Recent issue of Surfer features a group of young bucks with their hand shapes.  Give it a read.  Not much there to read.  Zack Flores must have learned a little from “The Genius” because his little Fish reflects a trained eye.  Not too impressed with Tyler’s “Egg”.  With a good template most anyone could do that.  Although I believe he is the most experienced of the bunch.  Keep in mind there is a big difference between Shapers who attempt to make a living or art of it via the Custom route as opposed to a shaper who is in a production setting.  None of these boys are of the latter.  I wish them well.  Comments?

This is a vid put together of them shaping and surfing them. 


Thank You Bob.

(Most) Anything that supports handshaping is a move in the right direction.  In my opinion.  The article itself was pretty lame. (I stopped my subscription a long time ago, but they keep coming.  a mystery.). But I like what the article attempted to promote.   I do handshakes and machine shapes.  But I can tell you that the design innovations will almost certainly come from hand shapes.  THere are just a lot of things that are difficult  do on a computer program.

All the best

Instagram was saying that a lot of dumbasses were making fun of ryan burch’s board on the cover since it isn’t symmetrical. Little did they know he did that on purpose. Then the comments of ‘hand’ shaped vs. ‘machine’ shapes kept coming up.

Until somebody uses their fingernails to carve out a shape and their skin to sand the board smooth I think the label of ‘hand’ shape is a misnomer. Everybody should just call them brain shapes and be done with it. 

Monkstar1, hilarious.  Burch is the next gen for the work that Ekstrom and later George Gall has been doing.  Free thinker and heck of a brain shaper.  Machines reproduce.  Hands allow innovation.

all the best.

[Quote]Instagram was saying that a lot of dumbasses were making fun of ryan burch’s board on the cover since it isn’t symmetrical. Little did they know he did that on purpose. Then the comments of ‘hand’ shaped vs. ‘machine’ shapes kept coming up.

I doubt that was accidental, the surf media is beholden to the corporate / industrial element, so they want to present handshaping in a less than glamorous light.


Sadly, machine shaping is the future cuz very few want to pay the dues handshaping requires, and there has never been much money in it.


There will probably always be a few industry iconoclasts and eccentrics doing it. None of which directly impacts me, I make all my own boards, and have for years.

I enjoyed the video and really liked Zach Flores surfing. Switch foot with style. Damn! I don’t know anything about the cost of owning and operating a surfboard milling machine, but when anyone that is handy with a computer can computer design a board, send in the file, have it milled, sand the grooves and have it glassed you won’t need a ‘computer shaper’ anymore. What will be left? Handshapers building stuff by hand. Mike

And glasser. More and more demand of board glassing. Guys try to laminate their first hand finish machine shape and this is where all problems starts… I do some lam for guys at my surfclub, i like a lot more when they go with a machine shape instead their ugly hand shape, to much work to make them flat before lam…

I agree with you lemat on that point.  A lot of young guys come to me to buy blanks and get whatever free info they can from me.  One or two have even offered to pay me to walk them thru the shaping process.  But very few want anything to do with Glassing.  I set up a small glass shop and the first three blanks I glassed were from back yard shapers.  Six AM.  Work before work.

I miss spoke though;  Burch has got as much time and effort in it as Tyler.  Out of that group I guess you could say they are the most experienced.  Flores seems to be scrutinizing every shape with that Phillips trained eye.

Yes, the glassers. I didn’t think through the next logical step. But, maybe the board mill tech will get cheaper and cheaper and affordable. Surfboards will be as soulful as buying a pair of Nike’s .Mike

First off, they are all great surfers who could probably ride anything.   I enjoyed the video.

I’m a hobbiest. I did work many years ago for a boat builder who was also a  professional surfboard shaper (Dennis Choate- used to shape the Phil Edwards model for Hobie and built a boat for Edwards).  I did a lot of keel plug and rudder shaping while working there.  I also shaped a few boards and was slowly becoming proficient with his skil 100’s.  I remember him bursting into the shaping once, yelling, “No short strokes!”  He showed me how to make continuous cuts from tip to tail,  feathering the depth of cut with the skil.  Because of this experience I always cringe when I see shapers scrubbing with little strokes in a small area.  These guys were doing that a lot.

Still looks like their boards worked unde their feet.

Absolutely!  First thing I noticed.  Scrubbers!  I have watched quite a few young guys and gals do the same thing at the Del Mar Board Show.  Right away you know that they either learned on their own, watched all the WRONG YouTube videos or just had a BAD teacher.  In fact I just this AM delivered a couple of blanks to a garage that had two guys both shaping the same blank.  One on one end with a Skil and one on the other end with a little Green Machine Hitachi.  When I say the same Blank I do not mean the same type of blank(ie two identical 6’4 A’s on two different shaping stands).  No!  I mean what I said;  The Same blank.  I would have set them straight, but just was in too big a hurry to get somewhere.  It put a smile on my face or a look of amusement might be a better expression.    PS.  You got your education in shaping and boat building from a good instructor.  Have always heard that Choate was very good at both.

When they get to the point that a Shortboard cost as much as an expensive pair of Nike;  Then we will be getting somewhere.

Aaaaaargh! Where are their masks? Interesting clip, but I cringed every time I saw someone operating a planer or even just a surform with no dust protection.

Young men think they’re bullet proof - I know, I was one once - but foam and dust are no joke. What we do today comes back to haunt us twenty years down the track.

Get a mask on, for the love of everything sacred!

So crazy no one wants to glass, that’s the fun part! A little stressful the first few times but so great when everything comes together. Shaping has been much, much harder for me to learn and enjoy. 

That’s one of the funniest word pictures I’ve seen in quite a while. 

That short-stroke scrubbing is rampant with Hitachi users since they ride the planer off the shoe and not the rear base. If you try and do long strokes off the shoe you get wavy and rolling depth cuts.  There’s a reason they do this however.  Because the Hitachi shoe moves up/down, the opening for the cutters (space between the rear base and shoe) is a fixed width.  On the Skil and any planer with a sliding shoe this opening is variable width.  If the opening isn’t wide enough, the planer will not start easily into a cut unless you tip it forward and increase the depth excessively and this is what happens with the Hitachi.  A Skil can be simply pushed into a cut and this is why it produces such flat and finely tapered cuts; granted the weight plays a role in this also.    I learned this first hand when I had worked on that Bosch conversion years ago.  After a lot of prototypes and testing with Barry Snyder, I was able to increase the opening width to a sweet spot where it would cut when pushed forward off the base. However the cuts were still not the way I wanted.  My conclusion is that without some type of sliding shoe, no planer will work like a Skil does.  Therefore it’s not the same technique in my opinion.

Traditional shaping techniques (and the order of the whole process) were developed using a Skil and are based on predictable results in the shortest possible time; that is what production hand-shaping was all about.  Some can produce the same end result with a Hitachi, Bosch, hand plane, surform, sanding block, draw knife, whatever but it will be a different technique and certainly will not be as efficient.  By that I mean that you can’t watch a video of Terry Martin shaping and aspire to do it the same way with the other tools I mentioned. 

Yes, absolutely!  Funny I had heard you try to explain this to me before, but just didn’t get it until now.  Makes perfect sense to me now.  Lowel