Bob McTavish (Founder and Shaper)

Industry Experience: 54 years

Years Surfing: 60

Bob McTavish has been a household name for two generations of surfers. Over more than half a century in the industry, Bob has shaped thousands of custom boards for happy customers around the world in a career which began in the early 1960s, learning his trade from the ground up, working for pioneer board brands such as Scott Dillon, Dale, Hayden, Bob Davie, Morey-Pope, Keyo, and Cord. The McTavish brand dates back to 1962 when Bob McTavish Tailormade Surfboards emerged from the back room of Scott Dillon’s factory, but really came into its own when Bob made the move to the North Coast in 1969.

Always an innovator in surfboard design and technology, Bob has pioneered cutting edge changes to the basic concept of a surfboard since 1965, when he began to refine rail and bottom design to maximize performance. This was the very beginning of the movement that would become known as the shortboard revolution, in which Bob’s role was pivotal, but in fact is only a part of his ongoing contribution to the evolution of the surfboard.

Now in his eighth decade, Bob continues to push the limits of surfboard design across the full range of wave-riding vehicles, still testing his prototypes in the surf almost every day.


Like his famous dad, Ben left school at 14 to make his start in surfboard manufacturing as a glasser. Now 42, he has more experience across the entire industry than anyone else of his age, having operated his own shortboard brand for 15 years before integrating it into McTavish Surfboards. As head shaper, Ben now does the bulk of boards coming out of the factory each week.

Says his proud dad: “Ben is one of the few shapers who really knows how to carve a rocker on boards ranging from five feet to twelve feet long. In the age of computer shaping, that’s a dying art. I guess Ben was thrown in at the deep end when it comes to shaping, but he just took his time and steadily learned the skills.”


The son of a famous Israeli artist, Alonzo got his start in the surfboard industry working as a spray artist for Town & Country in Hawaii in the late 1970s, where some of his best known works were seen on Martin Potter’s colourful quivers. He later worked for the brand in Australia before moving across to McTavish. A surfboard all-rounder, Alonzo can turn his hand to any aspect of production, and is an accomplished glasser and sander. With the era of painted boards slowly fading, he has now switched his focus to resin art.