About Yana Surf


“Oscar” on the beach at Cape Blanco, Southern Oregon Coast

Surfing brings harmony and balance to life.  From the time you spend with good friends getting to the beach, to the peaceful anticipation of waiting for the next set to roll in, to the minute you hit the water and see the first sets break, to each adrenaline-pumping second you spend making the drop and speeding down the line. Not to mention when you’re back on shore celebrating your heard-earned triumphs (and epic wipeouts) with a cold one.

These are the moments you live for. And Yana Surf exists to bring you those moments…but better.

Today’s surfers seek stewardship of, and deep connection with the waves they ride along with style, quality and of course performance in the equipment they use. The solid feel, smooth glide and beautiful design of Yana’s handcrafted Balsa Wood surfboards delivers on all accounts.

Yana Surf works with some of the world’s top wood surfboard shapers to create environmentally friendly, one-of-a-kind hand-shaped balsa wood surfboards that embody the soul of surfing in a way that soulless foam core can only try to imitate.

Try surfing as nature intended – on wood – and get closer to the harmony and balance that surfing offers.

Surfing is PEOPLE…

Surfing is about people as well as the planet.  We have a profound respect for our customers, employees, suppliers, and the community.  We will treat each individual in a way that underscores that respect.  We hire the best and we expect a lot. We believe in teamwork, compassion for others, and short-term sacrifice for the greater good.  We work hard and we play even harder. We bring employment opportunities to places where they are limited and we will treat people fairly even when that is not “business as usual”.  We believe in strong families, lasting friendships, and having a strong bond with the community. The sole reason that we exist is too do GOOD for all our stakeholders and the planet.


Surfing is ART…

We believe that surfing is a form of artistic expression.  Each surfer defines their own experience with the influence of the natural elements surrounding them.  No two waves are created equal and no two experiences are the same.  Surfing equipment should reflect this artistic form.  We embrace “natural” elements to create products that reflect the beauty of nature.  Artistic design is an essential element of our craft; we will not mass produce equipment or take short-cuts to boost our profits.  Our products reflect contemporary design techniques but preserve the rich heritage and pure pleasure of surfing.  Everything that we produce is a work of art designed to celebrate nature and to create the ultimate surfing experience.


Surfing is SPIRITUAL…

There is nothing more spiritual than truly connecting with nature.  Oceans are not tamed they are playfully explored by those with the courage, skills, and reverence to do so.  There is rhythm to the ocean and all the life that thrives within it.  We have a deep respect for all that that the planet has to offer and we create products the live in harmony with it.  We will never lose sight of the important mission that we have been entrusted with.


Surfing is NATURE…

Surfing is about enjoying nature without negatively impacting it.  As a company we employ sound environmental practices.  We support outside causes that help the planet.  We give back a significant percentage of all profits to planet friendly causes. We encourage employees to get involved – even on our dime. We respect and appreciate employees, customers, and suppliers who care enough to give back and we will do everything that we can to support them.


Surfing is LIFE…

Most of us only have one shot at life – live to the fullest.  Treat others with kindness and respect, be generous with your time, and make your Mother proud.  Don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

Port Orford Oregon

Southern Oregon Coast near Port Orford

OK, yeah. We get asked all the time. Why in the world would you launch a surf company out of Portland, Oregon?

Our answer? Where better?

First, there IS the fact that we are less than an hour away from some pretty choice Left Coast breaks.

But there’s also the fact that our city is a global epicenter of the current “small batch, handcrafted” movement. Plus, Portland’s obsession with design and creativity is matched only by its a civic-wide desire to live in harmony with the planet and push the bar on sustainable products and industries.

So, really, where better to birth a team of business innovators, expert shapers, action sports veterans, brand builders, tree huggers, rock ‘n’ rollers and bona fide surf addicts to create an all together new kind of surf company?

In this case, when it comes to building the best balsa boards in the business, there IS no place like home.

Managing Partners

Wilson Zehr – CEO


Chris Hotz – Creative Director


Aaron Bean – Head of Marketing


Board of Directors

Scott Taylor


John Griffith


Kevin Brague


Surf Ambassadors & Advisors

Maya Gabeira

Red Bull Athlete Profile

What’s in a name?  We get asked a lot about the inspiration for the name Yana Surf.  The name Yana belongs to a beautiful woman in the Ukraine.  She is a friend of our founder – a lover of the surf, the sun, and the sand – beautiful inside and out.  We also learned that Yāna in Buddhism means “vessel for a spiritual journey” and in Hebrew it means “given by God”.  These all tie quite naturally to the mission and the overall essence of Yana Surf.  It was just meant to be.  Thank you Yana for the inspiration and your contribution to saving the planet one beach at a time.


Yana at the beach!



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