Authentically Dark

Surfer: Davi Toledo
Photos by: Sam Kim 

In the world of ever-changing surf conglomerates, finding core surf gear can be as difficult as finding an empty wave on a good day in Southern California. Today's industry has increased revenue by reaching a more extensive global consumer base but has subsequently and likely unintentionally crowded lineups a little more. Foam tops and funboards frequent more surf breaks than ever before. Is this a bad thing? It depends on who you ask, and mainstream or not, history will repeat itself as our lifelong pastime ebbs and flows in and out of the public eye. Some say it's great that more people have discovered the joys of surfing, and others will roll their eyes while the surf-lesson van rolls up to the parking lot. Surf gear can be similar in such a time as now. The line between authentic surf companies and outside corporations seeking market shares spans everything from surfboards to coolers and e-bikes. We have seen a significant uptake in carbon surfboards in the industry today, and rightly so, as everyone wants their surfboards to last until the next session. With so many boards to choose from, we would like to continue to explain why Dark Arts is different, better, and will ultimately steward the surf community we are a part of.


We give back. Regardless of varying opinions, the community lies near the heart of it, and whether large or small, inclusive or exclusive, the shared value of waves draws each of us into the water. Harkening back through a lifetime of memories, some of the best waves were during sessions shared with a few close friends. We partner with members of the San Diego community to keep the Golden Triangle alive through surf benefits, BBQs, and other events. By keeping production in San Diego, we recirculate money within the network of Southern California-based surfers, teachers, and community members, thereby indirectly perpetuating more local surf contests, a more robust local economy, and more jobs that allow us to live and thrive near the coast.


We let our customers demo boards and listen to feedback. By sampling our boards, you can refine your ideal selection before purchasing. Maybe after surfing your local break, you would instead go down in volume or length to fit into a small pocket. Or, if you're looking for a lower rocker board for slopey pointbreaks, maybe a little more length would prove beneficial. Either way, some personal testing allows our customers to pinpoint exactly what they want before dropping the cash on a brand new board. Our staff is very knowledgeable and can help you in your selection to find your magic board; it is different for everyone. Also, if you just want to try a bunch of different boards then you can do that too. Maybe you'll discover that you like a shape you usually wouldn't ride, and a new world of board design will open up. 



Our employees are surfers. We surf the boards we make, and this allows us not only to pinpoint areas for improvement but it also helps us get the inspiration to innovate, create, and refine the art of what we do, which is surfboard making. By surfing the boards we produce, we can experience what works best for the conditions in California and abroad. We know what a low-quality board feels like and vice versa; we only release the best because we only surf the best.



We are obsessed with craftsmanship. We are skilled and take pride in our work. Quality is our number one virtue, not numbers and not production. We make our own personal boards on the side, which means we are constantly perfecting techniques that we can feel in the water. We are humans and bring a knowledgeable eye to every board that comes through, preventing any significant defects from being released. 


We are ethically operated. We pay a fair wage to all our employees because it is the right thing to do. Regardless of the task, everybody deserves a decent standard of living that can only be achieved through honest and fair pay. We focus on well-being as a summation of a healthy work-life balance. That includes an imperative virtue of keeping surfing a part of our everyday lives. It is, of course, why we are making surfboards. 


All in all, we would like to remind you that the shapers and companies you choose to invest in are the ones that thrive. We are thankful for our loyal customers who choose us time and time again. If you have never tried a Dark Arts board, we welcome you to drop by the shop or check us out online. Once you get one under your feet, you will realize why we are Faster. Stronger. Lighter.