Shaper du jour?

dr flavors

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2019
203
323
ca
@dr flavors You raise some valid questions and arguments.

But I’ll just start with one.
Is the pinnacle of board building - designing high performance boards that make the top .1% of surfers better and if so, what percentage of the rest of surfers benefit from that? Or is the pinnacle of board building producing boards that actually help the average to above average lifelong surfer have a more enjoyable surf experience?

I learned a while back that 1/16” of width difference in the tail wasn’t going to propel me into the .1% bracket, in the process, I found out I enjoyed surfing as if no one was watching even more, and that if I could buy a board that my daughter may experience the same joy from in 15 years, it may be worth th it.

But what do I know. I’m just a shitty kook who enjoys surfing, craftsmanship and art along with all the other 99.9% of kooks on here.

the .01% is what drives the industry and we should be thankful they do.

what do you think would happen if 5 million new covid surfers all wanted tasty boards from your fav handshaper?
 

Planktom

Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2016
928
744
Devon, UK
All I know is, after being blessed with customs from some iconic shapers all round the world, I know the best shapes (for me) have been made off a machine in an old pigshed by a mad Cornish kneeboarder that few people outside of these parts will have likely heard of.

I have no issue with machine-shapes, but I would personally not buy a board from someone who did not cut their teeth on handshapes in the first instance. I feel that there is something in the process of assimilating all aspects of a surfboard into a coherent article by hand and eye that is possibly missing by working with CAD alone.

Everyone wants something different from their surfboard and folk connect to their passions in different ways. I have never hung a board on wall, hell - I very rarely have them in the house for any reason, but I know that there are people that enjoy this and far be it for me to tell them how to take their tea.

I do find the car-park one-upmanship that has grown over the past 20yrs or so a bit unsavoury these days though. There is an unfortunate perceived link between credibility as a surfer and your choice of shaper that is disconnected from actual ability or indeed spirit in some cases. But again, if people are supporting surfer-owned brands by doing do, then what is there to really grumble about?

Sometimes it seems that we are comparing Rolls Royces to Impreza rally cars when we talk about the merits of surfboards, but the shapers that shine through for me are the ones that rise above all the nonsense and are able to do it all well, with no blinkers, and with confidence.
 

ambergris

Member
Jan 25, 2014
99
34
USA New England
The young generation of shapers who are also phenomenal surfers are also one of the key ingredients that tended to skip a generation generally speaking. You don't have to be a phenomenal surfer to be a phenomenal shaper, but in my opinion, that kind of R and D is priceless. Burch, Flores, and the likes are leading a charge and I hope that symbiotic relationship between rider and producer continues...
This x10. With what little experience I have shaping a board and then surfing it and changing my ideas about how I would approach the next shape, this cycle if all kept in the first person seems so powerful for distilling and refining what works, and for progression. That for me is what so quickly puts a burch up there with a frye or a lis or a hynd. I've had more than a handful of iterations of a 5'5 fish pass through as staples of my quiver (christensen, lovelace, pavel, mitsven), and the one I have now, a squit, is so far beyond the rest.
 

Ricksurfin

Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2019
1,471
2,420
San Clemente, CA
The niche builders with their new flavor of the month with something new and different can rise to the top very quickly, but can fall out of favor just as fast.
The experienced shaper who’s shapes have stood the test of time forever and year after year turns out quality boards is the “Legend” shaper in my book.
 

Mtnsurfer

New Member
Feb 8, 2021
2
0
San Diego
It is soup dejour, I watched the mass migrations to Gene,Tyler, Rich, my self for a while.
The buying public is not that savvy about the surfboard itself, but follow the rhetoric about it.
It is one reason I invite nearby or visiting client to sit in on the shaping of their board. I want an educated client base, I see a myriad of labels come through the Ding King next door, I can spot the computer shape almost instantly, they all seem off the same format.
Robin Kegal had his run, John Wesley, Wayne Rich stays near the top, it is an evolution
That is awesome. Do you still allow people to sit in?
 

Planktom

Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2016
928
744
Devon, UK
This x10. With what little experience I have shaping a board and then surfing it and changing my ideas about how I would approach the next shape, this cycle if all kept in the first person seems so powerful for distilling and refining what works, and for progression. That for me is what so quickly puts a burch up there with a frye or a lis or a hynd. I've had more than a handful of iterations of a 5'5 fish pass through as staples of my quiver (christensen, lovelace, pavel, mitsven), and the one I have now, a squit, is so far beyond the rest.
Yes, the consummate surfer/shaper scenario is hard to beat.

So, just picking up on the recent thread about Hynd's recent project - where is the balance point? Can remarkable on-board talent and understanding of design make up some way for lack of hours mowing foam? I am fairly certain that whilst Hynd has made boards, he's not Rusty or Ricky Carroll in terms of production is he? Personally, I would still have some faith that I would be getting a board that worked well if I went with Hynd - am I foolish?

Some of the most iconic shapes have been made by people who have not arguably built a lot of boards when compared to today's volume standards, but have had a vision and talent that was applied at the right time/place etc.

We are very lucky that we can still order custom boards from Frye, JP, Tyler, Wayne Lynch, Simon Anderson, Mark Richards, Michael Cundith... the list goes on.... and maybe aside from Frye (Tyler too?), most could be said to still be within the reach of the average working man/woman in the western world*

*granted, you may have to sell a couple to get all the bells and whistles you want ;-)
 

TurtleTime

Member
Dec 25, 2018
58
61
San Clemente
watched a dude stumble /slip/fall getting out of the rocky water holding a beautiful frye....i think he has more than 1...made me think, these are the dudes that ride $3000 boards? lol...

i've only made 5 boards, but getting really good home break surf and flying down the line on overhead waves....on your own creation is a really cool feeling.
 

ambergris

Member
Jan 25, 2014
99
34
USA New England
So, just picking up on the recent thread about Hynd's recent project - where is the balance point? Can remarkable on-board talent and understanding of design make up some way for lack of hours mowing foam? I am fairly certain that whilst Hynd has made boards, he's not Rusty or Ricky Carroll in terms of production is he? Personally, I would still have some faith that I would be getting a board that worked well if I went with Hynd - am I foolish?

Some of the most iconic shapes have been made by people who have not arguably built a lot of boards when compared to today's volume standards, but have had a vision and talent that was applied at the right time/place etc.
Interesting question! I'm not sure why I threw Hynd in there, perhaps because it was a du jour topic, and he embodies that experiment, forge, adjust, repeat quality.

But for me there is a sort of correlative to draw from music and music production. With surfing, as with music, we are searching out a feeling and sensation more than anything else. There are a various tools and approaches to get us there. Some take it hi-fi, some take it lo-fi. For some of us, and in some iterations, high fidelity craft is what its about. For others lo-fi does the job even better, as certain elements are lost in the refinement. Sometimes its a question of means, and constraints can focus attention in the right places.

At the end of the day, the best outcomes are a function of how well the maker knows their medium, rather than what the medium is. And I think that helps to explain why producer/artists and shaper/surfers give us our best results and most of our progression...
 

Ricksurfin

Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2019
1,471
2,420
San Clemente, CA
Also, something refreshing about surfing my home break of San Onofre is that there’s older guys that don’t give a shit about the perception of others. There’s guys in hats, gloves, sunscreen running down there face, riding old beat up boards that no one knows who made with wax piled high having as much fun as the grom next to them on his high dollar Gucci board.
Opened up my eyes, hence the sell off of my customs and stripping surfing down to what really matters, which is the FUN factor.
Yes, I’m the old kook on the pop out board (sometimes a custom) with the ear to ear smile sharing waves and good times at the beach in and out of the water.
 




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