BUSINESS, feature -

Zach’s riding a wave of success from the US

Americans are loving artist Zachary Bennett-Brook’s distinctive hand-painted surfboards.

The Wollongong artist, who is of Torres Strait Islander descent, began painting boards professionally about three years ago, inspired by the colour of the sea and sand.

Now he’s getting orders from New York, California, Hawaii and even Texas.

In February, one of his boards sold for $16,000 at a charity auction to raise money for the Australian Childhood Foundation, which helps abused children. Australian actor turned Hollywood star Chris Hemsworth is patron.

Bennett-Brook says his boards can be used as artworks or put to work in the surf. They range in price from $850 for a display board up to $2000 for a working board.

He’s also turned his talents to surf wear.

A surf line he designed with Byron Bay clothing company Afends sold out in the US summer, but Australians will have to wait until next year for it to become available here.

“I think people like the fact I blend the old with the new,” says Bennett-Brook.

That, and the added bonus that you’ll never lose your board in the surf.

Wendy Caccetta

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