rake surfboards adrian knott art


To be honest I am a little afraid of the sea. It’s big, unknown, and there is something about fish scales that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – and not in a good way. But bigger than my fear are my respect and admiration for it. I am – one could say – an admirer of the sea! I can stare at it for hours without ever getting bored and it’s sound is more soothing than any lullaby I’ve ever heard. There lies powerful calmness in it with the potential for a storm at anytime and if you look at it for long enough it will tell you a lot.

I tried surfing a couple of times… And maybe my lack of motor skills had something to do with my decision to postpone the next surf-attempt but it was for sure the inability to conquer this fear that would not let me enjoy the fall! So, I don’t surf! BUT I have a deep love for surf-lifestyle, the ocean and for all beautiful things! So when someone combines all of that in their creation… I’m in!

rake surfboards by adrian knott

Rake is a small independent surfboard company based in Torquay Australia started by Adrian Knott in 2007 as an outlet for his passion for shaping & design outside the corporate surf industry.  But besides making the most beautiful surfboards I’ve ever seen, Rake makes badass clothes  (available @ Harvest Surfshop) and my personal favorite… Adrian’s Art. You can tell that there is a true artist and designer behind this fashion label that is clearly inspired by the sea. He are some words the man shared with me!

art by adrian knott

  1. Your style is very unique! Seems like it reflects your art…or does your art reflect your style?
    My style reflects my art , I have a very clear vision of things I like & the style it fits into . I am very critical & design is a big part of my life.
  2. How do you translate your style/art into fashion and your surfboard designs?
    I am not sure if there is a relationship between art & surfboard shaping, I guess I am lucky as I can be involved in all aspects of the surfboard from shaping to the logos to the colorways. I am pretty fussy with colours so if someone wants something that I think will look terrible I will let them know. I do spend a fair amount of time in illustrator playing around with outlines for new boards which is a good way to get a feel of what the board will look like before I take to the shaping bay.
  3. How has working as a freelance artist influenced your style?
    I worked for big surf companies for many years as a employee , I became stale & my art suffered I learnt a lot about processes in manufacturing but it wasn’t until I left & began working at home that my art flourished & I was able to become so much more creative at my home studio .
    I guess once I became a freelance artist I was working on all sorts of projects so it gave me more skills to work on all areas from painting to vector art to screen printing. My style is a mix of vintage & contemporary, I get bored easily & find it easy to adapt to different styles. Sometimes I like clean art the next week I am super amped on naive style .The hardest thing for me is to keep running with a particular style.
  4. If you weren’t an artist… what would you be?
    Mmmmm hard one ! maybe something that involved design still like a landscaper or interior designer. I enjoy renovating houses so something like that would be cool.
  5. Your art is currently being exposed at Boom Gallery. Is this your first exhibition? If not, how didyou begin exhibiting in galleries?
    I usually am involved in around 3-4 art shows a year , these are all group shows. Solo shows are way too much work to handle with my busy schedule. Once I started running my own surf company I began to get a few offers to show my art in various shows.
  6. Friday the 13th April was not only the opening night of ‘Sea Stoke – Inspired by the Sea’ @ Boom Gallery but also a fundraiser for Surf Aid International. Are you involved with any other non-profits?
    No I haven’t been involved with any fund raising events before, its was a fair success the show & Gary raised a fair about of money from the opening night which is great.
  7. What’s your involvement with Sea Stoke?
    I know Gary Parker he is the creator of Sea Stoke , I actually worked at quiksilver as a freelancer for a week & met Gaz while I was there. He invited me to be a part of the show.
  8. What’s a typical day @ Rake Surfboards like?
    I always have so much to do I don’t really get too much spare time these days it’s becoming hectic & starting to burn me out. Because rake is so small I can’t afford to pay anyone to help so I pretty much get lumped with multitasking . My dad Robert has worked in the rag trade since he was young so he is involved in dealing with international sales , ordering stock & also picking & packing stock when he has time . An average day at rake would start at 8.00 once I am up I make a coffee get on the net & check emails & check surf .
    I recently put a small on line shop up called Harvest Surfshop so if I get any orders I will get them picked & packed so they are ready to send later in the day. I also organize any surfboard orders due by printing up specification sheets that go to Sean who glasses my boards, these tell him what colours & fins etc.. go on the board orders. I also print all my decals for the boards at home so I do that early so I can wrap the shaped boards ready to go to brown shed later in the day where they get glassed . If I have any wooden fins I would do those around 11 am they can take a while as they are handmade & can be a bitch to make. After that I will have a surf or get stuck into some design work which can be anything from graphics , clothing design , website updates , blogging & production. I will work on this until about 3 pm . I have a shaping bay at home so I can do the surfboards here which is nice once they have been cleaned up fins marked I bubble wrap them up & drive 20 minutes to the shed where my boards get glassed I will hang here talk shit with the guys which is usually a good break . then head back drop shop orders at post office. I usually stay up till 1.00 am working at night also.
  9. Have you designed any girl’s stuff? If so, where can I get it?
    Yeah I have done a lot of jobs for women’s clothing companies like roxy, lee jeans, Brian Rochford swimwear , Urban Outfitters etc…. as well as doing quite a few tee prints for small projects I have done prior to Rake.
  10. In your dream world, where would Rake be in 5 years?
    It would be a dream to have a good team of staff working for the company which would free me up to concentrate on surfboards & surfing more!!

Adrian Knott  Rake Surfboards

Art by Adrian Knott from Rake Surfboards and Harvest Surfshop