Pollinating the world: POLEN Surfboards from Portugal

polen surfboards
The place where boards are born: the POLEN workshop in Cascais. (© by Thomas Zielinski)

The Area around Lisbon is not only producing world class waves – it´s also producing world class surfboards! The source: POLEN Surfboards from Cascais, a label that was founded by two brothers and their friend, 27 years ago, which has become indispensable in today’s surfing scene. So when we have been around Lisbon, we just dropped by at POLEN in Cascais and had a nice chat with Alvaro Costa, one of the founders. 

Hi Alvaro, POLEN Surfboards is quite a big name in the scene these days. Can you tell us about how that whole thing started?

We started Polen in 1988, together with my brother Eduardo Costa and our friend and shaper Fernando Horta. That year we decided to do this brand and start living the dream, making some of the best and most beautiful boards in Europe. So we are really happy about how this all worked out and how Polen is growing bigger and bigger.

How did you actually arrive at the name POLEN?

The name comes from the portuguese word “polen”, from the flowers. We had the concept of pollinating the world. Like spreading out and setting our seeds. 

polen surfboard

Jorge Tellê. (© by Thomas Zielinski)

Who is coming to get your boards?
Mostly Lisbon area or other countries as well?

The orders are mainly from Portugal, but also from the rest of the Europe: France, Spain, Canaries, Israel and the UK. All the boards are made in Portugal and we send them everywhere you want us to send them. 

Who are the team riders?

We now have Pedro Henrique, Miguel Blanco, Pedro Boonman, João Guedes, Joakim And Luka Guichard, Luis Perloiro, Jacome Correia, Afonso Antunes and Carol Henrique, and Kika Vezelko.

Can you describe the atmosphere at your workshop a bit?

Well, you can say Polen is like a big family – we love what we are doing and so it’s easy to have a cool and relaxed atmosphere. Being together with people you like a lot for the whole day and doing what you love. That’s amazing!

polen surfboard

From Left to Right : Timmy Patterson, Jon Pyzel, Nuno Cardoso and Miguel Blanco
(© by André Carvalho)

polen surfboards

How many people are working for polen?

We are now 17 People, between production, finances, design, sales, etc.

What’s your most favorite board and shape?

Polen Lazydude II by: Nuno Surdo 5.9 – 18,3/4 – 2, 3/8

Where do you think will the evolution of surfboards will lead to next?

I think the next big evolution will be in the materials and the shape design. The materials will evolve to something less aggressive to the environment and easy to create by industrial production. And for sure the shape will need to change with that! Let´s say different materials = different performances.

What about sustainable materials?

That would be perfect, but still not the best performance solution yet.

polen surfboard

Shaper Nuno Cardoso Surdo (© by Thomas Zielinski)

polen surfboard

Timmy Patterson (© by: André Carvalho)

What is your favorite spot In Portugal?

We’ve got lot’s of good waves from the north to the south of Portugal – but my favorite one is in the Ericeira area.

What does the ocean mean to you?

To me it means everything ! IT´S LIFE!

polen surfboard

From left to right: Pedro Pecas, Jon Pyzel, Timmy Paterson, Alvaro Costa, Nuno Cardoso in the back
(© by: André Carvalho)

Polen surfboard

Nuno Alves. (© by Thomas Zielinski)



1 Comment

  1. Hallo Thomas,

    schönes Interview mit guten Eindrücken. Sieth so aus, als würden die Jungs von POLEN lieben was sie tun. Mir jedenfalls gefallen diese kleineren Firmen.


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