Behind the Brand: Proctor Surfboards was launched in 1992, shortly after Todd completed his first 100 boards in a woodshed behind his grandfather's house near Oxnard. It was regional powerhouse Casey McCrystal who encouraged him to stick with it, and later offered him a job in his factory. Eventually, Proctor moved to San Clemente, where Matt Biolos put him up in his apartment and put him to work in his shaping bay, keeping Proctor focused on hand-shaped custom boards. "Hand shaping boards plays an incredibly valuable role in learning to break down the dynamics of good board design," says Proctor. "It's important to develop the skill of the eye and your technique before moving on to computer modeling programs." Biolos has passed several of his top pros Proctor's way during his stint, including a young Bruce Irons, Shea Lopez, Dino Andino, and Aaron Cormican. Eventually, however, Proctor's heart longed for his Ventura roots, where he's now set up shop with a truly state-of-the-art facility.
About his Most Popular Models: Proctor has a tough time deciding which models to tout. "They each have their own unique personalities with the waves they are made for," he says. But he's found his Rascal II is very popular with surfers who've come to the realization that the waves are small and weak most of the time. His Accelerator is a great everyday board, while his SR-71 is a popular design for when the waves get real.
Taking the Pulse: "For me, my most important feedback comes from surfers who envision themselves as being on a journey with their surfing—where they want to get to that next level, to go to the places they dream of going on a wave. They are not the type of surfers that feel they have ‘arrived' with their surfing and that order their shaper around like a slave. Mutual respect is as important as a surfer's raw talent. So the best feedback I receive comes from surfers who have a good, positive attitude, desire to better their surfing, and can communicate well. Most of these surfers have names that the surfing world at large does not know."Shop Talk
What's the best way to reconcile a surfer's wants with their actual needs? "It can't be done by offering A, B, and C models of boards and telling surfers, ‘Well these are the sizes they come in; find one that's a close fit.' You don't find your magic board by plugging in to a height and weight chart either; it's not like getting a new pair of socks. I find that surfers are realizing more and more the importance of customization, the surfer/ shaper relationship, and innovation with construction methods."
What are you most proud of with your brand? "My greatest claim to fame it is that at Proctor Surfboards every surfer is treated with the same level of respect and attention—whether you are a grom getting your first board, a pipeline specialist, a WCT elite, or a weekend warrior."