Interview with Kyle Johnson; Owner of JuiceBox Sign Co. and JuiceBox Surfboards
I had the honor of being able to interview Kyle Johnson, the owner, and master behind JuiceBox Surfboards and Signs, here in Santa Cruz. JuiceBox Sign Co. is a sign shop founded by Kyle Johnson (JuiceBox) in Santa Cruz, California. Specializing in hand lettering, he offers a wide variety of services. Commercial lettering, walls, gold leaf, paper signs, sho-cards, A-frame signs, and custom artwork and logo design; everything is designed by hand and unique to each job. Kyle also owns JuiceBox Surfboards, and is inspired by the true craftsmen of the industry, his goal has been to embrace and learn the craft from start to finish and constantly strive for higher quality both in design and aesthetic. He has been fortunate enough to study alongside master board builders and learn the fundamental techniques in shaping, glassing, sanding, resin work, and design. Building surfboards is simply an integration of all that he enjoys: surfing every day in this wave-rich region influences the types of boards he builds and the creative freedoms of the glassing process are constantly developing in response to Kyle’s artistic sensibilities. All JuiceBox Surfboards are designed on an individual basis and built from start to finish at Almar Surf Works in Santa Cruz.
In this interview, we take you behind the scenes into Kyle’s workshop and we have the opportunity to ask him how he got into both board shaping and sign making. Kyle just recently made Danny and Ellia the most beautiful boards, and both of them wanted to sleep with them, and I was getting kicked out of the bed. (Most of Kyle’s boardshaping customers end up loving their boards so much that they end up sleeping with their surfboard!) Kyle is also in the process of making our new Fox Group signs for our open houses and marketing. I highly recommend reaching out to JuiceBox Sign Co, if you need custom signs and surfboards! He is an incredibly talented artist.
Shemeika: We are here today with Kyle Johnson, who is the owner of JuiceBox Surfboards and Signs. Do it again. We are here today with Kyle Johnson, the owner of, I am so excited to introduce you, if you don’t already know him, to Kyle Johnson, the owner and master behind JuiceBox Surfboard and Boards and Signs.
Kyle: Started as a surfboard builder and gradually grew into painting signs.
Shemeika: Did you go to art school? Did you love drawing when you were a kid? How did you get into this?
Kyle: Always drawing, filling up sketchbooks, drawing cars, drawing letters and phrases and weird sayings and stuff. My parents are both craftsmen and artists and encouraged it and gave me advice along the way.
Shemeika: How did you get into, and Jason should have already got this ’cause you just told us the story, but how did you get into surfboard shaping and design, and who influenced you, and tell us about your first surfboard that you just uncandidly admitted to sleeping with? Growing up in LA, surfing was my, sort of, next passion. Looked up to some local board builders there. When I moved to Santa Cruz in 2009, I had a secret ambition to learn how to build boards. I met Carl Wilson and he got me a job over at Arrow. I worked there for about five years, learn how a glass shop works and how boards are built, shaped. All types of boards, even though mostly what I make is kind of more on the traditional land than alternative.
Shemeika: And Kyle just recently made Danny and Ellia the most beautiful boards, and both of them also wanted to sleep with them, and I was getting kicked out of the bed.
Kyle: I think everybody has their own sense of style and what appeals to them aesthetically. So, even though we may use the same techniques, our design sensibilities are unique. And so, I just try to educate myself with books. Lots of them are old books, so something can seem new or unique, but really, it’s probably an old style that just isn’t seen very much. And honestly, I think that’s the best tool that you can have in your bag.
Shemeika: I am liking what I’m hearing! I highly recommend it if you need to sign and a surfboard, though I’ve never ridden one, Danny and Ellia swear by them, and so does a lot of other people. Garth says he sleeps with his.
Kyle: Yeah. I believe it.
Shemeika: Does he have one?
Kyle: He has multiple.
Shemeika: Yeah. Oh! Mm-hm! No wonder.
Kyle: Thank you, Shemeika.
Shemeika: Thank you, Kyle.
To discuss a custom surfboard with Kyle, CLICK HERE. And to discuss a custom sign made by Kyle, CLICK HERE. I hope that you enjoyed this interview with Kyle Johnson, Owner of JuiceBox Sign Co. and JuiceBox Surfboards!