Sometimes change is good

As of Tuesday june 19th I will no longer be shaping for Joel Tudor Surfboards. I both shaped and designed everything for the company (excluding classic longboards that Bill Shrosbee shapes),models such as the good karma, diamond tail egg,classic fish,and many others that have been programed on 2 machines here in San Diego. The shaper that was hired to replace me is Steve Ford (airbrusher for Pacific Surfglass, Tom Eberly,etc.) All templates and designs used on these boards are were created by me ,using t emplates and curves from my own design( with the exemption of the JT egg).My involment with Joel on a personal level regarding these designs is something I have enjoyed a great deal. This situation came about for a multitude of reasons, the main one being that I was unwilling to take deep paycuts ( up to 30%) on the boards that I shaped for Joel Tudor Surfboards. The fee that I charged for shaping has not increased in three years. Their solution was to bring in a relatively inexperienced finish shaper that would finish shape someone else’s designs for a whole lot less money ( and I’m not picking on Steve Ford here, he and I have worked for the same company in the past and continue to be on good terms). Why am I bringing this up on Swaylock’s? For a couple of very important reasons. At first glance it probably seems that I am spilling alot of sour grapes about what has happened but it really is not the primary reason I am bringing this information to this site. This is primarally about integrity or the lack there of. As many people know in the time I worked for this company I have been asked if I made the same boards under my own label. I felt that it would go against my own principles to offer the same boards from both Joel Tudor Surfboards And my own label. There is a very important lesson to be learned here. As a shaper you are taking a big chance using the shaping machine to produce your designs for another surfboard company. On one hand you have a shaper using his skills, knowledge and templates to create surfboards that there has become a high demand for, and you have the company they work for that wants to increase production and puts said shapers designs on the machine to increase supply and meet orders. They then opt out to get someone cheaper to produce the product. Is it legal? Absolutely, Is it the ethical thing to do? Gives you something to think about. That being said, I am now producing all the boards I used to shape for the above mentioned label ander Stu Kenson Surfboards with the immediate release of some new models you may have seen prototypes of this year being ridden both here in San Diego and Hawaii this season. I will have some stock boards available in our showroom at Northwind Glassing, but I will continue to specialize in building custom to order surfboards. These will continue to be a primier surfboard in qulity of design and glasswork. (yes this is definitely pure selfless promotion, please excuse me for this excess).You will be able to order any of these boards directly from me thru my website ( or contact me directly at Northwind glassing in San Diego,Ca. The boards will still be available with any combination of tints and pigments that you can come up with but you will also have the options of going to a clear gloss and polish or even a nice lightweight acrylic finish. Sometimes change is a good thing, and in this case I’d have to agree. Again my apologies for the self promotion here, but I felt it was important enough to be said. In addition , my thanks to swaylocks giving an opportunity to have a say in the surfing community. Best Regards sk

Hey, good luck on the new operation, sounds to me like you are doing the right thing. Hopefully you’ll have a ton of customers before you know it.

Oh poor Stu…up and down career, losing you surf shop, fired from RUSTY, now Joel has blown you off. Anything we can do for you, after all these years you’ve insulted your peers and dropped in on waves at our surf spots?? Man, we’re really gonna rally to your side to help you pay that mortgage!!! And that glass factory your at, with all the like minded, loud, self promoting, uneducated, critical jerks!! Good luck Fella, hey, there’s always Ding Repair… Wow, i hope all the complaining about $1100. Joel Tudor boards didn’t get to Joe or Joel!!! Your mouth is gonna be the end of you pal, think about it next time it starts moving before your little surf world get’s ugly…the glory days are over. Pay the piper, B-i-i-a-a-a-c-h-h!!!

So sorry, no longer need services of you, no longer cool guy american board shaper, want new guy,how you say Ford-san? Plenty white shaper dogs to finish machine shapes. Sianora!!!Sappy-san!!

Effective immediately, Stu Kenson surfboards will be marketed through the Costco ‘outlet’ only in El Cajon location. If sales rise above current sales leader “the REALM” we will hire white people again to sand and set fins. Until then a 30% pay cut will go into effect.

Hey bro we need a sander, i can’t see over my gut to rub out these REALM board dings, could you help out until Juan get’s back from the Border traffic jam. Oh yeah Rusty said “Hi”.

Good for you Stu I have been an admirer of your work for along time,I use to ride a 6’3"Rusty round tail that you shaped back in 91-93 that was one fast and responsive board, with nice semi boxy rails.I rode that stick up to double overhead an it never spun-out. So to say the least you have been a big influence on my shaping and surfing so enjoy your new enterprise. Also is there any truth in the gossip that Rich P. designed the board that Joel was riding at pipe and not Bill. Stay Soul, Rick

No way you beat price, we drop to $199. and give free mexican leash. SK go home, Joel say you washed up, all mouth, get machine, no mouth.

Dude just suck it up and take the cut we need 50 by Fridays UPS truck. I’ll throw in some retro flouresent t-shirts we couldn’t ship to those Japs.

Wow…tough crowd. Don’t know (or care) about the backstory particularly, but wish you well in the new endeavor. I’ve seen your name on some nice boards, maybe the change will be for the best. Aloha

What’s this about white shaper dogs being a dime a dozen? check yourself,where’s the demand for japanese shapers oh, I forgot there are none!!!

joking around is fine, anger can be useful, even talking trash has its place but cut the rascist crap now- it is just plain ugly and stupid- using that sort of language just takes away from any point or jab you are making. Everybody hula!

Whoever the moron is who keeps making posts under the name Japanese Exporter or REALM CORPORATE HDQRS. THAILAND - that sort of thing is called incitement to racial hatred and is not only disgusting but illegal in most places.

I don’t know what side I am on or what the hell I am saying, but while they’re is a fight let me though in a few jabs and kicks… The surf busines is a tough crowd. The soul is gone and the greed has taken over. This is why I promote shaping ones own board. I hide no secrets to shaping becuase there are none. There are helpful hints and a sincre good luck wish. However, many of the greedy and most insulting of the shaping industry are at the top. Many criticize the beginner (both surfer or shaper), but they want every kid to buy there board. The two can’t co-exist but in a hypocratic surf society and industry. Even the magazines are part of the ugly surf culture. I can’t go on without mentioning names, but I will start with Sunny Garcia. Hawaiians are supposed to be a very welcoming culture, but Sunny is quite the ooposite, punching people out over a wave. I am of mixed raced and would never have thought I would say this…Hawaii would be better off without mixed raced people like Sunny. He promotes localism, yet his parents are from where…Puerto rico, Mexico…where??? Next on the agenda… Politics in the shaping room…where did this all arise…out of fricken greed!!! It doesn’t matter whether you are white, Brazilia, Japanese, Mexican or…Shapers shouldn’t use another persons talent to get them ahead in the industry and then discard them. Enough, this is making me sick just thinking about the greed… Keep shaping and you all can make a good board for much less that $1100.

I don’t know where to begin. It is unfortunate that Stu and I are no longer working together, however as Stu says, sometimes a change is good. The actual reason why Stu Kenson and I have parted ways consists of a disagreement in salary. When Stu started working for Joel Tudor Surfboards the very LEAST he made for a shortboard under 7 feet was $33. Over time, that amount grew to $35. Anything over 7’1" to 8’0" was $38. Remember, these were computer finishes. In this industry, the going price for a shaper off the computer is anywhere from $20 to $25, sometimes less. These figures are consistent with the majority of the industry (and I mean the big boys too). Therefore, I started Stu with close to a $10 increase over shapers of his degree. Stu Kenson wanted a $5 to $10 raise, boosting his salary to $40 to $45 per computer shape. I contacted veteran shapers Donald Takayama, Tom Eberly, KKL, and Tony Channin, all of whom said he was “out of his fucking mind.” I do not feel I have been unresonable in these matters. I took a relatively unknown shaper and paid him generously. For all of the shapes and designs that Stu and I created, he was always well paid for his time. I received NOTHING for free. The designs were directed by me and created through Stu- something I could have done (and will do) with anyone of his caliber. In conclusion, I wish Stu the best of luck and I hope the next company he works for pays him as handsomely as I did. You reap what you sow. Joel

It just goes to show you what kind of person is making these comments. hmmm do you think this kook is bitter!

P.S. I have not hired Steve Ford, he simply filled in for Stu on boards that Stu refused to shape. My full time shapers now that Stu is gone will primarily consist of Shroz and Tom Eberly. Aloha, Joel

Stu, Good luck with your future. Personally I don’t think Joel knows what he will be missing. You are definately one of the most creative and talented guys out there. Keep your overhead low and margins high. Sluggo

Wow! so much drama. Coincidentally, strangely, I just finished watching the Natural Expression video…again. Very inspiring. Every surfer should see it along with The Seedling. I Walked over to my computer to find out a little bit more about the eggy good karma model Joel was riding in the video and stumbled upon this site. Surprised to read about the first message in this string. Bummed to see the controversey over Stu and Joel. Then stoked to see that Joel is so involved in the site. Joel, where can I get/order a good karma model? I live up in OC. Thanks K1

Been hangin on to J.T’s coat tails too long? Guess so. As far as overpayment goes , what doe sir joelness get / copy? Word on the street is it’s $300.00 .