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Missoula man turns love for river surfing into business, one board at a time

Posted at 10:05 AM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-04 12:05:55-04

MISSOULA - If you have ever walked through Cara’s Park and seen the Missoula summer staple — Brennan’s Wave — you have probably wondered “what, how, where do they get those boards?” Of course with the question of “how do they get up?”

Well, one local man turned his love for the river into a business, sharing the wave — one board at a time.

Just before 6:30 a.m., you will find a group of locals surfing Brennan’s Wave. Some of them are cutting on short boards or longboards; and a select few are riding on Jocko Surf Boards.

“I fell in love with surfing eight or nine years ago," said Jocko Surf Board Maker, Dylan Snyder. "From that day on I was just hooked.”

The rush of water beneath foot, river glow and community is what keeps these river surfers coming back for more.

And the guy crushing Brennan’s wave, is Dylan Snyder, an avid river surfer who turned his love for the wave into a business — one board at a time.

Snyder says the process of making a board is tedious," first shaping your board,” said Snyder. “Then you come out and you laminate it with a fiberglass weave.”

His business started about a year ago, "being so obsessed with surfing I was like, I gotta make some boards and like thinking about all the endless shapes and designs there are."

Snyder has made 11 boards for surfers out here at the wave.

“He custom makes them for every surfer, every range, every surf style,” said Brennan's Wave surfer Adam Duerk.

For Duerk, riding a Jocko Board brings an added experience to the wave, because his friend and surf buddy makes them.

“All of us are river brothers and sisters out here," Duerk told MTN News. "Dylan is one of my river brothers.”

Making boards brings a new challenege for Snyder.

“And it's like a skill where you never reach an endpoint," said Snyder. "You're never going to know everything and there's always something else you can try.”

The best way for you to get a Jocko board is to send Dylan a message on Instagram @jockoboards.

Prices start at $550 and get more expensive as you customize it. Snyder also runs a ding and dent repair shop for boards.