Shaper du jour?

DanSan

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2012
2,543
1,663
Soquel,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.
100% agree...
i am just happy to live close to the water and surf.
 

strez

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2012
1,156
431
Hamilton, Massachusetts
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.
This post reminds me of one of my favorite sessions of all time. It was on a trashed sunburned no name vintage log that was left behind my friend's shop. I had to use it because I didn't own a board at the time. Morning of my buddy's wedding day surfing alone with him at our favorite local. The board soaked up water as the session progressed, but it lasted until we had to leave before becoming too heavy to surf. we had so much fun on that special day.
 

Sax-son

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2019
575
536
Three Rivers, CA
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
You have the experience of being around the business since the early 1960's. You have seen all these shapes evolve from the classic longboards through the short board transitionals and up the modern shortboards. I would have to say that you know what works and what doesn't and or the pros and cons of each shape.

I have known both Wayne Rich and Gene Cooper for years and although Wayne is a fantastic craftsman, initially his main influences were from the 1970's. I had Wayne shape me a couple of boards when he was first getting going from when he was part of the Jacobs label. What I was looking for got lost in translation because at that time, Wayne wasn't really familiar with a lot of those really classics shapes from say around 1967 and 1968. He shaped me some great boards, but they weren't what I wanted. Therefore I quit going to him for my boards. He has since become very savvy on his knowledge of these things and is doing extremely well now. Gene on the other hand got his business going basically from his love of Bing surfboards and especially the Bing lightweight. He has expanded from there into other models that have spanned the era.

My point is that we are starting to lose those who have been in this pretty much from the beginning. With computer shaping, you can pretty much copy anything, but the real craft gets lost from the history in which they came. All these other shapers that you mention I personally have no knowledge from where they came. It starts to become the next "trendy name' that the surfing community is willing to latch onto. I wish all these folks all the success in the world, but I am just looking for the honest appreciation of someone who really knows what they are doing and why they are doing it.
 

Niau

Member
Dec 18, 2020
51
80
Necarney City
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.
That’s true. For me, after shaping around 30 boards and riding my own exclusively for several years, taking a few orders, etc., I got a board from a relatively unsung shaper ( or so I thought; after he passed Skydog was hailed as one of the prime developers of the thruster) and discovered how much better a board could be from someone shaping every day.
 

shapewright

Well-Known Member
Aug 6, 2006
934
932
USA California
You have the experience of being around the business since the early 1960's. You have seen all these shapes evolve from the classic longboards through the short board transitionals and up the modern shortboards. I would have to say that you know what works and what doesn't and or the pros and cons of each shape.

I have known both Wayne Rich and Gene Cooper for years and although Wayne is a fantastic craftsman, initially his main influences were from the 1970's. I had Wayne shape me a couple of boards when he was first getting going from when he was part of the Jacobs label. What I was looking for got lost in translation because at that time, Wayne wasn't really familiar with a lot of those really classics shapes from say around 1967 and 1968. He shaped me some great boards, but they weren't what I wanted. Therefore I quit going to him for my boards. He has since become very savvy on his knowledge of these things and is doing extremely well now. Gene on the other hand got his business going basically from his love of Bing surfboards and especially the Bing lightweight. He has expanded from there into other models that have spanned the era.

My point is that we are starting to lose those who have been in this pretty much from the beginning. With computer shaping, you can pretty much copy anything, but the real craft gets lost from the history in which they came. All these other shapers that you mention I personally have no knowledge from where they came. It starts to become the next "trendy name' that the surfing community is willing to latch onto. I wish all these folks all the success in the world, but I am just looking for the honest appreciation of someone who really knows what they are doing and why they are doing it.
I have said for quite some time that the men who were in the trenches in 30’s - 50’s created the Rosetta Stone of surfboard design.
We are slowly losing them and the lore and knowledge they have to pass on.
We’ve lost Uncle Rabbit, Wally Froseith, Fran Heath, Uncle George. When the lady of the giants among men are gone, so is their oral history.
 

Sax-son

Well-Known Member
Nov 23, 2019
575
536
Three Rivers, CA
That’s true. For me, after shaping around 30 boards and riding my own exclusively for several years, taking a few orders, etc., I got a board from a relatively unsung shaper ( or so I thought; after he passed Skydog was hailed as one of the prime developers of the thruster) and discovered how much better a board could be from someone shaping every day.
I had a really good friend, Ken Polinski who had been a shaper for CON surfboards in the early to mid 1970's, he passed away about 20 years ago, but he had his own shop and label for a while, "Innervison" surfboards. He gave up his surfboard business and went into pool cleaning because for him he said it was more money for less hassle. He once told me that that he had probably shaped around 5000 boards for Con Colburn's shop and that he really wasn't comfortable with his shaping until after 4000 boards or so.

For me, there for a while he was one of the best that I came across. There was never one of my hairbrained ideas that he couldn't do. He would say to me "Are you sure this is what you want"? I would always say yes. He would say, "Well OK then. I was happy with the finished product, but it wasn't always what I thought it would end up being. That was definitely on me. However, every normal kind of board that he shaped was always a fantastic rider.

I really miss that guy as he was one of the nicest persons I ever knew.
 

skurp

New Member
Feb 11, 2021
19
20
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
Man - I would absolutely love this. Have a shaper there to help me understand / explain how my specific board works/ is going to work. The two hand-shaped boards I've purchased have been little more than filling out a form - where I plug in weight, height, etc... anyway - wish more shapers offered this ^^
 

SMUKES

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2009
2,899
645
USA California
Man - I would absolutely love this. Have a shaper there to help me understand / explain how my specific board works/ is going to work. The two hand-shaped boards I've purchased have been little more than filling out a form - where I plug in weight, height, etc... anyway - wish more shapers offered this ^^
Hit Jim up, he's a hoot, its a fun time.
 

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
1,135
1,896
California
@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.
One of the BEST POSTS of the YEAR.
 




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