The story behind the brand
I first saw surfing when I was 10 years old, gazing out of my bedroom window overlooking Dobroyd Head on Sydney's North Shore. It was May 24, 1974, and a cyclone was battering the coast of Australia, creating some of the wildest conditions the east coast had witnessed in living memory. Little black dots made big arcing tracks down the faces of waves and back up into the foam. I was hooked. I started shaping boards while still in school, making them for myself and my mates in the same attic bedroom where I first saw surfing on that special day in '74. In 1985, my then-girlfriend and now-wife Bessie gave me the "Morning Of The Earth" vinyl album for my 21st birthday. Soon after, I got my hands on the VHS copy of the film. It was a pivotal moment in my life, discovering that movie at that time. I remember thinking, "Morning Of the Earth Surfboards, what a classic surfboard label." Surfing was undergoing gentrification at the time, with a focus on riding mass-produced surfboards made offshore at the expense of people in foreign places. Essentially, surfing was everything Morning Of The Earth wasn't. I found Albe's number in the phone book. He agreed to meet at his property one afternoon where I pitched him the idea of Morning Of The Earth Surfboards over a cup of tea and a slice of home baked banana bread. Myself and Alby's handshake agreement some 25 years ago led to where we are now—a brand that took on many forms and led us down a path I could only have dreamt about. I've always wanted to keep MOTE special and rare—something not easy to come by, made by hand, named after a beautiful surf movie that means so much to so many people. In my eyes, the movie itself is almost public property, owned by every surfer and every person who lives or plays in and around the ocean. It's summed up best in the film: "A fantasy of surfers living in three unspoiled lands and playing in nature’s oceans." "Grow small Simon" were the wise words George Greenough said when I began shaping surfboards. In trying to preserve the grassroots of Morning Of The Earth and the true special nature of the brand and ethos around the name, I have decided to take it back to the beginning—low numbers of boards, all hand-shaped and signed by myself and Albe. Built to last and be enjoyed. As for my own shapes and body of work, now known as Simon Jones Designs—well, I'm more than excited to see where it will take me and how we can evolve moving forward. The aim for my surfboards is to always allow the people who enjoy them to surf and express themselves in their most pure form. This idea has always been at the forefront of my design and shapes. This ethos has led me down many amazing paths in the surfboard design world and will continue to inspire me into the future. My broad range of shapes and designs all lend themselves to highly functional boards designed for any surfer and all conditions.
The surfer - shaper relationship, and what makes it so meaningful
I first became aware of Torren at the local boardriders' comps. My son Dash was surfing in the fleas division at the time, but every now and then, the comps would overlap with the older boys, and I could watch Torren surf. I remember his tall, lean physique and thinking about how beautifully he surfed even in subpar conditions. Fast forward a few years to 2014 at a Tracks Magazine board test at the Moon Struck house in Byron Bay, where I really got to meet him on a personal level. I initially shaped Torren a 5’7” Single Fin channel bottom, which he surfed but never totally gelled with. On Torren’s return from a trip with this single fin and a short conversation about how it performed, I added a set of twin boxes to the board with the idea that it would perform better in the waves he wanted to ride and the style of surfing he was used to. Since that first board, Torren and my relationship has flourished into something that we never could have foreseen. Our professional relationship and close family bond allow us to connect deeply on board design and feedback in a very unique way. Many of my board designs have evolved from Torrens deep and unique feedback from surfing many different waves all around the world. From reef breaks in Indonesia to cold, deep water slabs in the south to tropical sand bottom points in Africa and Australia. This balance of shaper/surfer feedback and knowledge allows us to freely create and develop designs that we hope all surfers can enjoy!
Our Dedication to Quality
Simon began his shaping and boardbuilding career working his way through the ranks in many factories over the years. Having shaped, sanded, glassed and finished thousands of boards, quality and understanding of the manufacturing process is at the forefront of every board we build!
Simon has an amazing eye for detail and quality in all his boards. Every board you see is overseen by Simon and his son Dash to ensure nothing is missed! Quality in our work is our highest priority, using only the best quality materials and glasshouses in the world!