In 1971, Bill Cilia and Alf Jeffries shaped the very first Nirvana Surfboard. With a name inspired partially by a meditation magazine and a pair of cowboy boots, Nirvana Surfboards were first produced in Lakemba, New South Wales.
Throughout the 80′s and 90′s, the cream of australian surfing walked through the doors of the old milk depot that housed Nirvana Surfboards in Kincumber, NSW. It was over these 20 years that Nirvana Surfboards became known as one of Australia’s most respected surfboard labels.
The main reason Nirvana was successful was because performance came first! The stable of team riders and hand picked staff read like a ‘who’s who’ of the industry at that time. Names like Steve Cooney, Mark Sainsbury, Glen Winton, Ross Clarke Jones, Shane Powell, Sam Chell, Paul Green, Luke and Adam Faunce, Dave Neilsen, and Ace Buchan, were backed up by a team of handpicked shapers that included Sam Egan, Bruce Ericson, Ronnie Woodward, Mitchell Rae and of course Bill Cilia himself.
Taking care of production was a team of craftsman that included Chris Threlflo on sprays. Col wall and Steve Grey on laminations, Al Underwood sanding, Rob Hazir glossing and polishing, Rick Goldner on fin and filler, and a very young Dan Santangelo paying his dues as the factory grommie. In fact it was noted at the time, that such was the depth of experience present, that any board passing through the factory would have a minimum of 100 years of distilled craftsmanship within its layers.
By year 2000, many surfboard labels had grown more commercial while Nirvana Surfboards had become more cult. With Bill Cilia shaping only customs for the central coast hard core and Bruce Ericson shaping for his son Ellis and friends on the central coast, Nirvana Surfboards were known only by the industry aficionados.