Now in his mid 50s, Pressly has been surfing for 46 years and has no plans of retiring his surfboard anytime soon. He’s been making custom boards for the past 15 years.
A resident of the High Country since 1988, Pressly builds surfboards from his studio next to his Valle Crucis home. Each takes about 30 hours to make, and he ships them nationwide. And any time the surf’s up, he heads to the coast.
Pressly (left), his father (with longboard), and two friends at the family’s Carolina beach house in the late 1970s
Pressly has caught many waves the world over., pictured here in Mexico.
Among Pressly’s favorite spots to surf is mainland Mexico, where he’s spent the past 18 winters. The draws? Great waves, few crowds, and free camping
Pressly shapes a board, which is made of polyurethane foam so that it is light and buoyant.
Pressly uses a homemade tool to sand it.
The process of glassing involves covering the board with fiberglass cloth, then applying colored resins to seal and add strength.
The final steps involve polishing.
The skills Pressly learned in his high school shop class came in handy, as he’s built his own house and workshop
Pressly fabricates many of his own tools.
“The mountains are full of other craftsmen doing things like this. What I make just happens to be used hundreds of miles away.” —Bill Pressly