Por Jesika Millano
Para AL DIA TODAY
SATELLITE BEACH —All surfers have a magic board, one that will always occupy a special place in the closet.
For some, it is tied to memories of when they first overcame a fear of water. For others, it may have gone with them on their first surf trip.
It could just be the one that they always catch the best waves with.
Almost all surfers have one of these boards. Each one has its own unique set of stories. Surfboard shapers have difficulty when a surfer comes in to their shop and asks them to replicate their favorite board.
Martín Jeri, known as one of the best master surfers and surfboard shapers in his home country of Peru, knows this from firsthand experience. His board is an extension of his body, and although he had been faithful to the same brand since 1998, he decided to create his own label, Jeri Surfboards.
He creates boards according to each type of wave, the conditions in which the board will be used, and the skill and experience of the surfer.
In his workshop, located in Satellite Beach, the magic begins.
Jeri manufactures tailored boards using a CNC machine and high-tech materials. He gives curvature and dimensions according to the requests of his customers, who are mostly experienced surfers.
“I have been surfing since I was eight years old and I was national champion in 1996. I also competed for my country (Peru) in eight international championships, and have been making surfboards since 1998,” said the 54-year-old shaper.
He shares that his passion for the sport was not hereditary.
“No one in my family surfed. I started one day with my cousin on the coast in Miraflores. At first, we stayed very close to the shore but we slowly began going out farther and surfing bigger waves.
“Eventually, my father bought me my own board and I started to get interested in competitions. I really enjoyed them, and I began to dedicate myself to the sport,” Jeri said.
Although he no longer competes professionally, Jeri still surfs today and is certain that it is not something that he will ever give up on.
“Catching waves is a lifestyle for all surfers and having to leave it is difficult because we even have our own language and customs. I love the sea and I could not live far from it,” he said.
He has lived in the U.S. for four years and opened his workshop in 2016. He and his wife, an American, decided to move to Florida together for security.
“I had to start my brand over from scratch in this country even though in Peru, I have had a long career as a surfer and shaper,” he said.
“It has been a slow and difficult process starting out here because no one knew me. Americans like to know the way you work and once they see that you offer a good product, they welcome you,” he added.
Jeri Surfboards is located at 408 Lighthouse Landing Street, Satellite Beach. The company aims to continue innovating unique designs for experienced surfers.