Wednesday, January 30, 2013

US Blanks Interview and Video

Shape Box 

Where: 6455 Industry Way, Westminster, CA 92683. Just outside of Huntington Beach and the hub of the surf industry.
Since: 1993
Contact: www.FoamEZcom  (714) 896-8233
Using US Blanks Since: 2007

Me and the Foam E-Z Crew
Foam E-Z was founded by Brad Nadell with the focus of supplying local shapers with board building materials. Over 20 years Foam E-Z has evolved and now supplies home builders worldwide via their eCommerce website. They have played an important role in Southern California’s board building culture and proudly bear the moniker of “The Original One-Stop Surfboard Supply Shop”. We sat down with Brad to hear about Foam E-Z history.

US Blanks: How did you get started in the business?

Brad Nadell: I grew up in Seal Beach in the early 80’s. We surfed Southside a lot and then we’d all hang out at Harbour Surfboards, guys like Tim Stamps, Chas Wickwire, Marty Thomas, Chad Wells, Dave Sauers, Ryan Simmons, Mike Morgan, Chris Sardelis, just to name a few, I could go on. So growing up around Harbour Surfboards I got to see the process of building a board from blanks being delivered by Clark Foam to Rich shaping them to the boards being laminated. So I started sweeping up around the shop, just to be around the scene. Then eventually I started “air-spraying” boards, that’s kind of where I made my niche at Harbour. I painted boards for 8 years until I was in
my 20’s.

Southside Seal Beach 83'

US Blanks: How did you transition from Harbour to Foam E-Z?

Brad: My good friend Steve Adler, may he rest in peace, presented me with an idea to supply the local shapers with blanks. At the time he had The Surfboard Factory which was super popular. This area of Westminster was a real hotbed for shaping. Guys like Mark Pesce, Chas, A-39, Poi Dog, there was a lot of big up and coming shapers around here. As a matter of fact, they were all shaping out of The Surfboard Factory, so we started supplying them all with blanks. Steve’s business was growing and he was busy with his glass shop so I ended up buying him out of the business. Since then Foam E-Z has evolved quite a bit. It used to be just focused on supplying commercial shapers, but there has been an increasing trend of home builders and so we’ve focused a lot of our efforts of education and supplying them with all the materials they need.

US Blanks: Seems like a logical transition. There was a need in the market and you’ve been able to adapt and fill that need. How do you define Foam E-Z today?

Brad: Foam E-Z today has grown a lot. We’re a worldwide supplier of foam, cloth, tools, basically everything you need to build a board. Obviously the DIY (Do It Yourself) builder, the home builder, has grown. More people care about how there board is made or want to learn about construction so we’re really happy to provide education and help people along with the process. And we recently built a shape room that people can rent out, which is fully stocked with tools. We have very good instructors. It’s been fun to see all the people who are interested in board building. We have Father and Sons coming in to build boards together. We can make personalized lams. We get the board glassed for you. We provide ding repair, shipping, pretty much everything. We still supply the industry as well, but that’s not our sole focus any longer.
Customer Service

US Blanks: Why do you use US Blanks?

Brad: Well, I chose US Blanks right when they started. I had relationships established with the the key people, whom previously worked at Clark Foam so I kind of put all my trust in them and had faith that they would be able to translate the superior quality of Clark into their new brand. And so far they've really nailed it. Their efficiently is key. The quality is great. They stand behind their product. I've always asked for feedback from shapers and customers and I always get positive feedback. They just provide me everything I need to be successful selling surfboard blanks. And the fact that they are made here in the USA is a huge slam dunk for us. That’s important to us. And lastly, they just do what they say, which is really important. I trust them and if I’m on a deadline, they always come through.
US Blanks: Awesome. Anything else you’d like to include? How can people find you?

Brad: has all our important information, but we’ve enjoyed growing our Instagram lately. It’s given us a new way to communicate with customers around the world and give them insight into some of the fine details of what goes on here. They can follow us @foamez. Also, we’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. We’re throwing a huge party with food and tons of free giveaways and pro surfers and shapers. It’ll be sometime in March so please follow us to get the exact date and time.

US Blanks: Excellent. We’ll be there! Thanks, Brad.