Tim Bessell

BIOGRAPHY

 


Tim Bessel’s career marks a confluence of surfing experience and artistic inspiration to create some of the best custom surfboards in the world. Surfboard shapers and surfers alike, from all over the world, know the name, Tim Bessell.


At a very young age, Tim Bessell was exposed to the infectious world of art by his mother, which would coincidentally influence his future to come. At only thirteen years old, Tim was making a name for himself as a surfer in his home town of La Jolla, California when he also began shaping surfboards, becoming one of the youngest surfboard shapers in the industry.


Three years later Tim moved to Hawaii to prove he has what it takes to be a shaper on the North Shore. He began shaping custom surfboards for Lightning Bolt, one of Hawaii's premier surfboard manufacturers known for the infamous lightning gun shape of the 70's ridden by legendary Gerry Lopez. In fact, Tim Bessell would later become one of the few shapers allowed to manufacture surfboards under the Lightning Bolt name.


After legitimizing himself as a shaper, Tim returned to San Diego, California to open Bessell Surfboards. By 1987, Bessell Surfboards had grown into one of the largest surfboard manufacturers in Southern California. Tim also made a name for himself as an artist, with exhibitions as far away as Japan.


To date, Tim has produced over 46,000 surfboards. His boards have graced the covers of Surfer Magazine, Surfing Magazine, Beach Culture, and countless other surfing magazines. Many world class surfers have ridden Bessell Surfboards including: Peter King, Luke Egan, Jon Roseman, Glen Winton, Brad Gerlach, Vetea David, Ricky Irons, David MacAulay, Saxon Boucher, Debbie Melville Beacham, Ryder Mackey, Chris O'Rourke, Billy Choe, Simon Law, Juston Postin, David Eggers, Davie Miller, Richard Kenvin and more.


Bessell Surfboards are currently sold throughout the world with distributors in Japan, South America, and Europe. If you're lucky enough to visit Tavarua Island, you'll notice Tim's trademark guns are standard equipment on the island. Wherever you end up, chances are there is someone riding a Bessell.


Currently, Tim Bessell has teamed up with the Warhol Foundation to reconnect the much-forgotten love that Andy Warhol had for surfing and the surfing counter-culture. “How I Met Andy”, is a short film that tells the story of how Tim met Andy Warhol and why his artistic inspiration never left him and how eventually this became the "Bessell Warhol Project.” In this project, Tim has created an extensive collection of surfboards with licensed Warhol art imposed on his signature surfboard shapes. This has created an international buzz once again and many of these boards can be found in art galleries and collectors homes all over the world.