Shaper of the Month – LOCAL SHAPERS http://localshapers.com Surfboard Shaper Index Sun, 01 Feb 2015 05:13:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Shaper of the Month – Chris Ruddy Surfboards http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/shaper-month-chris-ruddy-surfboards/ Tue, 21 Jan 2014 05:31:41 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=2561 Chris Ruddy Shaper of The Month from localshapers on Vimeo. After being off the map for a few years on hiatus in Utah, Chris Ruddy has returned and is back at it again. He’s been busy shaping everything from classic logs to shorty stubby and full outlined boards lately. Check out what he has to […]

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Chris Ruddy Shaper of The Month from localshapers on Vimeo.

After being off the map for a few years on hiatus in Utah, Chris Ruddy has returned and is back at it again. He’s been busy shaping everything from classic logs to shorty stubby and full outlined boards lately. Check out what he has to say in this episode of Local Shapers Shaper of the Month.

Chris Ruddy showing off one of his new models.

Chris Ruddy showing off one of his new models.

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Shaper of the Month – July 2013 – Nate Gill of Kinetic Energy Surfboard Design http://localshapers.com/videos/shaper-of-the-month-july-2013-nate-gill-of-kinetic-energy-surfboard-design/ Fri, 12 Jul 2013 00:59:50 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=2254 Local Shapers – Nate Gill – Shaper of The Month July 2013 from localshapers on Vimeo. Lifelong resident of Ocean Beach and surfboard shaper Nate Gill is an up and coming craftsman here in San Diego, California. Under his label Kinetic Energy Surfboard Designs, his goal is to make boards designed for Southern San Diego’s […]

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Local Shapers – Nate Gill – Shaper of The Month July 2013 from localshapers on Vimeo.

Lifelong resident of Ocean Beach and surfboard shaper Nate Gill is an up and coming craftsman here in San Diego, California. Under his label Kinetic Energy Surfboard Designs, his goal is to make boards designed for Southern San Diego’s variety of surf breaks…whether it’s the OB Pier or Sunset Cliffs. Ever since he was kid, Nate has always been skilled with his feet grew up spending long hours cruising on his skateboard with friends. He was also lucky enough to get the chance to watch John Neve of Trueline Custom Surfboards mow foam and fiberglass boards at a young age, which made a powerful impression about shaping on him.

Whether it’s a fish, shortboard, or funboard you know it will work because of Nate’s intimate knowledge of the curves a rhythm of the waves nearby. With a tribe of his own groms on the way up, make sure to keep your eyes peeled…this father of 3 will definitely be providing them with a solid head start on their way to a long, saltwatery, sun drenched, and healthy life.

To order a board or learn more about Nate Gill and Kinetic Energy visit: www.kineticenergysurfboarddesign.weebly.com

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Shaper of the Month – June 2013 – Dan O’Hara of Solid Surfboards and South Coast Surfboards http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/shaper-of-the-month-june-2013-dan-ohara-of-solid-surfboards/ http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/shaper-of-the-month-june-2013-dan-ohara-of-solid-surfboards/#comments Thu, 06 Jun 2013 23:15:11 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=1545 Dan O’Hara is the shaper for Solid Surfboards and South Coast Surfboards here in San Diego. His boards are made for surfers who actually surf, and are built to last. He’s been at it for about 10 years and his work speaks for itself. Give him a call or head down to South Coast to […]

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Dan O’Hara is the shaper for Solid Surfboards and South Coast Surfboards here in San Diego. His boards are made for surfers who actually surf, and are built to last. He’s been at it for about 10 years and his work speaks for itself. Give him a call or head down to South Coast to have a look for yourself and pick one up.

1) We heard that you’ve been shaping boards for South Coast, how did that relationship begin? 



A few years ago Jeremy, Heather’s husband, suggested me potentially shaping some boards for South Coast and I was all for it. I’ve had a pretty good and growing following on the East Coast. In a way I kind of gave up on San Diego or just kind of passed San Diego by because I was doing pretty well on the East Coast. I’m here because the weather is insane and the waves are a lot better than the East Coast and there’s a lot easier access to materials and labor and all that stuff.

When Jeremy had suggested that I go for the South Coast deal, I thought that it would be a good one and done thing in San Diego, you know, get affiliated with a great local shop and build my shaper brand, not necessarily my shaper brand which is totally fine because I’m not trying to sell my brand here. It’s more on the East Coast.

It was just a good thing and we’re continuing to make some of their older models and helping develop some new models. We kinda threw epoxy in half their racks as like a blind test and its been going insane. We see a lot of boards moving and I don’t even know if the consumers know, you know what I mean. But we basically took some boards I’ve been making, threw them in their racks and changed the model names kept them EPS and they’re moving. Without marketing or really much.

2) What shapers have helped you along your way and were influential to get you where you are today?

I grew up around the corner from Mike Shermeyer who was a pretty big shaper under the label Shred Styx Surfboards in the 80’s, at least he was a big shaper out East. I always looked up to him and when I started shaping. He showed me a few things here and there and was always an inspiration, everyone in the community always looked up to him. He’s a really cool nice guy and he then he turned me on to another local guy who was actually building boards at that time who helped me with the ins and outs of glassing, little tools and tricks here and there. After that I went and apprenticed for a shaper in Florida.

solid surfboardsit Charlie Williams, from Impact Surfboards. He really got me dialed in with the shaping there’s nobody that has helped me more with the tuning of shaping than he did. He’s a gnarly charger who’s pushing 60 and still does airs in 1 foot Florida slop. He’s the kinda guy I look up to more than the guys who put themselves on a pedestal He’s kinda in the trenches again and making boards for guys who surf and just delivering a good product for people who surf.

I grew up in New York working in a shop, Island Surf, in West Hampton and kind of got to see what happens on the retail floor surfboard wise, you know what happens in the trenches. I basically built a program for East Coast shops that we work with their shop guys, basically supporting team riders and employees and also giving the shops a price that they can make a good margin on and that will retail for a good competitive price and be a board that surfers, actual surfers, can afford. That’s been our whole program and its gone great. On my first sales trip a couple years ago, I went to 135 shops in a month. I went from Maine to Galveston, Texas and I figured if I went to enough shops I’d get one or two…and I got about a dozen. And that was 11 more than I’d had prior and it was a killer, eye opening experience for sure. At that point I’d kinda been only doing customs and if it didn’t go well, I was gonna say fuck it and quit shaping, but it went well…so I figured I’d keep shaping.

4) You’ve been on the green surfboard movement for a while now, anything new in that department? 



In 2009, there was a Rob Machado Hurley Green Expo in Cardiff-By-The-Sea and so we built this board. I’d been dabbling in different construction and I’ve been doing epoxy for a while. For that show, we had a recycled blank that was built out of EPS foam scraps that were cut offs from other boards. So, we had a scrap blank that was glued together and I made bamboo fins for it. We used a Pine based resin, bamboo cloth, and a bio plastic leash plug. It was the Discus model, which is a round nose, pintail quad. It’s a funky board that a lot of people could relate to at that time; it was a little forward thinking at that point in time.

We won the Green Board Builder award at that thing and it was a cool credential I guess…if any credentials exist in this industry. Since then we’ve just been doing our virgin EPS, which is always recyclable…forever. Epoxy resin is 1/1000 the VOC levels of polyester resin, so it’s just our production standard board right now is pretty environmentally friendly. Versus a poly blank and poly resin, which is just horrendous for the environment. I’d say we do like 98% of our construction is EPS epoxy and we do about 20 boards a week. But we stil get onesie, twosie polys here and there.

5) Where do you like to surf? 



I live in PB so I wind up surfing around there a lot. I love the shore and La Jolla reefs. That’s why I decided to live there, I didn’t want to pay to live in La Jolla but North PB is right there. Easy access…you’re inside the 5, and that’s’ pretty much where I surf.

6) Besides surfing and making boards, what other hobbies do you have? 



I love waterfalls. I’ve been doing a lot of hiking and camping and I dig that shit. I don’t know what it is about water, but I freak out on waterfalls. We just went to Yosemite for Memorial Day weekend and that was killer. We went up to Vancouver about 3 weeks ago to look at a shaping machine and we went to Vancouver Island and Cypress falls and that was awesome too.

3) Where can your boards be found in local shops or what’s the best way to get a new custom from you? 



There have been a couple shops, Rad action sports in Mission Beach, a guy Jeff, a good friend of mine, he let me put some boards in there on consignment. Wavelines Surf Shop up near Del Mar carried some boards a few years ago. But now that I’m with South Coast I’m kind of just focusing on building and helping to continue growing the brand and dialing in their shapes and getting their team guys good boards. It’d be cool to get them against Surf Ride or something in the Oakley Shop Challenge and win it, that’s kind of one of my goals; to get those kids killing it.

If you need anything form the East Coast check one of our retailers, we have one everywhere except for Florida right now., You can order one online at solidsurfco.com, or if you need anything locally, stop by your local South Coast Surf Shop and order one through Fabiano or one of the guys on the floor and I’d be happy to shape one for you through them.

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Shaper of the Month April 2013 – Luke Moore of Luke Moore Surfboards http://localshapers.com/videos/shaper-of-the-month-april-2013-luke-moore-of-luke-moore-surfboards/ http://localshapers.com/videos/shaper-of-the-month-april-2013-luke-moore-of-luke-moore-surfboards/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 05:18:02 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=1461 Local Shapers – Shaper of the Month: Luke Moore from LaClare Media on Vimeo. Local Shapers – Luke Moore from localshapers on Vimeo. Luke Moore is a quality board builder who has spent time working with some of the biggest heads in the industry. Through his years of surfing, shaping, and experimenting he has made […]

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Local Shapers – Shaper of the Month: Luke Moore from LaClare Media on Vimeo.

Local Shapers – Luke Moore from localshapers on Vimeo.

Luke Moore is a quality board builder who has spent time working with some of the biggest heads in the industry. Through his years of surfing, shaping, and experimenting he has made name for himself and had his hands on many boards throughout the years. He has always been a bold individual since his beginnings on Long Island, New York where in the 70’s he would drain pools and skate them. Only after the wealthy seasonal residents of West Hampton had left their mansions and returned to the city after summer holidays, that is. Through those experiences and from spending time riding waves he has gained many good friends along the way. Luke has also spent time living on Kauai before returning to the mainland where he currently finds himself in Oceanside.

From Luke:

“My name is Luke Moore and I live in Oceanside. I’ve been here for about 15 years now since I moved back from Kauai. I’ve been at this location for about 3 years in the airport valley by the rest of the shapers down here. I’m right next to Landen Surfboards. I surf Oceanside Harbor and DMJ’s in the summer. I have a pass so I go over there. It’s only 5 minutes away…kind of a local spot. I also surf Oceanside pier quite a bit. I like surfing blacks in the wintertime too.”

“I love the Lord and I’m a born again Christian. That’s what this is all about. I’m super thankful to be able to make boards and worship the Lord. He really changed my life back in the 80’s and gave me a new life through being born again. He’s opened up new doors for surfing and shaping. I’m also able to do missionary work and surf, which is definitely a blessing.”

Who are some of your favorite shapers that you’ve had the chance to work with?

When I first started shaping in 1979/80, I shaped with a guy named Ricky Rasmussen from the Hamptons. He really influenced my surfing and skateboarding. Also, Michael Shermeyer, another guy from back there. Dick Brewer, Sammy Hawk, and Gary Linden showed me a lot. Recently, Rick Hamon from Rusty. I shape with those guys and he’s taught me a lot. There’s a ton of different guys.

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Luke Moore Shaping nose

Is there any particular type of board that you like shaping over another?

I like to shape anything for double or triple overhead. 7’8”, 8’0”, 8’6”s is definitely my favorite thing to shape. Right here is a personal board and the first time I’m going to try a five-fin set up and a quad. I’m not too sure about a quad in big waves, so I’ve got to test it.

How was it getting into shaping back in the day on the East Coast? What was it like starting out over there?

The surf is actually pretty good over there…it’s mostly really powerful hollow waves. We used to have Samuel Hawk and a couple of the brewer shapers come there in the summertime and show us a lot. We had pretty good waves to learn to how shape and test surfboards on. It was actually a good training ground for Hawaii because the waves were real powerful and hollow there.

Back in the late 60’s they built these jetties. There were 13 of them and they were as big as the Oceanside harbor jetties when they first built them. The waves were insane in the 70’s and early 80’s, it was incredible. And they built up sand, which was the whole purpose.

You used to be a professional skateboarder and grew up draining and skating pools on Long Island and were heavily involved in the skate scene over there…Do you ever get out and skate pools anymore?

luke moore bowl

Yeah, recently a couple of years ago I got back into it. I had to put it down because I just can’t skate conservatively. I’ve got to keep pushing and pushing myself. But I can still fly out of the pools and do grinds and everything, but it was just too scary because I know it was a matter of time before I’d eat it sooner or later. It was kinda cool to go back to it because I didn’t skate for 25 years…I was mostly surfing and shaping, but I got right back into it and all the younger kids were tripping out on me because of my total surf style that you’ve seen in my pictures. They were like “Whoa! Who is this guy?” Which was pretty cool.

With the long flat spells on the East Coast, skateboarding obviously helped keep you sane… Which did you get into first?

“I started surfing in 1972, before I started skateboarding. I grew up with a guy named Ricky Rasmussen who was a pro surfer a really good pipeline surfer. Back then it was a pretty tight group of guys Michael Shermeyer and Billy McGill. We were all surfers and shapers and that’s where I grew up surfing.”

“I used to drain pools back there at the mansions when people would go back to New York City. We’d drain out their pools and skate them all winter. We were pretty hardcore and it was a lot of fun.”

Skateboarding went from boom to bust in the early 80’s. In your time working as a shaper, have you seen anything like this in surfing?

Surfing has always been pretty steady, especially in Southern California, which is one of the reasons I live here. I lived in Kauai for a number of years, but it was hard to shape for a living there because it’s sort of limited. That’s why I moved back to Southern California and started shaping with Rusty and Gary Linden and a couple of other guys. You know, it’s always pretty consistent here.

Who are some of your favorite surfers you’ve ever had the chance to make a board for?

Back in the 80’s I was shaping for Gary Linden, so I’d rough out boards and he’d refine shape them. Taylor Knox, Colin Smith, Chuy Reyna, Mike Lambresi, and Brad Gerlach. I was helping make boards for all those guys.

Actually, when I was living in Kauai, I was shaping for Billy Hamilton, Laird’s dad, and we did the first tow in board in our shop…I believe it was 1990.

Do you have any new models you’re working on for this coming summer in Oceanside?

This one here is something I’ve been working on. It has a real flat top, with that 80’s style rail. It’s not really a fish, but more like an 80’s style board…it’s kinda fishy but not quite a fish. It’s a little flatter, but with enough kick in the tail so that it’s not a fish. It’s got a full rail but it’s also sharp here so it’s not too buoyant. I’m kind of experimenting with these tails too.

Luke Moore Summer model

To learn more about Luke, click here to find him on FACEBOOK

HUGE UPS FOR THE GUEST EDIT FOR THIS VIDEO TO RICKY OVER AT LaClare Media

TO CHECK OUT MORE RAD VIDEOS BROWSE LaClare Media ON VIMEO

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Shaper of the Month January 2013 Dennis Kane of DK Surfboards http://localshapers.com/videos/shaper-of-the-month-january-2013-dennis-kane-of-dk-surfboards/ http://localshapers.com/videos/shaper-of-the-month-january-2013-dennis-kane-of-dk-surfboards/#comments Sun, 06 Jan 2013 22:44:42 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=1397 Who are you and where are you from? My name is Dennis Kane. Originally from Ocala, Florida and now living in Encinitas, CA. What are DK Surfboards? DK surfboards is an ever evolving progression of hand made surfboards in the United States of America How long have you been shaping? I have been shaping for […]

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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Dennis Kane. Originally from Ocala, Florida and now living in Encinitas, CA.

What are DK Surfboards?
DK surfboards is an ever evolving progression of hand made surfboards in the United States of America

How long have you been shaping?
I have been shaping for almost exactly 10 years now. I started on my parents back porch in Florida when i was 14 or 15. I did about a hundred boards for friends and decided to move to California 10 days after graduating high school.

Who was the first person to show you how to shape a surfboard?
The first person I ever watched shape a surfboard was Rich Pavel, up on the hill in Encinitas. In Florida I was self taught and learned things the hard way and at a snails pace. As soon as I moved West I’ve been surrounded by a lot of really talented shapers and have been inspired by Steve Boysen, Rich Pavel, Chris Christenson, Michael Baron, Jeff Clark, Matt Biolas; just to name a few. I’m always inspired by what Jim Philips is building and talking surfboards or picking the brain of guys like Marlin Bacon.
I surf all over., but quite often you’ll find me at many of the local spots here in Encinitas. I try to get down to Blacks a fair bit and enjoy a lot of the La Jolla reefs. Summer time I’ll sniff out the other spots whether it be north county or far south

Outside of Shaping and Surfing what do you enjoy doing with your free time?
Other than surfing I skateboard and try to snowboard as often as I can. I get just as psyched on snow because I didn’t grow up with that, so a good day on the mountain is always necessary.

What style of boards do you like to shape?
I enjoy shaping a variety of different shapes. From the beginning I have always wanted to be known as a guy that can shape anything. I think that’s important. There is always going to be something you are more known for or maybe a popular trend that magazines are selling, but as long as you stay open to the changing designs and technology and revisit old ones with new concepts, I’d say we should definitely be able to keep it fun and interesting.

Do you like to test out your boards? Who do you give your boards to to test out that you can really trust?
I like to test out my own designs and I have everything from single fins to bonzers and everything inbetween. Other than that feedback from riders, friends, and everyday customers is always useful in fine tuning designs.

What board do you enjoy shaping the most?
My favorite thing to shape would be pintails. I think they are the most pleasing to the eye. I still enjoy handshaping a true custom for someone. Whether it be one of my models or something totally unique.

What is in store for DK surfboards in 2013?
In 2013 I have a lot of new things in the works. A couple new shortboard models coming to the website soon a long with some new technologies. Keep an eye on www.dksurfboards.com for more info.

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Barry Snyder Designs and Windigo Surfboards – Shaper of the Month November 2012 http://localshapers.com/videos/barry-snyder-designs-and-windigo-surfboards-shaper-of-the-month-november-2012/ Sat, 17 Nov 2012 20:22:06 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=1199   Barry Snyder of Windigo Surfboards and Barry Snyder Designs Barry Snyder can be described as a curious, creative, and asymmetrical minded surfboard shaper. Since his beginnings as a factory grom sweeping floors for the Linden Surfboards factory, he’s been around through many changes in the shaping industry. A true craftsman by nature, Barry is […]

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Barry Snyder of Windigo Surfboards and Barry Snyder Designs

Barry Snyder can be described as a curious, creative, and asymmetrical minded surfboard shaper. Since his beginnings as a factory grom sweeping floors for the Linden Surfboards factory, he’s been around through many changes in the shaping industry.

A true craftsman by nature, Barry is the type who enjoys strolling through Home Depot and letting his imagination take over and often ends up creating boards with quite non traditional items. Among gluing up his own blanks with agave plant stringers that he grows in his front yard, Barry has glassed burlap sacks, window screens, and a massive black widow spider into some of his more recent projects. The bag of tricks doesn’t end there as he is also a master air brusher.

Much of his art and style is heavily influenced by a deep passion for hot rods, rivets, and all things post industrial WWII. Barry has no use for a CNC machine because he already has two attached to his body in the form of hands. When not cruising in his ’55 Chevy or testing a new model in the water, you’ll find him using his well trained hands to produce some of Oceanside’s finest surf craft. Just like he has been doing for decades.

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November 2012 Shaper of The Month – Teaser http://localshapers.com/videos/november-2012-shaper-of-the-month/ Tue, 13 Nov 2012 06:30:41 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=1191 Barry Snyder – Teaser   The Local Shapers featured November 2012 Shaper of the Month is Barry Snyder. Make sure to check back in later this week for the full length interview!

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Barry Snyder – Teaser

 

The Local Shapers featured November 2012 Shaper of the Month is Barry Snyder. Make sure to check back in later this week for the full length interview!

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TEE DEE KAY Surfboards – October 2012 Shaper of the Month http://localshapers.com/videos/tee-dee-kay-surfboards-october-2012-shaper-of-the-month/ http://localshapers.com/videos/tee-dee-kay-surfboards-october-2012-shaper-of-the-month/#comments Sat, 13 Oct 2012 22:47:54 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=1079 TEE DEE KAY Surfboards – Shaper of the Month October 2012 – localshapers.com from localshapers on Vimeo. TEE DEE KAY Surfboards – October 2012 Shaper of the Month Todd is a gentle soul with a deep passion for shaping excellent surfboards and running Pride Surf and Skate down in Ocean Beach, California. A father with […]

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TEE DEE KAY Surfboards – Shaper of the Month October 2012 – localshapers.com from localshapers on Vimeo.

TEE DEE KAY Surfboards – October 2012 Shaper of the Month

TDK LogoTodd is a gentle soul with a deep passion for shaping excellent surfboards and running Pride Surf and Skate down in Ocean Beach, California. A father with two groms of his own, TDK makes sure the skate section is stocked and surfboards are always on tap for them to go play together in the waves.

You can teach them some of the things you’ve learned about surfing and then when you watch them surpass your skills and they’re 13 years old, as much as it’s bitter sweet, it’s also a thrill at that moment.

If you ever get the opportunity and are lucky enough to catch TDK when it’s not too busy at the shop, make sure to take some time and enjoy his presence. Spark up a conversation and listen to what this guy has to say. He’es a great storyteller and has the power to express concepts with such conviction that you walk away brimming with stoke and encouragement. You’ll definitely learn something you didn’t know before.

Pride Surf Shop

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September 2012 – Shaper of the Month – Addict Surfboards http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/september-2012-shaper-of-the-month-addict-surfboards/ Sat, 15 Sep 2012 17:22:24 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=774 September 2012 – Shaper of the Month – Addict Surfboards Michah Shanahan of Addict Surfboards has become a fixture in the San Diego shaping scene.  His boards are all over and can’t be missed with their distinct designs and oftentimes rad colored air brushes. His central hub is an easy jaunt to some of San […]

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September 2012 – Shaper of the Month – Addict Surfboards

Michah Shanahan of Addict Surfboards has become a fixture in the San Diego shaping scene.  His boards are all over and can’t be missed with their distinct designs and oftentimes rad colored air brushes. His central hub is an easy jaunt to some of San Diego’s best surf spots from Alan Beels Surfboard Services tucked in just off the I-5 and I-805 in San Diego. Read below to get the details from when we checked out the operation and met up with Micah for a quick interview on a sweltering summer day.

Tell me about the last board you shaped.

I shaped it this morning. It was an 8’10” California gun. It looks just a little bit wider, but like gun, for bigger, mushier days. The guy just wants a big wave board but he’s not going to be surfing Todos or Mavericks or anything like that. It’s just gonna be for the Cove, the Cliffs, the Sloughs, or maybe Blacks; it just depends. That was cool and fun because I don’t really get to shape boards like that on regular basis. People don’t really order guns in San Diego, so it’s fun to shape stuff like that because it’s not like your always shaping the same thing over and over. It’s like doing something that’s unique.

Where did you grow up and what shapers are from around there?

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, a little south of the city proper in San Mateo. When I was a kid probably Pearson Arrow were the boards that I had the most of in Santa Cruz cause I surfed everywhere from like the City to Santa Cruz. Most of the major board companies were in Santa Cruz, so we had like Doug Haut and Bob Pearson. You know those are the boards that I can really remember that I liked. Once I moved down here, and that was fourteen years ago, I just was riding all of boards that people made down here, picking up used boards off the rack and all that kinda stuff.

How did you come up with the name Addict Surfboards?

It was just from my wanting to make another one and another one and another one. When I got done with my first one, which I have hanging up in the shaping room right there, I showed it to my buddy he was like “that’s awesome can you make me one”? Then it just kind of snowballed from there. Every time I was making one, I was always thinking about the next one I wanted to make, and the next one, and the next one and then before I knew it, I was getting money from doing it. People were paying me to do it, so it became a hobby that made me money and then a job.

Addict surfboards is literally like just from being addicted to wanting to make another one and being addicted to shaping. It’s funny, because it has a negative connotation, right? Addict Surfboards. But I’ll tell you the only people that I get that from, are people that I know are either alcoholics or are users. The ones that it pisses off are the ones that are guilty of the negative vice, you know. Everybody else is like, “That’s such a great name, how’d you come up with it?”.

I didn’t want to use Micah Shanahan Surfboards like a lot of shapers that use their own name. I feel like that’s kind of over done and I like the idea of a surfboard company like Lost and Mayhem or something where they have actually come up with something unique and they want to stand apart from something like “Hey look at me, I’m Micah Shanahan” and have it plastered all over the board, but yeah, it is on there.

Who are some of the shapers you have worked with and learned from?

I’ve met a lot of shapers because we build a lot of boards for a lot shapers which is pretty neat, you know. But it’s not like anybody really influenced me. Ned McMahon shaped that board in my room right now and he shaped another one the other day. Keola Repoza has shaped boards in my room too. I’ve had guys come in here and use my room and I’ll watch ‘em. But there’s nothing that they’re doing I don’t already like feel like I’m doing.  But that’s just now.

A long time ago when I was first building boards I worked for Plus One and George Gall.  That guy should not be building surfboards. He’s a genius and should be doing other stuff. I guess he was doing other stuff and always building surfboards and obviously he loves his work more than anyone else. It almost seems wasted because he should be building NASA rockets or something, not surfboards.

He’s a really cool guy because he was really open to being like, “Okay, so this is what you are doing. It’s good. This is how you could be doing it better. Let me show you how.” He wasn’t one of the guys that was like “Oh, now your building surfboards and you’re my competition?” He was like, “Dude, that’s awesome! Let me help you become better.” That was nice to have someone, especially him. If I look up to anyone, it would definitely be George because I’ve heard horror stories of other guys getting pissed at each other.

Any shout outs?

To all of the people have ordered a board. If it weren’t for all them, I’d be doing some fuckin’ other job that I probably wouldn’t like. So that’s the number one, to all the people that have brought me their income, to make my income. That’s pretty cool.  And then other people like Alan Beels, the guy who put together this place and George Gall. There’s another guy that probably doesn’t get that much credit, Jim Flynn. He’s the owner of Windansea Surf Shop over there in Mission Beach. He was the guy that I originally bought blanks from and I’ll never forget that and that guy.

Anything new coming up towards the end of 2012?

Keep on paying bills, dude. Keep making money and paying bills.

Some of the boards you made that I remember seeing had some pretty rad air brush designs. Who’s behind that?

One of the things that’s unique about doing what I do when I’m building my boards is I do them from start to finish. Honestly, about 90% of the boards that I make, I’ve made from the shaping room to the water. I shape ‘em, fin ‘em, paint ‘em, glass ‘em, and sand ‘em. Everything; literally from the beginning to the end.

Two things that I don’t do are the gloss and polish and some of the tints. To get the resin perfectly uniform, Alan will help out. I’ll get my hands in it, but I don’t do a lot of it on my own. If it’s opaque, I’ll do it because it doesn’t have to be perfect. But to get a tint like really, really clean it takes a master. Not to say that I couldn’t do it, but I know it will come out better if I had somebody else do it. Like the gloss and polish, Justin our sander, is really good at polishing. It’s like “dude, you just do it and make sure that it comes out good.”

A lot of boards you see that are painted, I paint. We have an air brusher and occasionally I have him paint something and sand a board every once in a while if the other guy is gonna leave town or something. Anywhere from to 90-95% percent of the boards that I build, I build from beginning to end. So that’s a little bit unique I think, not a lot of guys are doing it. I like it, so it’s just what I do.

 

 

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August 2012 – Shaper of the Month – Siegel, Pooh Surfboards http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/august-2012-shaper-of-the-month-siegel-pooh-surfboards/ http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/august-2012-shaper-of-the-month-siegel-pooh-surfboards/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 05:05:31 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=570 Ryan Siegel – Shaper of the Month – August 2012The fortunate combination of having roots in Orange County and being an aged resident of San Diego breeds a unique type of shaper. Ryan Siegel happens to fall into that well-rounded, yet distinctively individual category. Having a style of their own, his boards are honed to […]

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Ryan Siegel – Shaper of the Month – August 2012
Ryan Siegel Surfboard ShaperThe fortunate combination of having roots in Orange County and being an aged resident of San Diego breeds a unique type of shaper. Ryan Siegel happens to fall into that well-rounded, yet distinctively individual category. Having a style of their own, his boards are honed to the places he surfs. Not only does he produce fine hedonistic crafts of surf pleasure, but Ryan is also a noble manufacturer of custom fit orthopedic braces. He builds the tools that help people with locomotion difficulty move around and function as best they can. Enjoy the interview below and head over to www.siegelpoohsurf.com for more info or to order a custom board.

Where did you grow up and when did you start shaping?

When I was 14, we found a broken board at the beach. It must have been a 6’4” or 6’6” – in that range. The nose was broken off and of course all we could yield was a 5’5” or 5’6” off it. We ripped the glass off, cut the rails, and went to town. We thinned it out a bunch, glassed it ourselves, and it was a nightmare. We had no idea about glassing or anything then. Tight weave, what do you mean? Don’t you just use a dip brush to dab resin on the first coat? It was all wavy and bumpy- we didn’t even know to sand it. Once the water couldn’t touch the foam any more we were ready to go.

I grew up in Tustin, but I also spent a lot of time in San Clemente cause my folks had a place down there. Every day growing up we would always go to the …Lost shop. This was when their factory was behind the shop and they had just started. We’d watch Matt shape and Drew Brophy in there with the pens. I was always trying to save up and buy a …Lost board. Every time the painting would rub off a little bit I’d go and have Drew touch it up. Those guys were super awesome influences growing up.

You also have the surf ghetto right there with Brad Basham himself, the godfather of surfboard creation in San Clemente. He was always helping us out as kids and answered whatever questions we had. Go in there and you’ll find any tool you need to shape a surfboard and glass it. He was kinda like a mentor, and still is. I take my boards in there to get glassed and he looks at my stuff and says “You f-ed up!” or “This looks good.” We talk a lot about Mexico. He’s a cool guy.

Other shapers I used to use around there are Chris Kaysen and Dev Gregory. Dev used to shape for …Lost a lot. In my college era, I was down here in San Diego, so I spent a lot of time with James Accardi, Handley, and Ned McMahon.

Building surfboards is obviously your passion, but tell me about your day job. You build orthopedic braces for people who need help with mobility including kids with cerebral palsy?

Yeah, my friend Ryan has been ordering boards for 2 or 3 years. I made 4 or 5 boards for him and he was always hitting me up like “You can come work for me anytime.” I didn’t really know what it was all about. I kinda wanted to leave the blank manufacturing company and finally did. Then I immediately got a job here, making boots.

I work with sheer forms a lot, but the material is a little different. I’m using plaster and a lot of plastics, but it’s a lot of the same skills such as using your eye to shape something. I would definitely say that shaping surfboards helped train me for this.

Which blanks have you been using that you’ve found to work well?

surfboard blanks ryan siegel of siegel, pooh surfboardsSince I used to run a surfboard blank manufacturing company, I was using a lot of those, but I just ran out. We were called Homeblown back in the day and then we switched to Málama. We made blanks from soy and caster instead of petroleum and we used MDI. I’m out now so I’ve been buying US Blanks or sometimes I’ll hit up Artic Foam in Oceanside.

What are some of the spots that you surf around San Diego and use as a testing ground for your boards?

It has a bunch of rocks and it goes way out into the ocean, but I’d like to not name my favorite spot. There are some breaks I know pretty well out there. It’s got a good home feeling vibe, pretty mellow, and the waves are good. I’ll go out there or in Ocean Beach mostly. Every once in a while I’ll hit Blacks or this guy that I work with drags me north sometimes. But I grew up in Orange County surfing Trestles, T-Street, State Beach, Newport, and Huntington.

Which board templates have you drawn from for some of your shapes?

surfboard templates ryan siegelBack when I got started, I grew up shaping a lot of …Lost rocket fish type deals and semi-fishes. I pulled a lot from some of the double wing swallows that they used to do. I also have a couple good Chas templates. I’ve worked with Ned McMahon who shaped for Sunset and T&C. I adopted a lot of curves from the stuff that he grew up with.

My buddy Keola Rapoza used to work for T&C too and shaped for them in Hawaii. He was a pro longboarder and I got some of my longboard templates from him. On my single fins, I drew from the generation two Al Merrick single fins and an old MR that my buddy had. It’s a good retro style single fin and I use that nose a lot. The tail is pretty squirrely; it’s kind of thin and pinned out, so I don’t go with it too much – unless someone wants to get weird.

What would you suggest is an ideal board to get for summertime San Diego?

It depends on what you want to do. If you’re in San Diego, you’re pretty much stuck longboarding. I made a pretty good 8’6” that my buddy lost on the freeway. I need to build a new one of those. I usually rock a good thinned out longboard that’s just fun all around. Otherwise for a shortboard, fishes are great – they’re kind of mandatory in your quiver in San Diego, whether it’s just overhead or tiny.

What aspect of shaping do you enjoy the most?

ryan siegel tight planingAt this point, I’ve shaped like 400 boards. I’ve been doing it for 15 years and I really look forward to when my weird friends call me up and say they want to experiment and get something way out of the ordinary. That’s the fun part.

Otherwise, in regards to shaping basic conceptual boards, it’s always different and custom. It’s exciting to build boards for people individually. Whether it’s longboards, shortboards, or really short boards – which I’m a proponent of. 5’6” is good. I’ve gone 4’8” and that’s the lowest, it’s pretty fun.

My favorite board of all time would be the …Lost 5’5” x 19 ¼”. That board is just all around perfect, I’ve ridden in in 12-foot surf and tiny knee chopper days at the Jetty. It’s just good for everything. You’ve got the double wing swallow that comes in and acts like a nice narrow shortboard tail, but it also allows the tail line to come out and give you the width to just pig through flat sections and beat the wave down the line. And you don’t need a nose either; it just gets in the way most of the time.

Besides surfing, what inspires you to shape?

Ryan Siegel Wide PlaningMusic is a big part of my life, I used to play and tour around. I listen to everything and anything from jazz, to hip-hop, to blues, to old po-dunk country or whatever else. I have a lot of artist friends. I don’t really get it, haha. I’m not a good artist in the sense of drawing and painting. Shaping is my art, as well as Music.

I love Pandora because it throws different stuff at you. Yesterday, I was listening to Nora Jones radio, and that’s cool. Whatever flies and I feel like that day. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and old school punk too. Sometimes I put on some NOFX radio and go to town in my shaping room.

I’ve seen a few Sezio brand boards floating around with your name on them, what’s the story behind that?

Sezio started out as a collective of artists out of Ocean Beach and Point Loma after college. Our buddy Zach took it and kinda ran with it. He turned it into a non-profit organization and is blowin’ it up all round. They do a lot of mainly musical shows and acts; stuff like that. They also curate a lot of local art shows around here in San Diego. Check it out at www.sezio.org.

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July 2012 – Shaper of the Month – AJW Surfboards http://localshapers.com/shaper-of-the-month/shaper-of-the-month-adam-warden-of-ajw-surfboards-july-2012/ Fri, 20 Jul 2012 05:02:10 +0000 http://localshapers.com/?p=400 Shaper of the Month – July 2012 Surfing, traveling and shaping surfboards around the globe is a dream few get to live.  Adam Warden of AJW Surfboards is one of those fortunate souls who get the chance to do so.  Born and bred on the East Coast, Adam now spends a good amount of his […]

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Shaper of the Month – July 2012

AJW Surfboards

Surfing, traveling and shaping surfboards around the globe is a dream few get to live.  Adam Warden of AJW Surfboards is one of those fortunate souls who get the chance to do so.  Born and bred on the East Coast, Adam now spends a good amount of his time shaping here in San Diego.

From his humble backyard beginnings, he has worked hard to become an established and respected member of the surfboard shaping community.  We sat down for a minute caught up with AJW fresh off a stint in Peru where he shaped 45 boards.  Now he’s heading back out the door to for a few months to do the same thing before coming back to combo swells and offshores this Fall in San Diego.

When did you start dabbling in shaping surfboards?

Basically I was 14 years old and I wanted to go buy a new surfboard but I didn’t have the money.  I found out I could get a blank so I tried making my own and got one all glued up, shaped it.  Back then resin was a lot cheaper so you could build a board for $90. Now days it costs way more.  But back then and I thought to myself, I’d rather have a shitty board for $90 or two for $180.  It was like $350 for a new board then, so pretty much a function to get a board was why.  Then I did the first couple and at the time being 14 years old I thought it was pretty good.  After about 10 boards I thought I knew what I was doing and it took about 100 boards to realize I had no idea what I was doing.   Most shapers say it takes about 100 boards to know what you’re doing, and at that point you’ve learned your hands and your tools.  Then it takes about 1000 boards to realize that everyone out there is kinda wingin’ it.  When you get to like 5,000 boards or more you start to learn what your good at and what you’re not good at.  You try to focus more of your time on your best attributes and which designs work better.  Most high-level shapers tend to just repeat their best designs and evolve from those original designs that work good.  The ones that don’t work well, you don’t re do.

How did you learn the ropes to becoming a top-level professional shaper?

When I first started out and I’d done 30 boards just totally by myself between 14 to 16 years old shaping, glassing and sanding them in my backyard, never having anybody.  I just read a couple things about how many CC’s of catalyst to use etc.  After those 30 boards the local factory, Fibercraft, where I was buying all my materials eventually let me start watching them.  I learned a lot and they taught me how to glass.  I got a job putting fins in when I was 16 and could drive.  I put fins in for a few years and then I got a job shaping.  I did some airbrushing too; I’ve done everything.  Once I got closer to 50 – 100 boards I realized it’s more productive to focus on and specialize my time on one thing I’m better at and paying for glassing and sanding and realizing that they’re both another art themselves.  Shaping is only 1/3 of the process.  I’ve come to California and I’ve worked with a lot of factories in the San Diego.  I’ve shaped in Australia, Hawaii, Europe, South and Central America.  Now I’ve worked with a ton of people but I’d say I learned the most from the sanders and glassers.  I’m friends with a whole ton of shapers and we learn a lot from and influence each other.  But it doesn’t matter who you are.  You could have Dick Brewer or anyone training you from the beginning, but there’s only so much training, it’s pretty basic.  You pop your rocker, put your rail bands on and you shape the board.  There’s still a lot of other things that are important like fin angles and where the edges go.  These types of things take years of experience.  There’s no such thing as a young shaper that’s shaping incredible boards.  You have to put your time in.  Usually most of the younger shapers that people say are good, it’s more the guy is a phenomenal surfer and makes his boards look good.  It takes 20 years to really get into your own, I’m constantly learning.

What is the biggest challenge of being the mastermind behind a successful surfboard label?

Running a business as a whole is a pretty challenging thing.  The United States is a really good country for the fact that anybody can start a business for fairly cheap, in other counties they have a lot more start up costs.  Any idiot can go down to the courthouse and get a business license and run it.  However, you have to pay your taxes and do the whole thing.  The biggest challenge with surfboards is ¾ of the competition out there isn’t business savvy.  There are a lot of people thinking, “Ok, just throw some good surfboards at a guy that rips”.  But the concept is basically living within your means; that’s how you have to run a small business.  Don’t spend too much money on advertising, and don’t buy more than you can eat.  Don’t go too big too quickly.  That’s why so many people say there’s no money in surfboards.  Companies get investors and throw all this money into sponsoring a pro, when in reality the margins are so low in surfboards you have to be really tight on your overhead.  You can’t overextend yourself because going bankrupt is really easy.  That’s the biggest challenge, playing the money game.  It’s always coming in and it’s always coming out and you have to find that balance.  Also you can’t let your ego get involved in the business, that’s a major challenge without a doubt.  You have guys coming to you and saying, “Man, this board is insane, I can get you in Japan, I can get you here and I can get you there!”  But you have to realize you can’t take on too much work at one time and do shitty work.  It’s not so much with the surfboards as with the finances.  If you have a certain amount of money, you have to determine how many boards can I comfortably shape with that, collect the money, and then build more.  You can always have an investor come in and kick down, but you have to be realistic with your own business goals.  Don’t get ahead of yourself.

What are some of your favorite spots to surf?

I love going to Todos for sure.  On the East Coast it can be waist to chest high and really shallow and you can get better barrels then you can anywhere in the world.  I’ve always traveled my whole life going and I’ve gone to tons of different places.

When did you start shaping big wave guns?

I’m from the east coast and I’d never had the chance to do big wave boards.  It was always a challenge.  When I was 16 or 17 I started going to Puerto Escondido every summer for a month by myself.  I mean these aren’t typically rhino guns but at 16 years old I’m not paddling out at 20-foot days in Mexico, my goal was basically triple overhead.  So I learned how to do semi guns right off the bat and tried to ride my own stuff.  Mainland Mexico is one of the spots that’s not like Hawaii, where you can ride chippy boards.  The shape doesn’t matter as much as having a big board for Mexico.  So it’s pretty easy for a newbie shaper to be comfortable just learning volume.  I started doing some beefy 7’6” ‘s then pretty much transitioned to bigger waves and more foam.  The tougher thing is shaping boards for waves like Teahupoʻo or Pipeline where guys are taking off under the lip.  Heavy reef breaks are a lot more challenging because you have to ride chippy small boards.  You need a rocker that’s flat enough to paddle well, but bladey to make the drop.  Big wave boards definitely aren’t at all 100% of my business, it’s completely my own passion and hobby and I make what works for me.  I always tell people if you want the best board a shaper makes, get what they ride themselves.  If you’re gonna go talk to a guy who shapes for Hobie, order a longboard or what he specializes in.  If you want a gun, get it from a guy who surfs big waves.  If you want a small wave board, get it from a guy in Florida.

You were recently featured in the Surfer Magazine 2012 Summer Surfboard buyers guide.  What can you tell me about the boards?

For the board forums we try to do a wide variety of models to cover every range of conditions.  I like to showcase what we specialize in.  Being from the East Coast small wave high performance boards for chest high and under is my specialty, no question.  I have pretty good experience in that and making contest boards for the kids.  I try to advertise with that and show what we offer.  I do travel boards too for guys going to indo so we try to have a wide array of what we can offer, but 90% of my business I would think is my specialty in small wave boards.

What goals does AJW Surfboards have for 2012?

More international sales and setting up distributors is my number one goal.  Every year I do a bunch of boards in Peru and Spain.  I’ve shipped boards to Venezuela, Panama, and Japan.  My main goal is to get more set up in the European scene and Japan.

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