2 minutes

First Coaster Walt Bunso

- edited by: Cathy Curtis

Share If You Enjoyed It

He’s “the guy” in surfing and paddle-board circles. For those that ride the waves and spend hours with their boards, things are personal.

So who do you go to? Who do you trust with “your baby”? That would be the beach’s own Walt Bunso.

At 64 he is lean and laid back in his shop off 3rd street off Mayport Road. He’s lived in Jacksonville on and off for 50 years, but for several years has lived on a sailboat, so his shop is way bigger than his home. Plus that “home” will be moving soon to a slip in St. Augustine.

photos Glenn Shuck

Walt fixes all the dings, breaks, gashes, and tragedies that can befall a board and has heard every story that comes with them.

At the time of my visit there were 6 in the many stages of repair. Boards get run over, fly off the tops of cars or worse. Most customers bring in more than one board at a time. He can handle 10 at a time and right now, sees many surfboards from the 60’s and 70’s whose owners may not ride them anymore, but want “their babies” to become hanging artwork to remind them of back when.

Because he’s “the guy” people come from places like Atlanta, Tallahassee and Ft. Lauderdale to get their board back to shape.

It takes several steps and several hours to repair a board, get the paint or wood grain just right, fix a logo or artwork, in most cases 16 or more hours. Walt is also “the foil guy”. You have seen those cool flying surfboards that rise up at speed and float over the water, he fixes those too.

At 64 he is also a competitive paddle-board champion and over the years has won his his various age brackets. Walt said; “Covid has been a huge wake up call for me and so many friends.”

So for now, Walt’s life motto is: “It’s water time and a little bit of work.”

Suggest a Story: FCL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so when you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Share This Post


Related Post

Meet Penny Minge Kamish

Rapid Fire. Tell Us a Little About Yourself: I grew up down the road in Green Cove Springs…

Meet Cathy Curtis

How long have you lived at the First Coast? Since the summer of 1982 Where do you live…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Stories

Stories, Articles & Spotlights

This Story Sponsored By

Sign up for stories & photos to your inbox


More Like This

Ed Malin To The Front Of The Line Please

Ed Malin To The Front Of The...

Ed and Kristin Malin. You just can’t hide true happiness! Growing up in Palm Valley…
Meet Yvette Pinfield - "Fab Over 40" Competition

Meet Yvette Pinfield - "Fab Over 40"...

Yvette, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Tell us a little bit about your background…
Meet Penny Minge Kamish

Meet Penny Minge Kamish

Rapid Fire. Tell Us a Little About Yourself: I grew up down the road in…
Upcoming Events
*Art Galleries of St Augustine – First Friday Artwalk
St. Augustine
June 2, 2023
*Songwriters Concert
Atlantic Beach
June 4, 2023
Nature By Ronnie
Neptune Beach
The Skate Yard
Atlantic Beach