Mr Cox, you founded Haydenshapes Surfboards at just 15 years old and have turned it into an industry-leading brand. What drives your pioneering spirit?
I worked only for myself and learned through experience – and mistakes. I’ve always tried to improve a design or make it better than the last one. Each new surfboard or project is a new opportunity to explore something different or new, and the willingness to explore and try is a key trait to always maintain. Looking for new materials and how they can be applied to a design and improve it has always led me down an interesting path. Innovative ideas help me to develop personally.
Today you are a designer, entrepreneur and surfer – how do you reconcile all that?
I feel that each part plays a role in engaging my various interests in life. Finding ways to challenge myself in each of these areas creates a certain level of fascination. I enjoy the circular approach of starting with an idea, designing and making it, and then going out and surfing to gain the experience and feedback to improve – it’s quite a holistic approach. I have always enjoyed trying new ideas and concepts which has led to innovative progress in my designs that now define the Haydenshapes Surfboards brand.
Innovative progress brings major challenges. What are the biggest ones you face as a designer?
Finding a way to build something is always the biggest challenge. When adopting a new design, technology or material, it takes time to learn the craft of how to apply it. Finding innovative ways to bring a design vision to life can be the hardest part.