McTavish Surfboards is a high quality surfboard manufacturer based in Byron Bay, Australia. The brand was founded by Bob McTavish in 1962, with boards bearing the McTavish name in production ever since. McTavish Surfboards has been an important part of the Australian and international surfboard manufacturing landscape for more than half a century, just as relevant today as it has ever been.
Bob’s lovable larrikin personality and his contributions to surf design and culture form the basis of what McTavish is all about – design excellence, excitement, fun and adventure.
Today the McTavish team is proud to run an independent, low volume establishment dedicated to quality and craftsmanship, with a small, dedicated staff of about 20 people working in the Byron Bay compound, which consists of factory and offices, a showroom displaying over 200 new boards, as well as McTavish branded apparel and accessories.
The McTavish staff make up the most experienced team in Australian board-building, many of them with the brand for over 20 years. They eat and sleep surfboards, they work to an extremely high quality standard, and their commitment is reflected in the reputation of the McTavish brand. McTavish also produce a range of T-shirts, caps and other surf accessories, inspired by both the surfboards and the local environment.
In keeping with the brand’s long association with the social side of surf culture, after hours the car park is often converted to a party venue, where the team rolls out the movie projector, opens up the factory to the public, play some tunes and have a chat, usually over cold beer from the neighbours - Stone & Wood.
Says founder Bob McTavish: “We’re super flexible about design, which means we can adapt to changes in the surfboard landscape from five feet to 15 feet. We now have a 12-foot model called The Grace, which is a trim board, designed for graceful surfing, while at the other end of the scale, Ben McTavish has designed the five foot Butterball model, designed for punting airs and having fun in all kinds of surf. Change keeps things positive and interesting, so we are always open to new ideas. We intend to let our passion and love for riding waves and building boards keep us here for decades to come.”
McTavish factory in 1974 Photo - Mark Jennings