"I want to learn how to shape"

 Young friend asks how to learn to shape? I say he can watch me…That is how I learned watching some really good shapers got me headed in the right direction. He watched me do a “easy” shortboard. Wow pretty cool learned a lot…Next board is gonna be a midlength rolled bottom step deck 50/50/rails channel bottom custom special cut from oversize blank…He watched for 5 minutes than left…Only wants to learn how to shape shortboards…

Ace, that is so damned funny !        I laughed so hard, I almost soiled myself ! !        A classic comment, on the next generation of wannabe ‘‘shapers.’’     Points well deserved.

that is really hilarious, Ace.  he is a fool.  I’d gladly give real money to watch either of you shape.  

all the best

I can’t believe anyone would give up a chance to watch someone with some much experience and knowledge!!! I’m still looking for someone who isn’t overrun with summer orders to let me sit in and watch. 

Don’t worry Ace next week he will have his own line of Boards and claim he studied under Ace.  

So true.

Next generation of shapers, (well, not all of 'em) are just claimers.

The best are the the guys who don’t realize that some of us have been around quite a while and know just about every board builder around.

This guy moved in a couple doors down from me.

Claimed he was “taught” from a pretty well known shaper.

A 25+ year friend of mine.

One day, this shaper was at my shop shootin’ the shit with me.

I said “hey, there’s your prodege.”

He says to me, “Who the fuck was that?”

Never seen him before.

Funny, that guy had it on his website too.


Whenever somebody says that to me, I send them to the newest guy I know.

Most are not worthy.

Ace, your friend doesn’t realize that some people, like me, would do everything to have such opportunities…

Maybe he doesn’t understand that a shaper should be as versatile as possible, that by knowing how to shape as many types and shapes of boards as possible, it would make them become a shaper (not even talking about becoming a good shaper, just a shaper).

I mean, if you want to become a cook (and not a kook), you cannot just learn how to prepare one recipe and then self promote yourself a cook, even if the plate is damn good…

Sad to see that the new generation takes everything for granted and doesn’t really engage with anything seriously, there is no commitment anymore, except for Instagram, twiter, and wanabe whatever, as long as it allows them to brag for a second.  

I’m confused, didn’t every shaper from San Diego shape with Skip Frye?  Lol



Young and dumb is a bad combination. Fool doesn’t realize that techniques and tools used for shortboards also apply to many other shapes.

the generation that can’t figure out a hat brim goes in the front and a belt goes above the ass.  

Actually Skip was a big help to me. I had quit shaping for awhile and he was shaping my boards I thought I was going to be a “businessman” F’ed that up…One day Skip just said “Albert start shaping your own boards again” He gave me some templates and always had his door open to me. This was a long time ago. I was lucky and had others offer advice along the way I ALWAYS LISTENED and watched when advice was offered. This to me is how you learn to shape. Take that advice and apply it to what you are doing and add what works to your technique. Sometimes you will see something somebody is doing and “duh” why didn’t I think of that. It never gets old and you never stop learning or it is over.


This can’t be happening!

Very sad indeed.

In our day it was beg, beg and pester

Just to be welcomed into the sanctum.

Choking on the foam flying’

Not a word…

No sniveling

Watch learn and pay your dues.

Got a friend of “boy” who also wants to learn.

Told ‘em “you tube JC Shapin’ 101

Then go watch DA see N see machine

Den come see me…

Is the art of mid and longboards doomed?


I don’t think so…

“Always four “Aces” in the deck”!

:slight_smile: Ace’s original post made me smile…

… but it was Unclegrumpy’s “Gen Y” cartoon that made me actually laugh out loud :)  :slight_smile:

Points to both accordingly :slight_smile:

I take certainly take your point Ace about the younger crew’s focus on only what interests them (I’m assuming your young friend is in their teens to 20’s),… but on the other hand, (and be honest with yourself here), how many of you guys would have done exactly the same thing back when you were their age, and it was the longboard->shortboard transition era? Board shapes (and performance) were changing radically and mind-blowing different and new ideas and boards were appearing almost daily. We’re in (I suspect the tail-end) of a similiar era now; revisiting, modernising and experimenting with a lot of the idea’s that happened back in that transition era as well as the construction methods (and which has led to the “alternative constructions”, “alternative shapes” and modernised “retro” boards that are being made these days).

Would you have wanted to learn how to shape a longboard back then? Or would you rather have been frothing to get in on all that funky new experimentation that was going on with seeing how short and how different you could go with your next stick?

And besides, showing up with a new longboard back then probably wouldn’t have helped too much with impressing girls, nor in getting yourself some cred with the other guys your age. Nope, it was the dudes showing up with the most cosmic and ripping shortboards that were scoring that action. And that’s the kind of thing thats on most guys minds when they’re at that age.

So I wouldn’t be too hard on a kid for well, acting like one. If a young head belongs anywhere, it’s on young shoulders.

Want something to lure them back into the shaping bay? -> tell 'em your going to be shaping a Tomo-style Evo/Vader or maybe a Dan Mann-style Cornice next. Something that will make all their surf-buddies think “man that thing is SIIIIIICK!!!” if they rock up to their next session with it under their arm.

And they’re not all bad; there’s a kid at my local who’s probably the best of the new grom’s coming through. He rips. And I see him out on a longboard almost as often as I see him out on his shortie. Nice polite kid (although he’s well into the teens now so he’s a little more stand-offish when it comes to talking to grown adults nowadays - but hey, that’s normal for that age).

So I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d be interested in knowing how a mid-length works and how to make one. There might be some potential as a shaper there.

Who knows.

We’ll see.

Cheers all! :slight_smile:

It all comes full circle and very little changes.

The younger generation sees the older generation the same way the older generation once saw the generation older than them.

Full circle.

The older generation remembers things with rose colored goggles, etc, etc.

Full circle.

It is not the size of the board or latest whooptidoo outline that is “shaping” It is the process using the tools developing a consistant technique and discipline, crafstmanship, to produce what you want to make. Good process makes good boards. It is work it is repititon once you learn this than you can make anything.  


Chrisp, as a gemmie wanna be shaper in the very early 60’s, the older crew were gods, to stand in their shadow was enough to experience rapture.

But these were men among men, Wally Froseith, John Kelly, George Downing, Bob Shepard, shapers shapers, to have them give me the time of day would have been enough, but I would have to wait a few years to be taken under the wing of a master shaper. Had I shown contempt or impudence on how long it would take to learn all that I was being shown, I would have been shown the door and told not to come back. I had the desire and drive to last out the “boot camp” phase, I listened intently to everything I was being shown and told, filed it away with the last bit of information. That was 49 years ago, the first 6 I was on my own, adrift up the creek without a paddle, now 55 years later I have an apprentice, a young man with desire and drive, his father a wood craftsman, so tools are not alien to him, he isn’t anywhere near great yet, but he is young and hungry to go the distance. I’ll mentor him for as long as he wants and I hope my help will help him to achieve his dream also

I love it when I see the uninformed stand a board up and comment on “wow, bitchin shape”, with not the slightest idea of anything more than the outline being the “shape”, the outline is the least of all the variables

Understood Jim

I don’t want to be a shaper. I started with ding repair on the side. Learned all about shaping by reverse engineering…self taught. Handled 1000’s of surfboards…bought a planner and a shop vac…people tell me I make Top Notch boards…I’m stoked I got a night shift job in the chemical industry…with overtime and vacation days…Some young people have the old school work ethic…My 24 year old daughter works 45-60 hours a week…Stingray