Business: DCAL Surfboards

Location: Beachwood Drive, Galloway Township

Owner: Dan Callaghan, 26, of Galloway Township

Employees: Owner-operated

Phone: 609-703-6044

DCAL makes surfboards, but a little differently.

I have a bit of a fresher, more youthful perspective on making surfboards. I want to bring some creativity to the table. I have an engineering degree and am trying to use that to take my designs to another level.

I’d like to try to get more out of the materials and test different types. As an engineer, I kind of have a vision of what materials have to offer and what can be done with them.

Our area, South Jersey and the Northeast in general, has a huge boat-building history. I’d like to draw some ideas and concepts from what’s done in that industry, where I have friends, in things such as milling.

I make short boards, long boards and everything in between. I make hybrid short boards that can be used for small waves where you’d normally use a long board or what we call a fish.

Long boards are suited to the common surf conditions you find in New Jersey. Short boards are typically used in the bigger waves and better conditions.

Surfboards start with polyurethane foam with a wood stringer that’s the backbone of the board. That keeps it strong but allows it to flex.

That’s shaped to the design I want, and then sealed with fiberglass cloth and polyester resin.

Then I add fins at the end of the board. The most common fin right now is a fin plug, which is replaceable. It’s just flat but with holes in the board for attaching the fin. You can change them out for different sizes and types, for more handling options.

Short boards are about $450 and long boards are about $650.

Everything I do is custom. The customer tells me what they want, and we talk about all of their options. I give them my opinion and we decide on the design of their board.

Entry: I grew up with a do-it-yourself mentality, fixing or building what we needed. I learned about fiberglass and foam from fixing surfboards, and started making my own boards to save money. I really enjoy the whole process in designing something I’m going to ride.

My engineering degree is in civil and environmental engineering, and I’m pursuing work in that field, too.

The future: I’d like to make boards on spec to be stocked and sold at surf shops.