Paul Callahan


My first surfing adventures started when I was just 5 years of age. I was introduced to surfing by my mother and father, and with 2 very competitive brothers it was not long before we would take off for the beach all day on our own.

After finishing school and university I finally settled in Byron Bay on the New South Wales coast. This was a great place to sharpen my surfing skills and spend time developing and testing new surfing equipment.

I first began surfing competitively in the Byron Bay BoardRiders club which was full of red hot surfers and this I used as a stepping stone to regional zone titles. From there I went on to the Australian Professional Circuit.

After some time on the contest trail I gained sponsorship from the illustrious Billabong surfwear company on the Gold Coast in Queensland. This contract was a great confidence boost and gave me the opportunity to travel to different countries and surf all over the world.

In between travelling and competing in surfing competitions I was involved in running a surf school in the Byron Bay area, then I started working as a surfing instructor for Sport & Recreation at their camp on the beach at Lennox Head.

This opportunity to work with kids, teaching them what I had learned over the years, was the best feeling. I was also lucky enough to introduce a group of Aboriginal children from central Australia to the ocean and surfing, that had never been to the coast of Australia. It was unbelievable just to see their faces when they first walked onto the beach!

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One of the most important things for a surfer is to have the best equipment under his feet. I was lucky enough to have a board shaper at Sky surfboards in Byron Bay named Michael Cundith supply me with invaluable knowledge and excellent surfboards. We became very good friends surfing together and I also watched him shape over 1,000 surfboards. He taught me the basics of repairing a surfboard all the way through fine tuning your fins and edges of the board which made a huge difference in its performance in the water.

The first time I travelled to Bali was with a group of mates on a surfing trip years ago. I had shaped myself a quiver (3) of boards for the trip and towards the end of the holiday was approached by the manger of a small surf shop on Poppies Lane II in Kuta to sell my boards. So I decided to sell them, this helped pay for my holiday as well as cover costs to make new surfboards on my return home.

Some months later I received a phone call from Johnny, the surf shop manager, asking if he could order some more boards for his shop. So as the years went by the orders kept coming, starting from around 10 to 15 surfboards a year to 50 to 60 boards every 2 or 3 months. I then began to sell other surfing products such as leg ropes grip and wax.

After numerous trips to Bali I was introduced to a local Kuta surfer, a businessman named Wayan Mangku owner of Bali Board and Backdoor, big surfshops in the Kuta area. We became good friends and he helped me with advice and any problems I faced with trying to set up my company in Bali.

I owe a lot of the success I have achieved with my surfboard company to his help and knowledge of the surfing industry here in Bali.

I have recently moved to Bali to further improve and develop the performance of my surfboards. I will also be working with small groups of elite young Indonesian contest surfers, firstly providing them with the best surfing equipment we can possibly produce and also working on a special development program that will help and improve all contest strategies, mental and physical fitness, as well as nutritional and health aspects.