Behind the Brand: For more than 30 years now, Jeff "Doc" Lausch has been shaping boards in the Huntington Beach hotbed. Originally, Doc shaped under the Freedom Surfboards label, but started Surf Prescriptions in 1982. He was influenced early in his shaping career by Shawn Stussy. Through the years he's continued to push the limits of design, offering up new theories, not to mention new twists on old theories. One of his most notable designs was his ultra-thin Y2RSQ series, which used creative flat-deck displacement to make the boards extremely responsive. Even though the boards were under 2-inches thick, their floatation was relatively unchanged. They were proven successful by a whole host of team riders, from Brad Gerlach, who used the same technology to conquer 60-foot Cortes Bank, to Jay Larson, who won the Rusty C5 Challenge at Lower Trestles riding it. Since then, the theory has been adopted and refined by the larger community. Doc is always pushing design forward, occasionally taking a look back to do so. His relationship with Donavon Frankenreiter helped foster the interest and demand of retro boards, as the pair began advertising single-fin shortboards for the first time in a generation. Today, Doc continues to shape opinion about design possibilities, as evidenced by his U.S.O. (Unidentified Surfing Object) finless board that's been featured in this magazine, and his "New Toy" that's opening eyes this year.
About his Most Popular Models: What keeps Doc busy in the shaping room is his high performance shortboards and small wave vehicles. His Pro II model is his shortboard designed for full-fledged ripping at the highest level, while his PX, New Toy, and Lil' Buddy models are all tailored toward maximizing small-wave fun.
Taking the Pulse: "Right now we are doing so many diverse technologies and designs. We're branching out in so many interesting directions it the best time ever to be a surfer.Shop Talk
What's the most important thing for a customer to consider when ordering a board? "That if your going to take your surfing to the next level the person who is going to make your board has the skills and track record to build it right."
Is there a pet project you're messing around with we should know about right now? We're having a lot of fun with The Thang. The Thang has all the best qualities of the single fin combined with thruster performance that is pretty much standing alone in todays market place. We're also having a lot of fun with The Funky Groove Thang and SUP Funky Groove Thang."
What's the most pressing issue in the board business today? "Support of domestically created surfboards by real craftsman who have devoted their lives to their craft. Which would you like to see go away?"
What keeps you excited about being in this business? "I take pride in the fact that I can do every step of building a board, and sometimes I still do. If you come to my factory you will find me cutting blanks, shaping, glassing resin colored tint boards or even sanding. I love having my hands in all the areas."