in their brow, Hayden Cox is one of the few board builders who’s managed to break out over the past decade and find real commercial success. Hayden has achieved this not only by making highly functional boards, but boards that look as good as they ride.
Exceptional Alien‘s latest profile on Mr. Cox takes a look at his journey from building boards in his parent’s backyard to what is now an international success story that includes collaborations with some of the world’s most recognizable brands. We’re talking heavy hitters the likes of Alexander Wang, Daniel Arsham, Google, Audi, and IWC Schaffhausen.
The profile highlights Hayden’s creative process as well as his favorite spots in Los Angeles (shoutout General Admission) and the importance of hiring non-surfers. We’ve included some of the tastiest morsels from their profile for you below.
On his beginnings as a shaper
I did work experience at a surfboard factory in Mona Vale, Sydney. After I shaped my first board I was starting to become more absent from school and found that I really enjoyed my time in the factory. My second board I shaped out the back of my parents’ house. I welded my own shaping stand at school and put lights up by the creek out the back and tried to shape the board at nighttime. I got stuck trying to figure out how to use the planer on the nose rocker, so I had to call the guy from the factory. He told me to get on a bus and bring the board. From then on I rented his shaping bay each time I shaped a board.
On creativity outside of surfing.
I’ve always enjoyed design and I have many other interests outside of surfing. I’m interested in technology, architecture, and furniture design. Recently I worked on a cast resin project for the Crown Towers Sydney. I’m also in the design and development phase for a project with Akin Atelier for the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I’m applying the knowledge I’ve learned over my 24 years of surfboard building into how we can work with the chemistry of epoxy and polyester resins for building and furniture design. We’ve also been working on three different surfboards with Daniel Arsham, an amazing artist in New York who applies crystal erosions to different products.
On building a business in the U.S of A.
America has this sense that there’s no ceiling and no limit. As a brand, we still have a long way to go in terms of growing in the American market. Yet there’s this positive feeling that you can achieve your goal there. The energy you put in is what you’ll get back.
On Hayden’s new LA showroom.
When we shut down our US manufacturing, our vision was to maintain a retail presence in America. We ended up renting the old civic building that was built in the early 1900s, right in the township of El Segundo up on the hill. It’s a freestanding building on Richmond Street that’s been newly renovated and it has such a cool vibe. Walk down the hill and Rock & Brews is right there plus a whole heap of other drinking holes. Many come into El Segundo for work, so come 5pm there are a lot of people walking the streets and having post–work drinks.
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