We are pleased to welcome a new instructor to the Jersey Shore Folklife Center! Greg Melega has apprenticed under Randy Budd and is now teaching our popular Surfboard Shaping Classes. Greg’s first two classes were in January and February, and he’ll be teaching again in April. In addition to teaching classes, Greg is also working with us on a NJSCA Co-Sponsored Project grant application to research the history of surfing in NJ and work with Randy to build a historic surfboard.
“I have worked with tools and surfed all of my life. I have a workshop in which I continue to expand my knowledge in the art of making traditional wooden surfboards. I am able to create strong, functional, and beautiful boards with a protective finish. I started to make bodysurfing boards, known as handplanes, as a hobby while I was attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2011. I quickly became obsessed with creating my own surfcrafts and experimented with different designs, so much so that I committed myself to a career of making surfcrafts out of reclaimed wood. I have expanded my shaping to include a blend of old and new designs of paipos and alaias, traditional Hawaiian bodyboards and finless surfboards.
My future work will have the intention of showing that surfboards should not be disposable, and that they should be made out of responsible materials that don’t harm the environment in which out sport takes place. By using reclaimed woods and safe materials in my own surfcrafts, my goal is to set a standard for surfers to hold themselves and their choice of surfboard company to participate in creating a waste solution for the surfboard industry.”