Local Surf Companies Growing with Lakes’ Surf Culture
Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota – March 25, 2014 – For several years, there have been a handful of Minnesotans doing the strangest of things – They have been building surfboards in the landlocked Midwest. Oddly enough, growing surf culture in Minnesota has moved some of these surfboard shapers from their garage workspaces to surfboard factories in the Twin Cities and abroad.
The advent of Stand-Up-Paddleboarding (SUP), wake surfing, and kite boarding are growing an impressive surf culture in Minnesota. SUPs are displacing kayaks and canoes, wake surfing is replacing wakeboarding, and kite surfing is overtaking windsurfing. Surfboard Shaper at iDol Surfboards and former Chair of the Surfrider Foundation MN/Superior chapter, Stefan Ronchetti, states, “Minnesota is a good place for surf culture because we are an incredibly active state. In all seasons Minnesotans have the mentality to go out and ‘do’. That is very much the ethos of surfers around the world.”
‘Riding the wave’ of growing Mid-west surf culture is local surfboard manufacturer, iDol Surfboards. iDol began modestly as a few surfers in a garage hobby-building surfboards for surfing Lake Superior and wake surfing Lake Minnetonka. However, things progressed quickly, and iDol Surfboards are now praised and distributed internationally. Today, iDol operates as a partnership between two of the Midwest’s most respected shapers, Alex Brost and Stefan Ronchetti.
All iDol surfboards are currently handmade at iDol’s St. Paul factory by Brost, Ronchetti, and their apprentice “Peru” Alvarado. In 2014, iDol is launching a partner brand, iSurf: a production line of SUP and wake surfboards, which will be available at water sports retailers across the nation. Brost says, “It’s been quite the ride. It started off just hanging out in the garage with some friends and beers, building surfboards for fun. Now, my whole life is surfboards and surfing – I’m stoked!”