2009 Shaper Of The Year?

Ooops … didn’t go back far enough …


Pointy nose thruster … not this year!! Not even close …

It’s Reynolds Yater

Wayyy to modern


You got it …

great for Tom, but now we’ll all be surrounded with pieces of wood in the lineup as all those who read and actually believe the stuff in the mag begin another round of follow the leader onto the latest New Thing>>>>>>

“great for Tom, but now we’ll all be surrounded with pieces of wood in the lineup as all those who read and actually believe the stuff in the mag begin another round of follow the leader onto the latest New Thing”

I think that would be great, a whole of of guys who can’t quite catch the waves… This is in contrast to SUP’s, LB’s, and retro boards that give just about anybody a paddle advantage.

How about some Wegener history? When he was in high school, I had the opportunity to watch him ride triple overhead slabs on his vintage 60’s 30lb D-fin longboard, sans leash! Did you people know he used to be a practicing lawyer? He also used to ride a spot that was essentially a dry reef. The cool kids thought he was strange, but they surely respected his surfing abilities. He used to do pro-longboard contests too. Too bad he’s one of those guys who makes it look too easy and has way too much style for the judges to appreciate.

Here’s why he’s the shaper of the year though, in my opinion. Who else is literally taking planks of wood, gluing them together and selling them for big $? I’m guessing his profit margin is the highest in the business.

Good on ya Tom!


Come on now…first you rank on long boards and retros in the line-up (though I can agree on SUPs - aka “Janitors”) then you rave about Tom’s ability on a long board…double standard there, me thinks…

Plus, have you ever attempted to shape a functional board from solid wood? I doubt it, or you would never say Tom just glues up some wood and sells it for big bucks. Since you obviously ride a chip or some such…glue up some wood and hand shape one of those…if you can…let us know how it works…and how easy it is to do…

You know, I’m not anxious to see a load of experimenters on slabs in the line-up either - the janitors have got me pissed so far, as I have yet to see one in my area who has a clue, but Tom W. is a true waterman and deserves credit for his devotion to craft.


No ranking, just a selfish desire to see people abandon their current boards and get an alaia. I remember when boogies were huge in the early 90’s, a whole generation of kids never got up on their feet, and the lineups were less crowded as a result.

I’m sorry, I guess you weren’t at Sacred Craft and actually talked to Mr. Wegener? Have you held one of the boards in your hands? Maybe I’m super naive, please enlighten me as to the advanced design features I missed. He told me he uses Gorilla glue in the layup. I think my statements were all pretty accurate. Your’s, on the otherhand are not. I’ve never owned a “chip”. In fact, the last real shortboard I owned, back in 1987, was over 2.75 inches thick.

The Joker is laughing at this, way to go Tom!

It’s very unlikely that the alaia thing will explode like SUPs for the simple reason that they’re hard to ride. I’ve loaned boards to pro-level shortboarders who, despite having ample skill, lacked the patience needed to put the time in. On the other hand, the few who “get it” seem to really take to it with gusto. I’ve made boards for a couple of guys in particular who haven’t been seen riding anything else since!

The lack of floatation on the alaia means that you really need to be able to sit quite deep in the take-off zone, and your take off needs to be snappy and precise. You also need to be fairly fit. SUPs ,on the other hand, allow overweight, lazy, unfit wave hogs to sit way outside and ease their way into every wave that comes through. While I respect what some guys can do on them, overall I thinks SUPs are little more than a crutch that too many surfers lean on to get more than their fair share.

As for Tom W: He seems to have a lot of critics over here in OZ, but his enthusiasm and generosity with his time and knowledge makes him a valuable contributor to the surf industry. The quality and design of his longboards are way up there, and his work with the whole alaia thing is fresh and exciting. Sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but then nothing is.

Good on you Tom, keep it up!

I’m stoked to hear that Tom is getting Shaper of the Year.

Does this mean I’m not going to ride my stringerless epoxy board anymore. Hell no. Do I have an Alaia in my quiver, yes. It’s humbling as shit to ride and a whole different experience.

It’s a good antithesis to the whole direction the surfboard industry has been headed with outsourcing and high-tech materials. Simple, hand made wooden boards. No mass production, no marketing, no BS.

With a huge tip-of-the-hat to the ancient Hawaiians who pioneered the way, it seems to me what surfing is all about, just going out and riding waves and having fun.

As for pushing performance boundaries, in the boards, maybe not, but in the rider, absolutely. As bjis mentioned, they require sitting deeper, taking off later, and generally being much more in tune with what the wave is doing. Will it push limits as far as board design, not likely, but will they push limits as far as surfing ability, I believe they do. Isn’t that what a good shaper will do, make you a better surfer.

Maybe it’s good to take 10 steps back and re-evaluate the whole situation. Maybe it will open doors that don’t go down the same hallways at all to where surfboards currently are.

Can Tuna be 2nd best?He needs the money.

Lets be honest and I am not being nasty. Who gives a crap who Surfer or Surfing magazine name Shaper of the year? It means nothing and it’s subjective.


Lets be honest and I am not being nasty. Who gives a crap who Surfer or Surfing magazine name Shaper of the year? It means nothing and it’s subjective.

The answer is, the 14 to 24 year old demographic. Although I don’t think Mr. Wegner’s boards appeal to this age group. Apologies to those that do care and fall outside this group. I subscribe to Surfer because I get it through MADD. They get a piece of the action. I don’t read it. Just look at the pictures while sitting on the potty. I’m calling my last issue the ,“All Adversisment Issue.” What a waste of resoursces. Next time MADD(Mothers Against Drunk Driving) calls I’ll try to find something else. Mike

theres already a container from china with 3000 alaia on the way over. there making em for

4 dollors a board! no glassing involved so they are banging em out quick and cheap. they’ve already stripped 8

of the last remaining 10 major forests for production as well, so in a month the earth will not be able to produce anymore oxygen…i will drink a nice mix of cobalt and actone with a styrene chaser to end it all.

anyone care to join me? i’ll be up the hill waiting…

waking up the industry ?

a quote from an environmental officer who surfs ?? ( names and places removed )


PS - City of _ _ _ _ _ Health and Planning Inspectors have finally caught up with _ _ _ _. They have shut him down as his neighbour waged a concerted effort to stop his activities there in _ _ _ _ .

So- the ever growing surfing public have no manufacturers/repairers in _ _ _ _ _anymore so closest repairer is _ _ _ _ _ in _ _ _ _ how crazy is that eh? The industry (as we know/knew it) is DEAD.

these days i am not a shaper , i run a Gnome manufacturing facility and composite assembly plant …

as long as people are giving surfboards away , is it really an industry ? or just an illusion of a former era ??

where is this industry ?

a handful of Asian Super factories …

Meccas like Hawaii, CA and the Goldy ,a plethora of crew with board making skills (backyarders )all trying to cut a living from the same bunch of regular surfers ,a handful of survivors and those that have joined forces to stay in business …

Then the regular (paying for there ad space )brands , the masters of illusion or creative marketing genius??

where do all the boards from the super factories go ??

face facts , Nick has to pay his bills to …

Nick !!! probably not your area coz your a journalist and not a media sales guy , but surely the potential pool of ad buying customers has gotten smaller ?

i see more adds for everything else than i do for surfboards in surf mags these days …

shaper/designer of the year ??

board industry mogul of the year ??

marketer of the year ??



saving the best till last …


for the best Gnome money can buy …


any of you lawn mower guys out there ? send your garden Gnome customers this way …

What about Jessica Alba for shape of the year.

Oh, sorry, you mean shaper of the year…

Everyone of you shapers who are keeping our sport progressive should win this title.

You all amaze me with your ability to hand craft those wave riding vehicles.

I toast all of you who take the time to post and share, CONGRATULATIONS!