owner / shaper / glasser
Since 1994, Joel Zemenick has been shaping and glassing surfboards in Santa Cruz, Pacifica, and Half Moon Bay. Joel takes great pride in ensuring that every board he and the JZ crew touches will yield the best surf session possible for the rider.
"My philosophy is pretty simple:
to take every surfer, of every ability,
to the next level of their surfing life."
the early years
Growing up in Carlsbad, I would spend every hour I could with my friends down at the beach. Surfing was a way to escape life as a teenager.
The first board I ever rode was a short board. In the late ‘80s, short boards had more volume. But, as I continued to learn to surf, board design began transitioning into less volume. And, while that was great for the pros; it was not so great for the average, everyday surfer.
That’s when I began shaping my own boards around age 16. I was mostly riding at 6’8 by Bill Minard and after that Rusty Surfboards. I really appreciated how the retro shapes were making their way back - and so was more volume. I was doing a not-so-good job trying to emulate those shapers back then.
glassing in santa cruz
After highschool, I wasn’t quite sure which direction I wanted to go in life. I was still surfing as often as I could and everyone was talking about Santa Cruz. When I was 20, some buddies invited me on a surf trip to SC. I came home and packed the car after that weekend.
I remember being in awe of the wave quality and the natural beauty all around us in Santa Cruz. There was an abundant amount of surf spots and the surf culture was really strong. I enrolled in a local junior college but needed to find a job. That’s when I saw an ad for a sander/glasser with Jeffery Devine of JD Rockets Surfboards. I interned with JD everyday for two straight years -- making boards by day and delivering pizzas at night to make a living. I learned board design, glassing, glassing on fins.. all of it! I remembered I loved just being in the glassing room with him.
“JD is still one of my greatest mentors and is the reason I am in this business today."
the birth of jz surfboards
After Santa Cruz, I headed to Pacifica to sand and glass for a number of shapers in the Bay Area. At that time, I was a contract glasser, and because masks weren’t as advanced back then, the chemicals started getting to me. So… I went back to shaping and that is when JZ Surfboards was officially born in 2004.
it’s a family affair
Today, I work alongside my wife and business partner, Andi Zemenick, as co-operators of JZ Surfboards. Together, with our shop dog Lola, we have made this company a family affair. Andi runs all customer sales, business operations, and marketing; while I manage our crew, production, and the JZ factory. Our core values are pretty simple... we aim to build quality craftsmanship, we thrive with other artisans, and we want to continuously honor our surfer community and our beautiful planet.