Behind the Brand: Tim Stamps basically grew up in the back of a surf shop. Lucky for him the shop was in Seal Beach, California, and was home to Californian shaping icon Rich Harbour. Harbour's enduring models like the Trestles Special, the Banana, and the Cheater were classic longboards that gave Stamps the opportunity to learn the shaping craft from the '50s forward. His early dedication to the process earned the trust of Harbour, which was no easy feat. By the mid '90s, he became his right-hand man in the shaping room. Stamps started his own label in 1996, and has since evolved into one of the most diverse shapers in the country, capable of producing high-performing boards of every variety: classic longboards, performance fun boards, high-performance shortboards, and every type of alternative craft imaginable. Because he's a well-respected surfer in the hotly contested Seal and Huntington Beach area, it's not surprising to find many of the region's best surfers putting his boards through the paces. Stamps' notable test pilots are as diverse as his board offerings, including Micah Byrne (Macy's Trifecta Champion in 2008), soulster Chris Del Moro, longboarder Justin Hugron, and budding female grom Taylor Pitz.
About his Most Popular Models: The diversity of his shaping skills is evident in Stamps' offerings. In the high-performance category, his models like the Apex, the Pro Bump, and the Grommet Comet are always in high demand. His classic longboards like the Hombre and the Axis are reliable staples, and should you find yourself in the market for something in the fish family, his Mullet and Flare are perfect places to start. These days, Stamps is also delving into his new hobby, Stand Up Paddle boards, with the Viking, the Executive, and the Commander.
Taking the Pulse: "I think everything has its place and that's what has taken us where we are in design today. The pro tour surfers, longboarders, retro cult, and "free surfers". All this different surfing being done on all the varied equipment trickles down, morphs, and eventually gets blended into something new, fresh, and refined."Shop Talk
What's the most common mistake people make when ordering a board? "When they come in and tell me they're the same size as so and so, the famous pro surfer, which is why they want the same dimensions as him."
What changes, if any, do you see coming in 2009? "I think the big changes will happen at the top levels. After seeing what Slater did to everybody this year on shorter, curvier equipment, people should start to take notice. This will benefit the everyday guys as well."
Do you feel your brand is unique? "Unique? Maybe. Authentic? For sure. I don't have an energy drink, I don't have an apparel company (I wouldn't mind if I did though, maybe I'd make a decent living). I'm just a guy in a shop, working hard, putting everything into each shape, and trying my best to give each customer what they need."