The list below includes testimonials since 1996 from loyal customers from the purchase of balsa wood, blanks, surfboards, clocks, versa traction, paint on grip, fin boxes, fins, DIY kit and all the environmentally friendly products that Riley produces and sends all around the world.
The balsa arrived an hour ago from Sydney to Auckland only 24 hours. We couldn't believe how quickly it made it here. Brilliant!
Looks like the perfect weight and quality for our needs. Expect more orders next year.
Cheers Bruce McK
Thank you for all your guidance, support in helping me achieve the making of the Balsa board, I really appreciated the detailed instructions and getting an understanding of the components that made up the board.
The display was amazing, and I got a lot of questions and interest in the design and build process. I also scored a high grade for the project!
Hey Mark, thanks for the speedy response. It showed up shortly after I sent the email. Apologies for that. Everything looks great and I can’t believe how quickly you got it to the USA. Definitely will be a repeat client. Have a great week. 🤙🏼
Sorry mate I have been that busy . I had to leave it with his wife he was out . He absolutely loved it. He said he wasn’t going to surf it, it is to good, I told him to get on it asap . I told him we need some feed back hahahhahaha . His going to call you soon, he absolutely loves it . Thank you so much
I will get a photo handing over asap also . Your the best mark I appreciate it so much.
When I ordered this custom build, I did not expect this to exceed my expectations. This is the best board I have ever ridden and bought for over 50 years. I used the thruster setup and it was easy to paddle and catch waves. Very responsive on the bottom turn and cutbacks. It felt good under the arm, paddling, sitting and also ripping. This has brought on a new drive and passion to want to get out there on these cool mornings. Thanks Mark
Happy with his new board! Thanks heaps Mark - took it for a spin on 3ft currumbin Beachy and it was magic.
Wow!!! Aloha Mark.
You are a talented artist.That may be the most beautiful balsa gun I have ever seen, and I have seen more than most.I almost subscribed to the mag, but it is a bad idea, me being on Kauai etc.
Congratulations and mahalo for sending it to me, Be well.
I thought I should give you some more feedback on my 10’ gun you made: I’ve ridden it a few times now, probably 2.5 - 3 X head height is the largest I’ve taken it out in yet. It is by far my favourite board!
The only time it’s been to a point was once at The Pass at about double head height. It did exactly what one would expect of a quality gun: Straight line speed and predictable turns. It has a surprisingly tight cut-back also. Stoked!
All the rest of the time it’s been surfed in considerably less accommodating beach break on the outer banks at Surfers Paradise. Which is what I bought it for, and it beats expectations: I love it totally: On waves I wouldn’t dare drop into on my others boards, I can slot the rail comfortably into the steepest face and just choose where I want to go when I want to got there. On top of which it is super-responsive at any speed. And on really dirty days, the pronounced entry rocker lets me surf some ugly lumps on the face without pearling and sending me pole-vaulting like I do on my other boards on the same waves. What a hoot! Clean or dirty, this board gives me all I want. If I had to strip my quiver down to only one board, this is the board I’d keep.
Further to which it’s stunning to look at. Not that I find it important at all, but it’s tickling to note that when I’m walking back home from the surf I’m stopped all the time by people wanting to chat about the board.
And my favourite aspect about this board is its environmental sustainability. Maximum respect Mark: You’ve ticked all the boxes as far as I’m concerned. Many thanks.
Like I said before, I’ll catch you when I snap something. From now on I’m only surfing your boards for as long as you’re in business.
Mark did an amazing job with creating a custom long board, which is not only beautiful but also performs well. It's so impressive that the board is even worth being displayed on the wall as an art piece.
It has exceeded my expectations! Thanks to Mark for providing such a remarkable long board.
Hi Mark, All good - really appreciate sending the 2 sharkbanz through straight away when you did and got to me quick - I wasn't too fused about the color. My son and partner headed off today for an around Aus trip - so it was good to have them as a going away gift this morning.
Do you happen to have a Video of you guys making a board? I own one of your 9’ boards… it’s Art! I literally hang it in my living room! My surf widow would never allow any of my boards to hang in the living room… but she loves this one!
Worked well. Also, have to say, the board "took off" on faces yet I was able to walk a little to nose; one guy drooled over the board and recognized it as a Riley.
Hey Mark, I christened the board today! I'll send some pics of me using it once I download them onto the computer. I don't know what else to say except we created something absolutely magical!! It was everything I imagined it was going to be and more. I already want to come and make a second one so I've got a spare.
Took the board out today and it did well. With the floatation it paddles out and into waves with ease. And is much more responsive than my old board. The textured deck is also a winner as it is nice and grippy and I didn’t need to apply any wax.
Thanks Mark, fantastic job and great experience going through the process, you are a true craftsman.
It’s a shame Guy spoils the photo of my board!!!!
Received the board on Wednesday. Looks amazing, exactly what I had in my mind.
I took it out this morning in some small stuff and it went well. I had some cork grips on but think I will need wax as well.
I’ll order some from your sight, do you recommend the wax liquid or the brush on one?
I just wanted to thank you for your prompt delivery of balsa wood last term (sorry my thanks is late!). Just for your information, our students won the regional Science and Engineering Challenge competition and will now compete at the State level.
just to let you know that I got your sample of the Versa Traction ok on 18 May 22 and tried it out today 19 May 22, many thanks.
This info maybe useful for others, but of course they will need to make their own decision.
It seems fine with both the bootie and wetsuit (all Need Essentials brand).
Accordingly, I've just placed a new order with you for the 8'6" longboard, 8-piece kit, as we initially discussed by phone for my new 9'3" Tuflite Takayama In the Pink. I'm placing a normal tailpad on this board also.
__________________________________________________________ Thanks again for all of your help and for putting on the course and taking a risk doing the foil board with me! I had an absolute blast every step of the way and am so happy with the end result. Couldn’t have done it without you!
Thanks for all your help and direction throughout the whole process Mark. Highly recommend your course to anyone.
Hello Mark, I finished glassing the board yesterday and took it out in small waves at Avoca this morning. It goes great. I'm off on Sunday to the north coast to give it a go in those long point breaks. Thanks again for all your help making the board and for a great experience. Thomas
THANK YOU FOR THE PHOTOS! I’ve been showing off to everyone. Also hope your next class is cool as! Thanks for a very nice experience and a finished product. Hope to use it as soon as I return from Canada!
Take care Mark and see you then!
Mark, the photos you shared are great! I’m going to share them with my chippy dad today!
Ditto on Terry’s comments…a huge thanks to you and Brad for a pretty damn cool experience and a beautiful finished product!
Have a great week and looking forward to glassing!
Thanks Mark & Brad for all your help. It was great & I learnt a lot. Looking forward to getting the board in the water
Everyone - enjoy your board & maybe see you on a break somewhere.
Take care - Terry
Thanks Mark. I took it out voodoo this morning but the swell had not yet arrived. All I can say at this stage is that it paddles well. I look forward to finding out how it rides and will let you know.
I thoroughly enjoyed the board-making process. I have a new appreciation for sustainable board design and materials and I am certain I will enjoy my surfing all the more for it. Very well led by Mark, I highly recommend this.
Hi Mark ,
It's the hubby Chris , I received my surfboard with gauges today , wow how beautiful it is , thank you and your team for getting this to me b4 xmas , love your work .
I have always admired your boards and think they are great , and had a serious look at your boards before I ordered my own from a local shaper in Newcastle ( not a balsa board ), so just wanted to say thank you again and will
pass on any interests from others ,
Great experience. Thanks so much Balsa Surfboards Riley - mark and thanks for your help Brad Peters.
G'day, Mark.. I received an email early this morning, in relation to my second order of Versatraction. I'm just checking with you, as it seems odd that you've I received my first order without any extra request from you (and the Versatraction is great, by the way!)
Board arrived 10/5 PM - very impressive workmanship - happy I found you on the internet - tell your shipping department; a terrific job in packing with many thanks - I will be back for more - probably a Malibu Classic or SUP. That balsa is much better than I thought it would be, In fact I think it is better than my Hobie #120, circa 1955. Well done!
Just wanted to send a message to say how much Mark loves his new board. The craftsmanship is amazing and it will be mounted on the wall in between surfing sessions as it is so beautiful.
Just one quick query. Given the rough surface on the top of the board do you still recommend wax or does the surface itself provide sufficient grip? We couldn't see any reference to wax in the information and don't want to damage it in any way.
Paul and his DIY solid balsa fish built with the kit.
Finally getting a chance to ride the board a bit up here at Sandon, I love it lots of fun on the point break. Dan the man
I am so ecstatic, you are a legend and As you can tell so happy with the board you are an amazing man for helping us acheive this fantastic board.
Thankyou thankyou thankyou.
These are family heirlooms.
thank you Mark and team Riley surfboards you are amazing at your craft.
Hi mark it's Brian here from Wollongong. Finished the board got it glasses locally and am absolutely stoked with how it came out. Can't wait to get it in the water! Every thing I needed was in the kit and your DVD was so helpful. Balsa quality is awesome and the colour of the board is amazing. Gearbox fin system is so sweet. Thanks heaps for your input and help. 👍🏽👍🏽 Brian
HI Mark Thanks very much. The board is beautiful and it made it without a scratch. We love it.
Hey mate I was finally allowed to open the board tonight... its beautiful! Like really looks amazing, I am not sure how I am going to be brave enough to surf it, too scared of putting a ding
Well my board is up to the putting on the fin stage and I must say it looks rather good.
The balsa sticks you sent me were well above expectations and thanks for positioning the outer stringers for me. That was the secret to an easy build I recon..
Can you give me a price on a blank red cedar main fin with a classic Malibu design outlined on it and I will transfer the money.
Thanks for helping me finish my board Mark, I love it. You're a legend!
So proud of this very talented young son of mine. He made this surfboard from scratch using a combination of Paulownia and Australian Red Cedar woods. He just finished fibre glassing it today and taking it for a trial run in the ocean. He couldn't be happier with himself. Well done kid!
Hey there big fella just received the big D fin 'wowzers wowzers wowzers' best decision i ever made awesome job big thanks cheers
Thanks Mark for installing my racks in a reverse lean scenario, it has really setup my new renos with a great new hero piece of a balsawood surfboard. Thanks heaps Steve
Hi Mark just thought I would keep you updated. In short, really really enjoying the process . My gluing up was pretty average and I had to lose 12 inches off the length so I'm now making 7 ft board, I'm not concerned about that, as the first board I've ever made. I'm almost ready to put on the nose and tail blocks.
I will keep you updated as things progress.
Watched your DVD now 3 times as i pick up more each time.
Thanks again for getting me involved with this and for your email and phone support
Thanks for sending the DVD express post to me yesterday (How to Make a Classic Balsa Wood Surfboard). It has convinced me that this is the project I really want to undertake.
The work and your DVD has got me very inspired!!!
Great tide clock thank you so very much it’s beautiful
fantastic work !!!Hi Mark,
Thanks so much for taking pics of it along the way on the disc
My name is Mitchell Burk, and in 2015 (when I was 17) I purchased some Balsa and Western Red Cedar from you to create my HSC project for my Timber Technology class. I’m writing to thank you for supplying me with what I needed in order to create a surfboard that I’ll cherish forever. I have still yet to ride this board, only because I get all the satisfaction I need just from starring at it! It’s been an adventurous journey creating such a project, but man… I’m so glad how it all came together! I ended up placing 5 out of 5500 projects, and was exhibited in the Power House Museum and ‘The Sydney timber And Woodworking Show’. Attached are some photos of the finished product. Thanks once again for your inspiration with this project!
Take it easy,
Nice looking board can't wait to get it out. So stoked with it thanks again. I'll let you know how it goes. Once I've taken it out.
Hi Mark, I received my Fish today, Just wanted to say I think it’s stunning in so many ways, shape, the bottom, rails, proportions, the way it feels under my arm, the beautiful timbers, stringers look brilliant, the nose is special. All I need is waves, can’t wait to get in the water, I’m so impressed with your craftsmanship and your service, Thankyou Very Much, Regards Steven
Mark - "Everyone went crazy over the new board and couldn't believe how beautiful the balsa was Mickey Munoz was so very impressed! ......you are definitely the man. Thanks for all your hard work .......keep me posted on the next round of balsa blanks for the US. " Robbie
Thanks for the update Mark. New boards in the glass shop will get the first of the week. Phil Edwards said it was the most beautiful balsa wood he has ever seen, and he has seen a lot. Thanks, Robbie - Hobie Memorial
Passing on a message of thanks from a parent. Connor has not stopped talking since he got home last night. What an amazing experience he had in PNG. He feels very privileged to of been able to go. He keeps commenting on how little they have but how happy they are. And has realized how lucky he is. Thank you so much to you and the other teachers for your support and guidance, we really do appreciate it. Have a great weekend, cheers
Mark, I just wanted to take the time to write you a small thank you.
My son has bumbled his way through the last couple of years at school with not a lot of enthusiasm. That somewhat changed when he found your website and asked me if he could build a surfboard for his major work. We were both pumped.
To be honest, it hasn’t been all clear sailing and he needed a push from time to time (which I have found 17 year old’s don’t appreciate).
The look on his face yesterday, when he saw the board sitting on the saw horse's, was priceless for me and for that Mark I am truly thankful. The time you gave him to have a chat and to get some great photos was really appreciated.
I left your place and he said “what a champion bloke Mark is”. 17 years old’s are hard to impress and you made a fan yesterday.
It will be the highlight of his entire school life and the best father/ son bond that I have had with my son since he was a kid.
Cheers for everything Mark, I know you dropped everything for him. Keep doing what you are doing mate and I look forward to doing a board for myself in the future. (My son can help me) Thanks
Hi Mark, just sent through your invoice payment. Looking forward to receiving the grip tape. I'd also like to say that your website is very interesting & easy to use, your boards look beautifuly crafted!
When Mark passed a balsa longboard to Greg Noll for a signature he asked who built this board - Mark answered I did, and he replied with this is fantastic and he then asked who glassed it and once again he replied with what a great job and keep building these beauties. Greg also said - Greg Noll said - Hell yes they did. At 16 to be precise. He began surfing at Manhattan Beach at the age of 11, and shaped his first board — balsa, in Dale Velzy’s factory — at 15. The following year, smitten by stories of guys like George Downing and Wally Froiseth living in Quonset huts at Makaha Beach, he decided to do his last year of high school in Hawaii.
Received the surfboard last week and although I could only partially unwrap it ,it exceeded my expectations and everyone else's. It will certainly be a talking point for the staff and all the patients ,who are quite a happy lot from the ones I saw.
We are only at truss level but as soon as it is installed I will take a full set of photos and send for you to use for promotional purposes if you wish.
Balsa Surfboards Riley it is the best, so light and clean definitely the best balsa I have ever seen. Really appreciate you supplying us with such awesome wood. There will no doubt be more in my future.
I have always admired, respected and admired the love, and craftsmanship, you put into - each and every board, you make. Like the scene out of Avatar - each board has intrinsic personality, and is made to reflect companionship with the rider!
I just want to say I am very satisfied with the product versa traction grip tape, I love it makes my Naish Hokua X32 GT that much better, fit well and now I am covered all the way to the nose for late take offs! Shipping was great I go it under a week from AU! I recommended it to my surfing friends here in Victoria, BC, Canada
Bodhitreesurf - I am Stoked with my deliveryversatraction clear deck grip from Mark @rileybalsasurfboards for my family paddleboard. I get my little fella to decorate all my boards so even when I'm not with him he is with me. Thanks Mark and thanks for slipping in the free copy of @smorgasboarder Yeeeeew
Hi, Mark: The board is looking really terrific. I hung it as soon as it got home, and it fits perfectly with the ambience. The colours are so good, with different shades, even some pink! Problem is my wife says I shouldn't be riding it!! Thanks for the masterpiece. Manuel
I ordered a shaping DVD from balsasurfboardsriley and really enjoyed it - good and simple to follow instructions- although the sound on the DVD had a few bumps. They're in Australia though and I needed large section sizes of balsa in Europe. To cut a long story short, I didn't find any reasonable priced large section sizes here in Europe so I decided to order a shaping kit from them. It was cheaper than expected especially with the current exchange rate and the package arrived after 2 1/2 weeks. I started straight away. I ran into trouble here and there but all in all in went pretty smooth (check out the results below). It felt really good shaping the board but the final test came when I took it out on a glassy 3 foot day - STOKE! There is nothing like riding a timber board which you've made yourself. I am super happy and if you are thinking about making a board - go for it! It is awesome.