Skip to content
Oct 27 11

Happy Hollaween!


It has been a little while since I have been able to post last – I sincerely apologize to all of you!

Ive been out of the city for a little bit but the boards never stop carving their way through the rooms of the factory here at Cat 5!!! I want to show you some of the recent boards – before, during and after process photos, of some of the shapes I am most proud of that have been produced / and are being finished this month.

Our Mini Simmons Boards have been a big hit with surfers at the recent 7 tiki pro and many others that have taken them out for a fun demo sesh. The one below is a 5’4 Cork deck Vac bag (Cat 5 signature E-Vac) Model. Made 2 of these with the cork veneer, one is at the Void Office and the other at the factory for you to come and have a look.

This other Mini is a 5’0 – took a different spin on the fin setup and wanted to try some different placements to get some feedback. *Friend me (John Holladay) and Category 5 on Facebook to take a look at some really nice shots of these boards being shredded during our last swell.

Here are a few in process build shots::: First is a wake surfboard, this is the Ashley Kidd Pro 4’7 Model. Ashley placed 2nd in the world on this board – this thing is sooo sick (cant give away all my secrets here but you can get a really nice look at the shape up close). This one gets a little pink airbrush :)

Next we have a couple builds that I am finishing out this week. Below is a Resin Swirl 6’5 Fish for NAZA Surf/Skate shop located in Daytona. This is a superlight EPS Epoxy Florida Fish, I just love doing resin work for art, also has a triple green, white and black pinline with dayglow green fade rails to a clear bottom:

Again this is a Florida Style Fish board, same outline and basic shape as the Naza board just scaled up to a 6’9 – Board is for Joey Arvin, inspired the airbrush and fade that I added to the deck. This one will be finished out as a 5 fin, thruster/quad option.

Final order for the week is Scotty’s ‘Big Boy Stinger’ – this has some throwback 80’s colors with mod design. Made this baby to be a destroyer of waves and, as Scott puts it, young shortboarder’s hearts. Finishes out to 7’10 and will have a thruster fin set in addition to a little detail pen work toward the end of the build. REALLY enjoyed airbrushing this one.

Earlier this month we got a little crazy with the airbrush gun and paint pens, check out these photos of a few boards that are almost too pretty to wax up. Again – friend us on facebook ( John Holladay and Category 5 Surfboards) to take a look at more and additional detailed pictures of these and other boards that we are working on.

Just a reminder that Cat 5 also offers Pro ding repair service – we are fast, detailed, low cost and courteous. Will fix any ding and any board (poly or epoxy, any foam type, anything that touches the water). Bring us your dings or call for an appointment anytime!

Finally ~~~ Id like to give a big shout out to a few people that inspire and make everything possible over here:

First and foremost! My Grandmother Anne Holladay – all through my life she has been a source of strength and kindness that can never be replaced. Her wisdom and perseverance through every possible situation has guided me and my family without equal, you will be soo missed!!!Also, our faithful crew here at the factory – Jay, Tim(s), Daniel, Chelo, Conner. You guys make these dreams a reality and bust your butts daily to help in any and every way you can. THANK YOU!!!

Sep 25 11



Surfers for Autism was this past weekend: take a look at this video for a little info on this GREAT EVENT!!!!

Cat 5 Donated a custom SFA print 6’10 Surfboard that was raffled off, here I am with the LUCKY LUCKY winner!

We had a great time! Gave away a bunch of discount slips for any of our stuff. Had the kiddies on the surf trainer :) Did some artwork on a few boards and had the kids come fingerpaint on a blank. Best of all these kids had the chance to surf and get stoked on something that you and I really take for granted. Here are a few more pix, factory update will be posted tomorrow.

Sep 20 11

Cat 5 This Week


Went to / was in a wedding this weekend – Congrats Tom and Nancy Upp!!!

Got a little work done the last few days between some festivities. Alot has happened with the factory in such a short time! SOOOO Here we go :::

Saturday morning I walk in the shop to find a half inch of water… everywhere. GREAT! Do not worry, your board is fine! Nothing was ruined except a couple wood templates, but nothing that cannot be replaced and remade. New roof, carpet and cleaning are all scheduled and on the checklist for this week :)

Ding repair has been flying through the doors so you can surf that board you broke, ran over with your car… cough *** i mean how did that happen?? ;) other good news +++ I, John Holladay. Now to be known as John “Doc” Holladay (the DING DOCTOR :P ) have officially confirmed and been given the great opportunity to take on all of the repair work for SUNRISE SURF SHOP!

This is fantastic news for the Cat 5 Factory and an amazing partnership for us and Sunrise! We are soo excited to be partnering with the most respected and kick ass shop in Jax and the whole east coast! Our quality of work has earned us this spot and the respect of the best guys in the industry (ill pat my back on this one). We are able to exclusively offer ding repair work on Poly and Epoxy boards, repair all foam types (PU, EPS, XPS), US and foreign boards (including surftech), Surfboards, skim, wakesurf, kite, SUP, all sizes; Also we are the only place able to handle RUSH jobs on all of these, Vacuum bag service and full board restorations and any type of modifications! WOO

Go see Sunrise for your ding quotes!

Other GREAT news ::: I have been making WakeSurfboards for the last couple years, many customs for local guys and also some national pro riders. Early this year I made a board for a young lady that rode in the national wakesurf contest in Hawaii, She won – riding my board!! The even better news is that she is competing this week in the WORLD WAKESURF CONTEST, Riding the board that I made for her!!! Her name is Ashley Kidd, look her up (yes she is sponsored by another company and yes the board is under their label, but I think I can still relish in the fact that I made it and she is just absolutely SHREDDING IT!) Contest is on the 22nd, wish her luck and check it out if you can!

Schedule for this week is just wrapping up a large batch of custom orders and an even larger group of stock boards (also blank orders coming out of the foamwork ahahaha). We are sponsoring the SFA – Surfers for Autism event this Saturday. Will have a tent, board raffle, demo boards and good time! Our buddy will also be there on the beach demoing SUP boards that he makes (KILLER STUFF!) so be sure to come check that out ALL day saturday and volunteer if you can to help this great cause!

Lastly before picture time: Update on the Factory working space – First Coast Paddle after this month will not be in the Cat 5 Factory, moving on to different ventures. I am placing an open call to those who may be interested in coming into the factory to rent out any shaping and glassing space. Any board manufacturer or also the single to multiple board builder is welcome. I have 2 full, very large, glassing rooms and 3 shaping bays. So space is not a problem, if you are interested just holla at me.

Stuff leaving the door this weekend:

This board is for AL, Superman, our fantastic web designer! Cork deck (in the bag below) Epoxy composite glass with a Polyurethane core!

In Da Bag :)

Little teaser for the SFA board!

This here is one of 2 Circle boards that I am making for Matt. They are waksurfboards (undirectional, will work basically like a raft that you pull behind a boat) this is their “prototype” just fun to try. PAIN to make perfect circles. Will look…. interesting when they are done lol.

Jay (left) got in the factory this weekend to shape a longboard for himself and a SUP order. Great to have him in the factory working with us again, even if it was only for a day at the moment. I (right) am sanding down a custom order for Cole.

Daniel is here making his first board (Dan has been helping out in the factory for a month, teaching him the ways of ding repair). Doing a great job – having many people hover over sholder

Before and after shots of an Alaia being oiled. You can really see how white the pure Palownia wood is. This particular wood will never absorb salt water and is super light and flexible. This is the exact method, shape and construction of these boards from 200 years ago. Oiled it up with some boiled linseed oil.

Finished shape is 6’5 X 17″ X 3/4″Single concave and super hard rails, that’s how they work. This is a custom for Jim. Picked it up today and he is sooo stoked!

It’s 3AM, have had hiccups for the last 6 hours lol.. Going to bed and then doing it all over again! :) ))

Sep 10 11

Sisters of the Sea


RAFFLE item: by Category 5 Surfboards
to be raffled DURING the SOS contest

Please visit:

Chicago Pizza in Jax Bch hosting the AFTER PARTY
6 – 10pm
All Ages Welcome!


Sep 9 11

Hope you got in the water


This week has been soooo fun – arms are wasted. Hope you caught some fun ones! Factory has been operating on 2nd shift night hours to pump out some boards for the swell and get your ding repair turned around quickly… I know you got a ding in that board, bring it in and we can handle it.

Take a look at a few of the sticks leaving the factory:

Jared won this board (5’10 resin swirl bat tail) in the Cat 5 Opening party over the weekend – soo stoked

This is a stinger quad fish, resin swirl custom for Matt 5’9 – rode it all through the swell “busting through the sections!”

These two are customs for Trevor – left is a 8’2 2+1 setup Cork veneer LB and right is a 6’10 big guy fish.

STOCK – Come pick it up for the swell next week… before I decide to wax it up myself!

ANNNNNND::: still throwing stuff in the Bag. Ill have a handful of Mini Sim’s on the beach at the 7 tiki pro starting Sept 24th to demo. If you have not gotten a change to ride one of these you really should jump on this!

Sep 1 11

Whats up at the shop?!>?


Being productive today – check out the events, about us and used boards pages. I got off my butt and put some pictures and links up there that you may find mildly entertaining.

Picture Time! WOO:

So today was mostly glassing and sanding some new orders, but I like to keep on my toes. These are a few pics of a Cat 5 E-Vac board model with a cork vacuum bagged veneer. In a nutshell this decreases weight, increases the lamination layer thickness providing greater impact resistance and overall strength… Plus it just looks really really cool. This board will have some pinline and color work done before final sanding and out the door. :)

Without giving too much away – these composite boards are becoming a larger item in our production line. I love the look and have had nothing but positive feedback on this new tech. Ive got a batch of mini’s in my pocket (bag) right now – here are a few more shots of some other things in production at the factory today, enjoy.

Aug 31 11



HEY! Welcome to the Cat 5 blog – This is where I (john) will attempt to make some daily (or bi-daily) updates on everything Cat 5!

Ill attempt to keep it as interesting as possible with a few of some random thoughts that hit me through the day… so check this out:

Really sweet video of the Tahiti Pro, just absolutely amazing how much water is over your head in that wave.. highlights you really want to watch:

Hope everyone caught some killer waves last weekend, getting a little swell in now so let us know if you need a new ride or some dingy fix’n.

This week we are busy vac bagging some mini Sims, cork deck and superlight cores Plus some Custom orders for Trevor, Matt, Ric, Al, Cole and a few stocks to get ready for the weekend. And the usual Ding repair hospital. Yes the Doc does make rounds daily. Ill get the progress pix up here soon … but I can do ya one better. Check out the factory camera on the website ( Watch me fiddle with your board or make you a new one :)

Just threw these boards out custom the other week, Killer ride reviews from our Irene Swell.