FTB with Mat Marais Surfboards

Q. Mat, when did you start shaping and where?
A. I started shaping surfboards about seven years ago for the fun of it and ended up putting every spare minute (literally) into it. I started shaping in the backyard just as so many great shapers did. I was very fortunate to have a bakery that was supporting my family and gave me time to improve my shaping skills.

Q. Why the transition from owning a bakery to full-time shaping?
A. About six years after I started shaping, my bakery was not doing great but the orders for my boards were growing daily, from local customers to international surf shops. I then came to a fork in the road, should I close the doors of the bakery and take up shaping full time.

Q. With a lovely wife and two beautiful kids, this would have had to be a big decision?
A. The challenge was to take a leap of faith and to go full time into shaping not knowing where it would take us.

Q. Why FTB?
A. Jen and I applied the Focus Trust Believe attitude and agreed that I should go full throttle with the shaping. Today we’ve got a factory just 600m from the main beach in Strand where I do the shaping and Jen does the most incredible custom artwork, working with different media, including airbrushing

Now we are both working hard, pretty much seven days a week, but we love, and are extremely passionate about what we do.

Q. Jen, these days with such a high cost of living, most families must have two incomes. What is your love and passion that you pursue as a job, other than the artwork at Mat surfboards?
A. I am a fully qualified yoga instructor and I also love dancing at a local dance school. I also recently started teaching Ariel silk dancing which I thoroughly enjoy. By doing what I love, what I’m passionate about, and working closely with Mat, it makes the hectic life of running a household and bringing up two kids all totally worth it.

God Bless, surf your best and God will do the rest.
Mat and Jen Marais