Matt Haymes

Matt and his family migrated to Australia in 1968 from Gurnsey Channel Islands. Matt was 3 years of age. After moving around Australia his parents settled at Avalon beach on the northern beaches of Sydney. Growing up on the beach Matt and his brothers were destined to surf. His father John was an avid surfer and surfboard builder. He had a small factory in their garage and at one point turned the lounge room into a laminating area. Over the years they had many international professional surfers stay at their family home, as Matt got to watch the likes of Gerry Lopez and Reno Abellira shape boards in his family garage.


Matt left school at 15 and managed to find an apprenticeship as a carpenter. After completing his apprenticeship he started to work as a professional lifeguard. At this time his younger brother Mark was the Australian junior professional surfing champion, and got sponsored by a Japanese surfboard company called Sun Surfboards. Mark went to Japan to compete and Matt followed the following year to learn how to shape.

At the time Matt got to Japan the Mitsubishi corporation decided to go into surfboard blank manufacturing. They had a formula problem and the blanks were shrinking after glassing. They had thousands of blanks destined for the bin. The owner of Sun Surfboards was a personal friend of Mitsubishis blank manufacturing manager and asked if Matt could have them to practice on instead of throwing them away. Matt ended up with 500 blanks to practice on, and with not having to worry about purchasing blanks if he stuffed them up, it was a good situation for him to be in.

After returning to Australia Matt continued to work as a lifeguard and built a shaping room in his parents backyard. He started shaping boards for his brothers and friends and took them to insight surfboards to be finished. He then went to work for Sun Surfboards and learnt shaping for another 4 years. In 1998 Matt started his own label called U-Turn Surfboards. Working on both the Australian domestic market and exporting surfboards to Japan, Brazil, the UK and Europe. Matt was working for Sun Surfboards distributing his boards and has made a name for himself shaping boards for professionals all over the world.