Shaping Career Path


Hello all,

I am seventeen and I have been pretty focused for the last year or two on shaping surfboards. I don’t actually surf that much I mainly kitesurf but I want to pursue shaping as a career. I’m not sure if this is what Swaylocks is meant to be used for, but I would greatly appreciate any advice from anyone who has been successful in this industry.

As a junior in highschool, college is all anyone over the age of forty asks me about. Is college really all that necesary? I mean I know it’s easier to get a job or whatever but do I really need a hundred thousand dollar education to be successful? 

Basically what I am saying is if I wanted to put my head on shaping boards for the next forty years, what steps should I take now to make sure that I don’t end up living with my parents?

This is probably way to much work to answer fully but really anything would be appreciated. 




You don’t need a college degree to shape your best bet is find a factory or a good shaper that needs shop help and work under him for 5 to 10 years (or more) and take everything in make as many boards as you can and try every part of the process. I have been told Hawaii is always looking for good glassers if that is something you are interested in.

If that’s what you want to do then find some experts on shaping surfboards who are doing it and ask them about their lives. I think you have an advantage because not many people in the world wake up and say “Hey! I want to shape surfboards!” so it’s definitely a unique skill. Plus if it’s your passion, you can find different fun and creative ways to bring more awareness to what you are doing. In other words, it would be fun to ‘market’ when you enjoy something. So my suggestion is DIVE right in! Plus if you find out that it’s really not something you want to do, it’s better to find out now then later.