In 2002, a time by which surfing that had come to revolve around over-developed surfboard shapes, only suitable to the sphere of result-driven contest surfing, Angelo Schmitt and Andy Wirtz set out to create a surfing label that aims to bring this simple pleasure back to its essence. Being veterans of the industry, with their fair share of contest exposure, they recognised that the time had come to re-visit the core reasons for why they ventured into the surf in the first place…the pure joy of gliding along waves.
Setting up shop, Angelo and Andy recruited legendary South African surfboard shaper Glen D’Arcy to help convert their vision into actual foam, fibreglass and resin. 35 years in the shaping bay, having ‘mowed foam’ on over 40.000 surfboards, Glen is one of the few gems in the world of board shaping who still has the skills to build boards from nearly all the ‘forgotten eras’ of surfing. In joining the Norden vision, Glen has come full circle in terms of his board design career. Using this vast experience, he has been able to revive long-forgotten shapes, and to incorporate their time-tested benefits, to produce a new breed of alternative surfboards that make it easy for anyone, beginner or seasoned rider, to catch waves for just the simple pleasure of it.
Reflecting the company’s aim of making the essence of the glide available to anyone who is after the unique stoke of surfing, Norden moves off the beaten track of recruiting professional contest surfers to test its extraordinary range of alternative surfboards and equipment. The pros’ needs will differ vastly from those of Norden’s core clients, therefore all shapes and accessories are thoroughly checked out and put through their motions by the members of the ‘Norden Family’, a diverse group of dedicated and gifted lifestyle surfers. Although highly skilled riders, these girls and guys are essentially just regular people with normal jobs…but they do have loads of ‘water time’ under their belts, which makes them ideal test pilots for Norden gear. It is their strong passion for the glide, and making surfing the core part of their lifestyle, that makes their feedback invaluable to the company in order to design and refine products that allow Norden’s clients to feel the essential and simple pleasure of just riding waves at any competency level…no frills, only pure joy!
The Designs & Technology – As the contest mode became the central focus around surfing over the years, tried and tested surfboard shapes increasingly faded out of fashion in favour of over-designed high-tech machines only suitable for pro-surfing. Although extremely effective for their intended purpose – namely to complement the skills of world champions – these boards offer little benefits for recreational, or even intermediate lifestyle surfers.