The Future of Shaping is in Good Hands

Thought I’d pass this around.  Josh is the real deal.  Great guy, humble and knows how to mow.

Imagine having Skip Frye as your mentor! Nice! Thanks for the link.

…among all the coolness, the sadly thing that he did not said in that interview, is that a great % are cnc shapes finished by him; like the Euro ones.


Hm? IF true that does kinda put a different light on it. 

That would suprise the shit out of me…I’ve never seen a ruffle in his shop.

some of the greatest and most soulful shapers ever known now make use of "the machine". not a big deal...josh can still knock 'em out by hand start to finish if needed...


some of the greatest and most soulful shapers ever known now make use of "the machine". not a big deal...josh can still knock 'em out by hand start to finish if needed...



that may be

but when you openly market yourself and your boards as hand shaped as he does


one board a day all by hand or soemthing like that is something I have read him say more than once

I like his boards, alot, just think he needs to belly up to the bar and say it like it is IF he is using a machine or not





hi lee…

If a shaper starts with a machined blank, then finishes the shape by adding the unique features, isn’t that still shaping?

The hair always gets split on one side or the other.   Guys like Verb claim that if a guy uses a machine occasionally then he’s not a true “soulful” handshaper.  While others claim that if a guy can AKU a design and send the file to a machine house he is a modern day shaper.

I met Josh at that first NY Surf Film Festival. Nice guy, I think he had just gotten back from shaping in Japan and was about to head to Europe. Nice little gig he’s got going on, he’s in a good niche where his boards are going for top dollar. What shaper wouldn’t want to be in that position.

Here’s an interview with him from back in 2008:

That for sure is not true, at least in europe.

On the boards he makes this side of the pond,

you can rather see if he was partying to hard the evening before.


The mainstream surf media is telling porkies?? To sell the surfing lifestyle to easily manipulated punters? NO WAY!!

Here today gone tomorrow. It has always been that way. When your hot your hot. I would rather have one by Jim Phillips or Gene Cooper. As for the machine thing it’s very simple…

1)Hand Shaped is hand shaped. Not off a computer machine.


  1. Machine shaped is machine shaped. I don’t care what you do to the tail…it’s a machine shaped board.


                                    My Two Cents

I’m not sure where the info on the cnc is coming from.  As far as I know he has moved from the Skil to a new machine… the Accurate.

seems to be a slew of young shapers emerging.  Almond Surfboards, Gato Heroi, etc. boards up to $1200 a pop, and apparently in high demand with young retro hipsters. 

Lot of hype surrounding their boards.  The boards I had an opportunity to look over from those shapers seemed, however, fairly ordinary. 

William Gibson has written well about how buzz marketing drives the micro markets these days.  The young consumer decides what is hip, the buzz grows, the demand with it.  Often has nothing to do with subjective comparative qualities.

So these young guns are the current buzz.

Meanwhile, superb shapers like Wayne Rich, John Kies, Ward Coffey, and a host of others keep turning out da kine for a lot less then $1200 a board.

Kind of an upside down model. The old pro mowing foam on board #20,265 for journeyman wages, the young bucks demanding top dollar for surfboard #1,054.

Only in the surfboard business…







What if the outline and rocker templates are generated by a computer, but the board is shaped by hand?

With shaped by hand, I mean shaped using power tools (read machines) in your hand following the computer generated templates.


There always is a grey area.

…"The only people who still claim “hand shaped” are generally those who s
businesses haven’t reached the demand to warrant a machine to rough out
their blanks. "

-Josh Hall


This sentence was in response of a comment that I put on a blog.

Also, for all there saying the other, check again and you ll see a % is definitely machined.


-Icc, most do not shaped more than dozens or a few hundreds.

A minimal % built all the board included fins. But normally they are stacked in the longboard niche or retro stuff.

-Hans, please that argument is useless; the machine is not another tool in hands of the shaper; in fact, the machine is what does the job, no effort or work by the shaper.

But the main problem with the machine is that whatever parachute wanna be shaper or businessman turns instant master board builder the other day.

But we have discussed these things plenty on the machine/hand shaping threads.

“Icc, most do not shaped more than dozens or a few hundreds”


that’s great.  the new hipster $$$ surfboard marketplace, where less is more…just another paradigm shift that has got it upside down…

when once asked about his material, Richard Pryor replied “Are you nuts?  Just look around you.  No one can make this shit up, the stuff people do is f’n hilarious.”


Here it is again Hans. I will make it clean and simple.

Hand shaped is when a shaper grabs a blank off of the US Blanks truck and proceeds to shape the board using hand tools. That is what we call a hand shaped board.

If you take the same blank and hook it up to a rack containing a computer controlled robotic head it is no longer a hand shaped board. Even if the robot just cuts the outline and the rocker it is not a handshaped board. There is no gray area.