i blame swaylocks...

i blame swaylocks for the following: 1) my pestering emails to a very gracious & innovative man (thanks greg l.) 2) three trips to home depot for shaping rack materials 3) 12 hours spent cleaning a garage that is not even mine 4) forcing me to read osha’s website 5) 2 fights with my girlfriend over “necessary purchases” 6) my inability to have a free moment unencumbered by design possibilities 7) countless hours spent trying to decipher the numerous “ambrose” posts seriously, thanks for the help- this is only the beginning does anyone have any opinions on whether or not its better to watch/apprentice another shaper first or to just go with your gut and try it. the problem is that the shapers here are not the most accepting & dont want competition. (which i wont be) johnO

oh yeah- what is a swaylock? is it a man? a mystery? a piece of boating equipment?

i think its a state of mind, John where are you located. http://paradoxdistribution.com

John, Watch somebody if you can. It’s a great way to learn. Or, as has been suggested here many times, get one of the shaping videos: Shaping 101, or the Master Series. You said it very well in your first paragraph. My wife and I keep separate accounts so we can avoid the discussions about “unecessary purchases”. But get ready for: “Are you working on ANOTHER surfboard? What about the window that needs replacing?” Welcome to the Club. Doug

im located in l.i new york. i know, i know- no jokes please. as far as the videos- i have ordered the jc vid’s but am still looking for the jim phillips series. i checked the archives, but havent been able to find a link that works- any suggestions?

I met him…a mysterious man for sure. A “swayhook” is boat hardware.

johnO have you ordered blanks? i live in nassau county. perhaps we should order together. lets talk tim

Ive found that if the shaper youre watching cant stop to explain the process as he’s shaping that it can be a bit frustrating. Sometimes theyre doing something so fast you get left in the dust. Watching a video is great because you can review whatever you may not fully understand. Bottom line…if a shaper is willing to let you watch, great. If you dont have that luxury, study the videos, go with your gut feeling. Most of all…get in there and start mowing!!

John I live in Rutherford, NJ. Your welcome to come and watch, maybe even try your hand at it if you wish. I don"t have all of the answers, but I have taught Vocational H.S. kids to shape with some decent results.

Oh! by the way I lost my key to the swaylocks.

come over my house lets make a board … or I’ll find max ‘s address he jost graduated from fordham… I schooled him acoupla years ago made him write notes while I talked and shaped I charged him 33.00 an hour to make my wife convinced I was working… persevere and keep up the thoughtful concern …YOU WILL GROW …just go make a scale model or two this will give you confidence…short board for kid X is a grand proposal…their expectations are limited and appreciative…ambrose write max an seek his …max is enthused and up to about his 5th board by now

JohnO: Yep, you’re done for now. Once you clear out the space and start your first board it’s all over. Check out the Damascus Productions Master Shaper Series- http://www.damascusproductions.com If you have questions about obtaining a copy of the DVD/Video Matt should be responsive to your e-mails. Good Luck! Tom S.

I’ve been shaping for 20 years and I’ve never seen another shaper shape a board. I suspect thats bad. Recently a friend told me how to make a tool for controlling the shape of a concave. No wonder it takes me 7 hours to shape a board. Im doin it like a woodcarver. The results, however, are a wonder to see, hold, and ride. I think its the energy I put into it - its like 7 hours of focusing my vision of flow into a physical object. It sounds corny but I believe that the energy I put into the board stays there. Believe me, sometimes while Im shaping Im forget that Im not a molecule of water flowing over the surface. So I’ve gotten to the point that I dont want to be ‘corrupted’ by seeing a production shaper shape - his goals are different from mine. Im not trying to make a business out of it - I spent 7 years getting advances degrees (3) so that I could make a good enough living to have the free time and finances to surf when I want. I know another ‘zen’ shaper who refuses to use power tools. At least Im not alone.

Another “zen” shaper in the Santa Barbara area used to use a coffee can with one side flattened out and holes punched through from the inside with an icepick as a homemade surform. Shaped outside under “UV” lights… the sun. Nice boards too!

Mikey, I have to disagree on the “being corrupted” by watching a production shaper. It wasn’t until one of Velzy’s protege’s took me under wing that I saw what shaping was really about. It is more than making dust or churning out shaped blanks, not shapes. There is so much to learn from seeing some one who knows whats what about a planer and templates coming together to form a great shape.

I agree with Jim.If I had used only what I learned from the first shaper I watched,I’d just be taking passes off the blank,cutting out the outline and turning the rails.But always wanting to take my shaping to the next level,I learned from others(and still do,you never stop learning)now I am proud of what I can do with my planer.Changing the blank,not just giving the customer(or yourself) a skinned version of a particular blank.I’m glad I got “corrupted” by those who influenced my shaping style.TEDK.

Mikey, Unless youre trying to shape surfboards for other people on a production basis, theres nothing inappropriate with whatever your techniques may be, or how long it takes to sculpt a design. How your boards and fins function, and their overall appearance (not necessarily a critical issue), are the ultimate testament to your personal skill and passion. That said, being a designer-craftsman revolves around the critical aspects of curiousity and observation. Whether you know it or not, youre connected to an ancient lineage, to those kindred surfer-artisans who lived many centuries before. Knowledge is strengthened through sharing, a valuable source of power to those whove learned to use it wisely. “I’ve been shaping for 20 years and I’ve never seen another shaper shape a board… I believe that the energy I put into the board stays there. Believe me, sometimes while Im shaping I forget that Im not a molecule of water flowing over the surface.” Wow… I agree with that timeless spirit! Yet, choosing to benefit from the experiences of others (both lesser and greater) is not being “corrupted”. For example, if you had been consistent to that manner of thinking, you`d never have gone to college and achieved your three advanced degrees. So here you are in Swaylocks… a place defined by the quality of its fellowship and sharing… welcome!!

I figure I can learn more by lurking virtually.I liken it to the adage that talks about having one mouth but two ears… However, As I started getting into shaping I spoke to many production shapers (in the belly of the OC – HB) and tried to tranfer what I was told to the process. I was able to shape and get better – slooooowly. The JC vid was my primary reference point. Then I got lucky, I met a true Master. When I had the great fortune of meeting Jim “The Genius” Phillips he allowed me to watch him shape a 9.0 and he gave a running commentary during the entire process… He answered all of my questions without any reservation or exasperation. I was impressed. That was my equivalent of visiting Santa’s workshop. My technique changed dramatically (small cuts), my shapes improved dramatically (I still suck at shaping) and my critical eye improved immeasurably (did I mention how muuch I suck at this???) My two bits: If someone is secure enough in themselves and their product to allow you to share the bay with them then take the opportunity. It can only help. Mahalo, Magoo. Postscript: Get Jim’s DVD from Damascus Productions. I am not sure if Bruckers’ vid is ready but if it is then score it as soon as you can. Cleanlines is another master. M Herbie, I hear we have some swell coming our way…

…HEY,Magoo …Mark Perry STILL hasn’t washed his cloths, what a freak! He can out ride most guys 1/2 his age w/ a smaller board to boot!!! …Got port monday good+ and lowers on and off vg+.Yeah a swell is coming from not 1 not 2 but 3 directions at once,hopefully it won’t cancel each other out!See you in the drink!!!Herb