MEET MICHAEL ARENAL

Born and raised in Orange County, frequenting Salt Creek and beaches in Laguna as a kid, Michael started out boogie boarding and body surfing as a child. At the age of 14 michael started surfing and caught his first waves at Log Cabbins while visiting the North Shore. He was hooked from that point on and continued to dive deeper into the surfing world.

Michaels father, a mechanical engineer, raised Michael to work with his hands and frequently had Michael helping him out with various projects in the garage. As Michaels interest in surfing continued to grow it only seemed natural to take the skills his father had taught him and apply them to surfboard building.

Eventually Michael would go on to meet Donald Brink who proved to be a huge inspiration and help in those formative years of Michaels surfboard building. Donald let Michael watch him shape, let him use his shaping bay and tools, and even helped Michael with his first glass job. However, Donald Brink was not the only inspiration and mentor Michael has had along his shaping journey. While working at the Hobie shop in Dana Point Michael was introduced to many legends including Gary Larson, Tyler Warren and Josh Martin who would continue to influence Michaels shaping and drive him to progress in his craft.

Over the years Michael brought a couple of his boards to the Waterman’s Guild to get glassed and eventually Michael would begin working at Waterman’s Guild as well as Wes Holdermans glass shop where Michael learned to hot coat and gloss. Michael took the knowledge he had acquired from his team of legendary mentors and began making his own line of handshaped surfboards as well as finish shaping for various surfboard companies in South Orange County.

By 2017 Michael had proven himself to be a an extremely talented and innovative shaper whose attention to detail is second to none. This would lead to  Michael receiving the honor of making 3 handshaped collaboration models with Hobie Surfboards next to shapers like Maxx Dexter and Timmy Paterson. Michael has since moved to Ventura, CA where he continues to build his own brand of handshaped surfboards while working alongside Ryan Lovelace, handshaping for Trimcraft Surfboards as well as Gary Larson at Hobie Surfboards.

Currently Michael is whittling away in his shop in Ventura, CA building surfboards and experiments start to finish for himself and we are excited for the many collaborations to come between the Guild Surfboards and Michael.

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