Why shape?

Had a three hour design sesh last evening with two of the locals guys I surf with a bit.
The discussion ran from all types of design to who the biggest kook is locally.

One of the guys asked me why I started shaping my own boards...
I had the easy answer, "money'.
When you drop 600.00 for a shop board or a custom, it lasts you maybe a year or two (some of us surf a lot) and then on to the next.
I go through boards, more than 8 ridden into the ground in the last four years.
8.
Thats a bit of dough.
I always went with shapers I have used before, a sure thing when it comes to knowing what works for you and how you surf.
And after snapping my last 960.00 Harbour...
Well, fuck that.
So I looked into shaping my own.
Blanks are not available to me without insane shipping costs-like 140.00 for a blank and 110.00 in shipping.
Whats the good in that?
So when the chance came up to score almost 100 blanks for cheap, I took it.
Never shaped a board but I bought 100 blanks.
But thats me, in a for a penny...

And its funny, when it came to design and what works for me, I had it easy.
After so much time in the water and riding so many different boards over the years, I had a good grasp of what I wanted to ride, what I would like to ride and what I might be able to shape for others.
I put together a small shop in my basement.
I gathered up templates and outlines and fin foils and more information than I really needed.
I watched endless vids on glassing.
I hung out on sways for hours.
I asked a lot of questions.

Its been a learning experience.
I haven't shaped a dog yet, they all float!
My first wave on the first board was a 100 yard left.
Every surfer should have the feeling I got when I kicked out.
"I did it".

And its allowed me to get a nice quiver together...
Currently, I have two hulls, one fish, one 10'0" log and a neat Mini-Simmons inspired thing.
And I am riding shorter boards more often than not.
As I get close to 50 years old, that aint a bad thing.

One side effect is that I really get down on those who choose to ride imported boards, I dogged team surftech pretty hard a few weeks back, four guys out and three were on those plastic pieces of shit. I back paddled them, snaked them and made it known loudly that I was giving no quarter to those who ride that crap.
And leashes...I went without for two months straight, even surfing The Spot That Eats Boards without one.
Its soulless to dog others and their choices I admit...but I like it anyway.
Shaping my own, riding my own, gave me a certain confidence.
I know my surfing has improved by half.


I am looking forward to doing a lot more.
I hope to sell more finished boards, not for the money (because there is no money in it) but because each one I sell lets me do another.
And another.

Well, there was more I wanted to say but like sex, the more you think about it the more you want it.
Going to the basement, I have an idea for a shape...

1 comment:

Deepism said...

100 blanks? Hot dog! What a score. Yes, I'd be inspired as well...

Nice boards and good writing. Might you post a finished flick of your take on the Mini-Simmons?

We're finally getting some more waves here out east. Waxing boards and getting ready...