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