11 questions with Arthur Andrews owner and shaper for Fiji Surfboards www.fijisurfboards.com
Art is based at Momi, near Nadi, FIJI on phone +679 837-0791
When did you first come to Fiji and why?
I first came to Fiji in 1986 to build a house for my spiritual master in Lau
How long have you been here for? And what occupies your time?
I have spent about 12 uninterrupted years here, and during the other 15 years visited multiple times each year. I have occupied my time here searching for waves on the plethora of reefs, creating buildings, furniture, boats, surfboards, and enjoying the company of the best people in the world.
You spent some time on Naitauba Island in Lau – can you tell us alittle about that experience?
I grew up as a devotee of Adi Da the most extraordinary being and realizer. During my time with him on Naitauba I intensively considered his arguments relative to consciousness and egoity, and practiced simple meditation in his company.
Do you speak Fijian?
Considering all the time that I have spent here of course I speak some of the dialects, and am learning Nadroga and Hindi, but none very well or gramatically correct.
How are your tree climbing skills?
Climbing has always been natural to me and quite handy for getting a drink of nutritious bu.
What other water pursuits do you do? Tell us a little more about that…
My parents were both world-class springboard and platform divers, so I did a little of that as a kid. I spent many weekends at sandy beach in Oahu as a kid getting sucked out and pounded repeatedly. This is where I first became aware of surfboards as some of the older kids had them. I vividly remember standing on the beach at Sunset on a day when the comp was cancelled because the surf was too big. The feelings of awe, respect, and attraction to the water there were profound and i still remember and feel this. I have also for many of my adult years dabbled with paddling kayaks for transportation between islands in Fiji and to and from the surf.
Is there a woman in your life right now?
There is no one woman in my life at the moment.
How did u get into surfboard shaping? How many boards have you made approx?
It seems natural to want to try surfing on everything you see and can buy. Then to try a lot of things that are only in your mind and therefore must be built first. I can’t say how many hundreds of boards I have built out of polyurethane foam. Then I tried numerous experiments with other ways of making surfboards more durable and responsive.
Tell us about the unique surfboard manufacturing techniques – recycled aluminium, etc
All of the boards we make and sell today use recycled aluminium can material. In our big wave guns we use honeycomb construction without foam, these “honeyguns” are quite strong with a stiff flex. Most of the boards we sell today are made from a blank that we make from foam and aluminium, and are glassed with epoxy resin.
Tell us about your business of making boards…
A few years back a dear old friend of mine convinced me to start “Fiji surfboards” so now we make and sell fishes, shortboards, and guns.
Where did u get the design and idea for your concrete house? Do you have a name for it?
It was a concept the I heard my spiritual master talk about right before he passed. The skylit dome. So I drew up some ideas on the computer and a few friends helped me build it. Sometimes it feels a little like being in the barrel. But the fundamental idea is to feel and breath the light down.
… Arthur Andrews, Momi, Nadi