this week i had an incredible experience. i actually witnessed perhaps the best shaper today shape – actually you know i think saying he just “shaped” this board is not only doing him, but also his creation an injustice. the process took my speech away and put a permanant smile on my face. the only way i can describe this would require me borrowing obe one ginobli’s answer to how excited he was when winning the nba chamionship…he would need two bodies to feel it. watching this master dance in his shaping bay. choosing just the right piece of sandpaper or sanding block. answering questions like “how flexible are you” and “you look a little flat foot, is that right?” boggled my mind! it was truly incredible to see the measurements fall into place. not just simple measurements – he looked more like an engineer or architect than a builder. the handling of the planers. the lack of dust. the way he would carefully turn the sandpaper over the block was a thing of beauty. a truly humbling experience. afterwards i asked if he had ever watched a master create, he said sure and rattled off a dozen of the worlds most famous and most respected shapers…i said, no, you are also a master, have you ever watched a master builder at something else. he had, a guitar maker i think. he didn’t get how truly amazing and humbling it was for me until i asked that. if anyone can do this please pleas do. please respect your shaper. my mind is still a mush after this. you would not believe the conversation in and out of the shaping bay…everything from ayn rand to education to hydrodynamics to the golden mean. i can still see the rails getting turned by the soft touch of the 80grit. still see the block planer move over nearly the entire stringer leaving a perfected coiled slice of bass. the whole process made me think a lot. these mass produced boards may have a place in the world of surfing…i am not sure exactly what place, but i suppose they have a place in there somewhere. with that said, these shapers who are creating such masterpieces should not be allowed to go away. not sure how, but please kiss their asses or better yet just keep buying their boards. if you get lucky maybe they will let you watch. oh yeah, maybe i forgot to mention, the more i got to know this amazing shaper the more his expertise and mastery made sense and the more i respected him as a human being not just a surfer or shaper. if by some odd cosmic twist someone had transported him to the corporate world he would be the guy with a plaque in the lobby of companies like ibm and lucent and motorola for inventing or perfecting their breakthrough inventions. we are truly blessed and lucky to have people like him making the crafts we so love to ride. what a ramble…apologies.
Apparently everyone else here is speechless. So I’ll bite: who’s the guru? Describe your new stick. Let’s give some praise where praise is due.
Allright, allright, I admit…it’s me!!!
Seriouly though…did you intentionally leave the namne out? If so goood god man why?
You can start respecting this shaper by sharing the identity so we too can thow mad respect his/her way.
I’m sure a lot of the famous names are good craftsmen because they’ve had a lot of practice, and all credit to them. It’s their job, so they should be good at it.
I’ve also known several underground shapers who rip foam and waves, and their bays and shaping habits leave a lot to be desired. But their overall demeanor and design knowledge is also a very good source of inspiration.
A rose by any other name. Doesn’t matter who the person is. In an ideal world, each of us would be fortunate enough to step blindly into the right shaping bay and be met in such a way.
Very few shapers would be spoken about with such reverence. I can only think of 2 or 3 that are alive right now.
I think it’s you Josh…
Got my order ready…I’ll shoot you an email wid it!
Definitely not me. The only people in my garage is a guy dressed in a black suit and tie and he’s telling all the time to cut out clippings of Time magazine and keeps saying something about looking for “hidden messages”. Weird, huh?
Tim…Search the ARCHIVES!!!
just effing with you.
the song goes
I believe the children are oour future
teach them well and let them lead the way
be your own master shaper and avoid worshiping idols
their feet are rooted in a tradition of respect ,for bettors
and for self
performance arrt is a theatrical science
hand shaping a surfboard is a craft honed
if yall aint started yet get the pok wid it!
you are the future of the craft
to mention mass xoduced popouts
and rhetoricly mentioning master hand crafting
in the same breath is a cardinal sin.
in time it may become a crime punishable by hanging from the
YARD ARMS OR KEELHAULING
being forced to wride them popoffs exclusively at state regulated beaches
Hail to the Chief and the senators that passed the law in 2009 to insure public saftey
the gift you were given:
to observe the process and the dance
cannot be returned
the only reciprocation can be learning and executing the dance
for another audience in the future
A Trip down memory lane…
background: the notion to surf. Find a guru.
Three lessons, paddled to exhaustion in minute surf. A Compression ding in the Barge.
Fourth go out, A Traverse! The sense of accomplishment! The Stoke! Now I need a board of my own. The search.
Surf shops, want ads, moving ads.
Advise from “experts” nothing quite fits.
Back to guru. He lets me start trying boards. Some, in Xchange for a Gallon of milk here gallon of ice cream there.
Finally he breaks the truth to me:
“Your board is not here.”
“Where is it then?”
“In my mind,”
“Have you shaped it before?”
"A thousand times, over and over in my mind "
I’m not worthy of a new board.
Time passes. Poke around. Hey, “It’s just foam, glass and wood.” Surrender …
In front of my eyes, a blank, a template, the planer, noise, motion, foam flying.
I 'm rooted. All four eyes glued at the process. Mouth opening and closing like a reef fish. Tongue-tied. He’s and artist. He a craftsman. He’s a madman. What did I do? AAHHH!
And then behold! Under a moonlit niu tree. There’s my CUSTOM ONE OF A KIND very own surfboard!
Chalangalang. Nine-o hotdog board.
“Hey nice board!”
“Let me see that!” (Beam Beam) “Great rocker, You’re not going to pearl that!” Check that V , soft rails. What a sweet board!" Must turn like a dream"
“That’d be perfect to have in my rental fleet,” (I know, I looked all over the island for a board like this)
“That’s an Ambrose board idn’t it!”