By Jon Knocker, CEO and Shaper of KNOCKER SURFBOARDS.

After lengthy research and development, I am extremely proud to be able to announce that KNOCKER will be producing eco-friendly, high performance Stand Up paddle Surfboards. The boards will start from £990.

Made from just wood, oil and glue, with an FCSII fin system, these chambered boards are designed for surfing with a paddle. Stand Up paddle Surfboards with a small p. My approach to design is to produce high performance, handcrafted boards that are able to meet the unique demands of Stand Up Surfing, both on the wave and during the paddle out.

A welcome by-product is that they are also good for the shapers health and the environment. Indeed they may be the most eco-friendly Stand UP Surfboards available. They also look and feel great, and with only a bit of tender loving care could last a lifetime.

As I handcraft each board, a custom board could take up to 3 months

Knocker surfboard - shaping paulownia surfboard -
Jon Knocker shaping paulownia wooden SUP


 All of the boards are made from Paulownia timber grown by iPaulownia in Spain. Light, water-resistant, strong, renewable and environmentally friendly it is the ideal wood for surfboards. The Paulownia tree (common name: Princess Tree), originates from Asia, where it is revered for its unique qualities in the production of a wide range of products including aircraft fittings, furniture and musical instruments.

Light, odorless and an easily worked hardwood, it is the lightest known timber other than balsa, but unlike balsa is water-resistant meaning no need to fiberglass or varnish. Only oil is needed as a final coat, meaning no dead weight and a fast surface.


Paulownia trees are ready to harvest after 9 to 12 years with the trees re-coppicing from the stub to produce the same volume of timber in 8 to 10 years. Renewable, fast growers, they are great absorbers of CO2 and must be one of the most environmentally friendly raw materials for surfboards.

Cutting paulownia tree for surfboard - Knocker surfboard

Unlike a conventional surfboard, a chambered Paulownia surfboard requires no glass fiber shell for strength, or to prevent water penetrating the core. Instead, the boards are finished off with Le Tonkinois oil. Discovered by the French in Vietnam over 100 years ago, the oil is a mixture of linseed and tung oil, combined with other tropical oils to produce a varnish oil that is not brittle like synthetic varnish and is environmentally friendly. Waterproof and able to ‘move’ with the natural expansion and contraction of the wood, the oil provides a durable finish that will last for years.

Knocker surfboard - paulownia surfboard tail -

Wood is great because:

  • The oiled wood finish is faster than any other surfboard surface.
  • They have very little dead weight as they only consist of wood, glue and oil, plus an FCS fin system.
  • Highly resistant to the stresses on a wave and the greater stresses when paddling out. If you haven’t caused a knee dent or worse snapped a foam board when paddling out you are one of the lucky ones.
  • While not so good for me the board will maintain its rigidity and performance for an extremely long time.
  • No need for tape, handles or deck pads, although, happy to add.
  • Beautiful boards that feel and look fantastic.

Standard Range:

The standard range is based on the two classic shapes of the longboard and fish.
Knocker surfboard - paulownia surfboards UK -

The longboard range has a standard length of 9.6’ with a range of volume from 111 to 144 litres. A traditional round nose and squash tail is combined with hard, stepped rails, flat deck and a width/thickness that makes this a high performance board. The oiled wood finish allows the board to quickly get into trim and classic style noseriding, meaning more time on the nose.

The fish range has been inspired by the 90s surf film Litmus and is designed to enjoy and make the most of UK conditions. The boards range from a length of 7.3’ to 8.4’. The low rocker, stepped rails, flat deck and width to length ratio enable it to make the most of slow waves by generating speed and when on the rail the pin like swallow tail will prevent slippage. The classic short fish shape, with a wide width from nose to tail and a blunt nose is a must have in the quiver.

What No Deck Pad

The birth of SUP has seen the rebirth of the deck pad that was last seen in numbers along with nose guards and dodgy coloured wetsuits in the 90s. It is my belief that SUP should now follow traditional surfing and ditch all but the tail pad for a back foot reference on shorter boards.

Wax weighs less, gives a better feel, grip and responsiveness than a deck pad. Also why would you want to cover up your beautiful wooden board with a deck pad? But, there are pros for deck pads as wax is not for the lazy surfer and they are more comfortable for flat water/family paddling.

About Knocker Surfboards

Knocker Surfboards is a new company founded by Jon Knocker White. He is an accomplished waterman, sea dog and master mariner with over 40 years experience. After years of practical research, and fed up with snapping boards, the aim is to produce durable, high performance Stand Up paddle Surfboards that are able to meet the unique demands of Stand Up Surfing. A byproduct is that they are environmentally friendly.

Jon Knocker - Knocker surfboards - ipaulownia (2)

Who knows where we are going with the future form and function of Stand Up, but I intend to enjoy the ride. Hope you will join me.

For more information, please visit:

From iPaulownia, we wish Jon the best of success on his new project.