At Surf Vortex we design and build high quality surfboards. We make sure that you receive the best surfboard on the market suited to your surfing style, body fitness and wave to be ridden. You can aim at ripping the waves just like Jordy Smith, flying in the air like John John Florence or simply ridding with smoothness like Joe Average, we will assist you with all your needs and ensure you get stoked!



Vaughn Makkink created Vortex in 1985. For two years he designed some of his signature surfboards and established himself amongst South-Africa's top shapers. He created the original Vortex logo.

In 1987 Vortex was put on hold for Vaughn to pursue a career in the industry as the head shaper for some of Durban's world-class surfboard brands such as Clayton and Spider. He shaped to date about 21 000 surfboards and keeps on going. Vaughn never stopped dreaming about his own brand, and he took a passion in making selected Vortex models for those who sought him out for his talent and accuracy.

In 2016, through a set of unexpected circumstances, Vaughn met Ryan who heard from the top local surfers that Vaughn Makkink was, as far as them was concerned, the best shaper around. Ryan wanted a new surfboard, as a result the presentation was quick and the connection instantaneous. Ryan was so amazed by Vaughn’s talent, passion and modesty. It led Ryan to talk to one of his surf buddies, a French guy, a Material scientist in love with Durban, Noredine. On the way Max joined the team to offer a great perspective and forerunner feel.

It all went very fast and Surf Vortex was back at full speed, and with a new look!


Vaughn's bio published on surflline.com themed “Shaper’s Alley: Durban” says it all. It summarises best his philosophy and way of life.

Shaping Since: 1985

Known For: “I have worked for all the major factories in Durban from Spider to Graham Smith, Bilt and was the head shaper for Clayton Surfboards. I have a good feel for the industry and great insight into leading shaper’s design.”

Influences: “Rick Hammond; Erik Arakawa – his boards are something else, he’s in a league of his own. JS is also an amazing shaper.”

Philosophy: “Paying attention to detail. While I admire the top shapers in the world, I also like to look at something else, both internationally and locally. It’s all about respect."

Quirky Fact: “I’m an ex-fire-fighter (21 years) and also a qualified paramedic who delivered over 285 babies. On my first day on the job as a paramedic I delivered twins."

Favourite Thing About Durban: “The climate, our people, great beaches and the waves.”

But if you really want to get to know Vaughn, just come to our factory, meet him and hang out with us.


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