July 19th, 2012 by Submitted

Wake surfing is exploding in popularity across the country, and Idaho could end up being the nation’s wake surfing capital.

It already has it’s own custom board manufacturer who’s on the cutting edge of what most water enthusiasts consider to be the next big thing.

Jeff Wahlers spent 14 years shaping, grinding, and coating full-sized surfboards near San Diego. But four years ago he moved away from his beloved ocean.

“It’s still tough,” he said. Because he thought his surfing days were over.

“It’s hard especially when that’s all you did was surf and that was your passion.” says Wahlers.

Fortunately, he arrived at our land locked state just in time be swamped by a giant wave known as wake surfing. And everyone wants a custom board.

And how busy is Wahlers? “Very busy,” he said. “Almost not being able to keep up busy. The sports taken off it’s the #1 sport going.”

Wahlers’ company, Soulcraft, is taking orders from around the world. His wake surfboards are lighter, faster, and easier to maneuver.

“It’s aggressive.” And his team’s pro surfer has the skills to match.

“Every year we’re getting more and more high performance boards and the level of tricks at competitions is blowing up,” says pro surfer Jimmi Sparling.

“Once you get on the right board, big, air, big spins and all sorts of tricks.”

Wahlers innovates with every board he makes, and hopes soulcraft will be to wake surfing what Burton is to snowboarding.

“I think it could,” said Wahlers. “I think with some business guidance it could.”

“We’re really looking to expand next year. Our goal is to have a factory and workers and really step up the game.” he continues.

And in a sport that’s going noplace but up, it looks like a garage based business is poised to make some big waves in the water.

Soulcraft custom surfboards run about 600 dollars which is about the same as an upper level ocean surfboard.

Check out the full interview here!

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