SURFER's Complete Guide To Your Next Board

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Bert Burger - Head Shaper of Sunova

Head Shaper:

Bert Burger

Behind the Brand: For years Bert Burger was hardly known outside of his tight-knit West Oz surfing community, which was sort of how the eccentric shaper preferred it. Yet Burger's crafty talents were worthy of much more attention, for they stretched far beyond the standard foam-scraping shaping practices. Burger was quietly leading a major charge into applying new technologies to surfboard design, and his innovative accomplishments in the areas of composite construction and parabolic rails earned him some well deserved attention. After being recognized for his talents by the likes of Nev Hyman and others he took a stab at joining a major label, as part of the very powerful Firewire launch. While the partnership didn't last long, the widespread publicity surrounding the revolutionary new technology he brought to the table quickly made Burger a household name in the design world. And he hasn't slowed a bit. In fact, the eccentric surfer/shaper/designer has gone back to his original label, Sunova, which he started back in 1989, where he gets to call all his own shots. Understandably, his label gets a lot more attention these days.

About his Most Popular Models: Burger's Nitro model is a favorite among his team riders. The nitro has generous curves through the middle, with a low rail design for release. The Turbo and the Professional are also made for state of the art high performance.

Taking the Pulse: "If the design charge was lead by users and developers who competed for the same market at realistic prices, then there would actually be enough people who could afford to continue to keep leading the design challenge. If fewer companies can compete, larger companies with less of an eye for design and development will have the ability to sway fashion into whatever they are geared up to produce. Design doesn't go anywhere when you have thousands of the same thing at supermarket prices."

Shop Talk

You're pretty involved in the tech revolution. What's the best part? "That there actually is some variety now, and everyone can see it."

What do you make of the variety of boards we're seeing out there? "Having a good variety in surf equipment means people are seeking out and surfing different types of waves. While there are some stupidly crowded spots, which will attract every surf craft going, for the most part its spreading the crowds and locations for surfing. If everyone is riding the same thing, everyone is competing for the same waves."

You do composite boards—but custom composites. How important is that? "To get the most from your surfing, it is very important that your equipment is matched to your body weight, surfing style, ability, and preferred wave type. Each location for surfing is different and some curves will work great in some waves and not in others. Having a custom made board from an experienced designer will take your surfing as far as it can go."