The Hawaiian master shaper discusses the evolution of his craft
When Michael Ho started riding my boards, without a doubt he honed my skills and helped me develop designs more than any other surfer to this day. He was probably the most difficult person to build a board for. It’s not a negative thing, but he is really picky and demanding. There were a lot of times where I built boards for him and he said the board was good, but he couldn’t win on it. He was always looking for that magic board.
Sharp Eye's head shaper on his design background and philosophy
Sharp Eye's Marcio Zouvi talks shop.
The symbiotic relationship between a pro and his shaper
Pyzel has known the Florences and shaped exclusively for John since he was five. He made him his first custom board, and hundreds, if not thousands, since. He describes their design dialogue as a healthy back-and-forth; ideas flow both ways until they find something that works. It’s obvious that both have benefitted from the relationship.
Here's a quick study in modern hydrodynamics. Y'know, fins.
What you don’t know about fins could be holding back your surfing.
Tyler Hatzikian on the art of building and riding traditional longboards
"Back when I was first making these boards, I just tried to separate myself from the conventions of the ‘80s and early ‘90s," says Tyler. "I wanted to build a board that could advance my traditional surfing and advance my ability to design and shape. To make something different from the typical thrusters or longboards of the time, which were basically 9-foot short boards. I put a heavy focus on making the opposite kind of board, and it felt new and exciting and it still does. Because no matter how much you work at it, the quest for the perfect shape is still pretty hard to achieve."
Waste to Waves is turning discarded foam into custom surfboards
The creation of one standard surfboard produces nearly 600 pounds of CO2, which is a lot considering that most boards weigh in around six pounds. In 2012, determined to find a solution to this, Michael Stewart and Kevin Whilden cofounded Waste to Waves and challenged surfers to help cut that footprint in half.
A look at the methods and craft of Santa Barbara's Ryan Lovelace
Shaping pioneer discusses a lifetime of surf design at SURFER [The Bar]
A spot-specific look at Greg Long's big-wave quiver
According to Chris Christenson, shaper to the big-wave elite, there is no greater influence on modern gun design than the waves themselves. “With each spot, you’ve got a new set of factors that the equipment needs to compensate for,” says Christenson. “You have to take everything into account, because at the end of the day you’re basically building parachutes—they just have to work.”
How specialized hand shapers stay relevant in the era of digital design
While the big labels still depend on a wide array of specialists at every level of production, today’s most renowned custom board builders have become masters of it all: concept, design, shaping, coloring, laminating, hot-coating, fin design, even sanding and polishing. And these craftsmen refuse to be bound by convention, which is why a wider variety of alternative designs (i.e. finless, asymmetric, cutoffs) than ever before are available today.