Stoke, a home-grown surf company offering custom surfboard designs and clothing by Mike Karol, was founded in Stuart, FL in 1999 by shaper Chuck Reeves and his son, Chris.
Chuck Reeves honed his shaping skills on Oahu’s North Shore during the 1980s under the tutelage of renowned Lightning Bolt shaper Tom Eberly, Additionally, Chuck was founding partner in the surfboard and clothing company brand, Hawaiian Surf. In the early 90s, Chuck relocated to Florida full time and launched CR Surf Designs and soon after, Stoke Surfboards.
Mike Karol was a good friend of the Reeves family and was instantly fascinated by Chuck's shaping skills. He carved out his first surfboard at age 15 with his grandparents' help and shaped his second board in 2000 with friend Grant and Grant's dad, Max McCree. Impressed by the results of these early efforts, Chuck encouraged Mike to pursue his passion for the craft along with guidance form Kai Nalu Surfboards. Both Chris and Mike were eager to learn the business. They hung around the shop whenever possible, keeping the floors swept, whittling on discarded foam and keeping an ear out for the familiar whine of Chuck's Skil planer. While Chris gravitated toward surfboard graphics and artwork, all Mike wanted to do was shape. He spent every afternoon after school at the factory. Inspired by Mike's appetite for mowing foam, Chuck readily shared his knowledge of shaping and finishing that he had once learned in Hawaii.
When Mike moved to Jacksonville for college, his shaping and finishing skills landed him work with local board builders Mike Wishnant, Mystic Surfboards, and Clean Ocean Surfboards. At the age of 21, Mike moved to Hawaii, living with the Pattachia family and taking a full-time job with surfboard builder John Carper at JC Hawaii. He also moonlighted as a finisher for Third Stone. The mentoring provided by Carper and daily surfs with up-and-coming pros gave Mike keen insight on how different boards perform in different conditions. Mike glassed, painted, and sanded boards for Hawaiian and Japanese distribution. He eventually progressed to shaping responsibilities at JC while continuing finish work with the help of Chris Reeves, who had also relocated to Hawaii. During this time, Mike split his time between Hawaii and California, filling orders for some of the heaviest riders on the planet. Then suddenly, out of nowhere on December 5, 2005, Clark Foam shut down, bringing the industry to a grinding halt. Without work, Mike and Chris returned to Florida.
Once surfboard blanks became readily available again in mid/late 2006, Mike, Chuck, and Chris refueled the fire at Stoke and a steady flow of board building resumed. Mike took over shaping responsibilities and was soon filling custom orders and stocking the newly opened Ohana Surf Shop. Word spread like guava jelly and clients followed.
Today, Stoke offers an expansive range of high-performance shortboards, classic longboards, fun shapes, retro fishes, and everything in between - all meticulously handcrafted to meet the needs of riders from pro to legend.Stoke boards are available by custom order and carried by Ohana Surf Shop, Hutchinson Island, FL / Right Coast Surf Shop, Seaside Park, NJ / South End Surf 'N Paddle, Beach Haven, NJ / Surfers Supplies, Ocean City, NJ / Religion Surf & Skate, Smith Point, NY / Wet Mitten, Grand Haven, MI / Zeek's Surf and Paddle, Stuart, FL.