Tony Iannarone is founder and co-owner of Clean Ocean Surfboards, which is located in Sawgrass Village. He is also a well-known surfboard shaper and Beaches resident.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I started surfing at age 8. At age 14, I started experimenting with surfboards building in my parents’ backyard. In 1989, during my junior year at Jacksonville University, I founded Clean Ocean Surfboards. By the time I graduated the MBA program I had enough people asking me to make them surfboards that I decided to try to make a living at it.
What was the inspiration/motivation behind Clean Ocean Surfboards?
My motivation for starting Clean Ocean Surfboards came from frustration with the consistence of the surfboards I was riding at the time.
What makes Clean Ocean Surfboards different/unique?
What make Clean Ocean Surfboards different and unique is I mix stylistic elements of the past with performance of today. The end result is surfboards that are aesthetically pleasing and still meet the performance expectations of modern surfing.
How has the surfboard business grown/changed over the years?
Over the last 30 years surfing has become mainstream. When I started in the business surfing was still a fringe sport. Unfortunately, surfing grew so quickly, it drew a lot of non-surfer businesses into the industry resulting in surfing losing some of its sense of community. Our main goal at Clean Ocean Surfboards is to keep that sense of community alive and to give our customers a true surf shop experience.
What’s your favorite part about owning and running a surf shop?
The best part of running a surf shop is the people you meet. Everyone has a story to tell and most are extremely entertaining and interesting.
What do you enjoy most about being in Ponte Vedra?
The best part of being in the Ponte Vedra area is how friendly the people are.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to surf and spent time with family and friends.