Molded, Reverse Engineered, Handshaped by One Only...WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU?

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,438
2,509
California
This is a new thread for the purpose of discussion allowing us to get off another thread (Crime soft tops) so we can discuss' this topic openly & honestly. Ryan Lovelace's "Love Machine" program, what prices are fair when shapers use Reverse Engineering, are today's reverse engineered surfboards yesteryear's pop outs... what exactly is considered "cheating"......? What pisses people off.

DO SHAPERS DESERVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE A LIVING?

Let it out, fasten your seat belt, just give us what ya got and why......
 

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,438
2,509
California
I will start with this....... "shaping machines have been around since the 50's or maybe even before. Someone worked for Weber & mentioned the key copying style of shaping machine they used that could cut 70 boards a day then Harold Iggy would turn the rails. Bahne had a shaping machine to some degree back when I was selling their boards in 1970, but I never saw it at the factory up on the hill in Encinitas.

I saw at least one video of Terry Martin (75K shapes for Hobie) where a path was pre cut down the center of the bottom of a blank, presumably with the Bottom Rocker (and probably thickness) allowing Terry to quickly mow the surrounding foam down to that rocker as needed.

Some guys use files to 'save time' truing a blank they get from whoever before getting to the nitty gritty finer details. I was told Ole has another shaper rough shape the board then Ole would finish the finer details on it.

Renny (who shapes at Haakenson's who does my glassing) has used files almost exclusively for years. Renny turned 90 this year........ still shaping albeit some kids on Sway's wouldn't cut him any slack. How do you feel about it? I marvel at his work ethic, think his approach to still producing quality surfboards is justifiable, and have no issue with it.

Does producing a specific "Model" justify Reverse Engineering them for consistency so that a customer gets what he was told that specific Model will do?

Is a CNC Machine just a bigger more precise Planer...... another tool for the Shaper to utilize?

What is......... "cheating"?

What is "handshaping"?
 

Niau

Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2020
484
760
Necarney City
Guess I'm lucky. I've always had a short list of excellent hand shapers willing to turn my ideas into reality. Recently it hasn't been geographically convenient to deal with top tier shapers, but then my needs have also changed. I'm not set up to make my own, don't like the mess, etc., so am happy to hire/collaborate with someone local with realistic expectations of their income to do it for me. Want to ride a pop out? Have it delivered by Amazon? Be my guest, but I enjoy the creative process too much to change at this late date.
 

Surfnfish

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2015
2,123
3,167
PNW between here and there
As to reverse engineered - there's not a shape in existence...copied, mutated, refined...that doesn't come from some iteration off the Shaper Tree...a free fire zone where likely the only IP ever patented was the two piece surfboard by Morey-Pope

bottom line is with over 30 million surfers on the planet, it would be impossible for hand shapers, using CNC or not, to meet the demand....so market forces will continue to create better and better popouts until they are at least as good as a hand shaped surfboard.
And with small shop shaper ques getting longer and longer..now on month 5 for my latest Stamps...those popouts fill a void at many levels

but the difference between picking up that custom shaped and colored surfboard made just for you for the first time, vs unwrapping the plastic off a container ship delivered popout that came in one of three colors?

that's what will always keep the small shop custom shapers in biz...
 

OceanBreeze55

Member
Nov 19, 2020
44
58
Los Angeles
Since I’m not knowledgeable enough I will add this …as a comparison …

So years and years ago home builders and furniture makers had to use primarily hand tools only. Fantastic work and very time consuming and I’m sure not accurate always. They didn’t have the hand tools we have have today or cad drawings etc.

Does that make a home or a piece of quality furniture by a well known builder less worthy ?
Or does he have to use all hand tools ?
 

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,438
2,509
California
Good comments.
I had a file made for my BFV8's which were taking forever to fill orders because they are all 100% handshaped from "raw" blanks. Dansan found a really primo used 8'0" thru Craigs or somewhere and let it come my way to review.

The board was one I handshaped a year or two ago out of a 9'3"Y (Yater blank) Pretty Blue resin tint, had ALL the design criteria, so we talked. I told him I'd like to send it with some others to have Marie Ward scan. He was down with it, no issues...... injured and healing, send it up to me later.

File got done. The file allows for non-distorted scaling (some people don't have that kind of software). I ordered 80 in sizes ranging from 5'6" to 9'0". I order the widths & thickness for each size.

So I get an order for a 6'0" but the guy is a lightweight and he says "pinch my rails thinner becuz I'm flyweight, and adjust whatever else you think will suit me". So there's an example of the design being customized, and it will then be off to glassing rather than stuck in limbo waiting for a raw blank to be ordered & delivered, then foiled to what I need for the custom-er, finish shaped, then glassed......... the difference is getting a dialed in board in two weeks instead of two months...... or with some uh 'famous' shapers.... two years.
 
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