Customer Testimonials

The list below includes testimonials since 1996 from loyal customers 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.

Hi Mark 

Have machined up some of the balsa.Very very happy. Thanks for your efforts.

Cheers Ray.


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!

Hope to deal with you in future.

Cheers, Ned


hey mark,

super stoked on these fins they are amazing! 

you're a real skilled craftsman, i will send you a photo of when they are glassed onto the board :) 

thanks Alex


Hi Mark,

 Thanks for the quick delivery, much appreciated.

 I watched it last night and found it pretty amazing to be honest. I will be in touch to source some balsa at some stage !

thanks again Martin



Just wanted you to know that I received the board and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!

Thanks again and I will pass all interested surfers your way!!!

Steve Yancey California, USA


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.

Greg Noll


Hi Mark,

 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.
Robin Mair 

Hey mark just took that board for a ride super stoked !! It road real nice a lot looser than the other one I borrowed .. Thanks bud top job


Hi Mark – The versa traction that I was a little sceptical ( I cant help it) – but it tested perfectly today on my surfboard – no more wax for me – and thanks for a great product.




 Subject: Re: balsa for mini gun

 Hi Mark

I am after balsa to vacuum bag three blanks.

Yep loving it Mark!  The thinner bag of yours works really well.

The first one is 6'3" by 21" wide with 5" nose lift and 2.5" tail lift (including nose and tail thickness)

The second one is 6' by 20" wide with 4.5" nose lift and 3" tail lift (incl nose and tail thickness)

The third is a 9' by 23" mal with 4" nose and 4.5" tail lift (incl nose and tail thickness).

I am also after a 10" and 12" long finbox and 4 side FCS compatible side plugs and one rear plug in the brown colour if you have them.

 Cheers Bill 



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!



Dear Riley,

 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




Hi Mark

Thank you so much, board arrived Monday morning safe and sound, fantastic you are a true craftsman.
Rob Egan
Bodhitreesurf - I am Stoked with my delivery versatraction 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

Thanks Mark, Yes I have received the versa traction grip tape thank you for sending. 

I have asked a few crew and put the word out there that your looking for a reseller here in the WA, you may get contacted soon.

This stuff for strapless kite boarding is amazing I swear by it and will never go back to wax, every one on the beach is impressed with this product.

Thanks again.  

- Cheers, Greg

Looks terrific 
Review by Manuel
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.
Work of art! Review by BarryThe board looks great- a work of art. My mate Yak who has recently had
Joe Larkin build him a 9ft 7 glass board is impressed! Just have to wait
for surf now!
Unbelievable! Review by Hawaiian princess
Hi Mark,"The board arrived at Hawaii and it is unbelievable! It is so much more beautiful than I even imagined! It will be thoroughly enjoyed and cherished! Thanks! "

- CHawaiian princess 

" unreal fins Review by scott
Hey Mark,

Received fins and stand yesterday. Fins look great, thanks for the mags.

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year ."
Review by Johno
These are unreal - hand crafted in Australia and very very unique. Great job - its the hero piece in our hallway

 - Scott Daddow 


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.

See you out there!