Ezequiel Macchi (Macchi Surfboards)
Do you remember the first board you shaped?
I really don’t. I started at La Jolla, California, with my mentor Tim Bessel, and I’ve shaped at least 650 boards in that period. It’s really hard for me to remember what happened with the first one.
Considering the exponential growing of surf culture over last years in our country, can you name the pros and cons of this growth?
The advantage for us, the shapers, is a significant job growth but this also sees the appearance of others brands, shapers etc. The surf is evolving and it helps us to be more competent and give our best efforts. The bad part is definitely the crowded line up.
On the shaping room, machine or by hand? pro and cons?
Right now I really like to shape manually. The cons: It’s really exhausting and you are very limited with the amount of boards you can shape. The pros: The dedication you put in each board and the satisfaction from making with your hands what you have in your head. There is a real difference between shaping manually and pushing a button to let a machine do the work. I totally understand the automated shaping is focused on a big production, but I’ll keep shaping manually until my body says “enough”.
Do you notice any trends in the current shapes? Is there any particular style which is more requested than others?
There is not a particular shape requested, but I might say that lately surfers are looking for a board with a big foam volume but in a short shape. This is really interesting because it allows me to try out different possibilities related to the swell size, the surfer style etc.
Please describe a typical day in the shape room?
Each day is different. Everything depends on the swell conditions, but I really prefer to shape early in the morning when my eyes and head are well rested.
Do the customers usually take your advice and suggestions?
Usually yes, but they have the last word.
Since the situation in our country is not the best, how do you manage the lack of material to shape?
Fortunately, this is not a problem for me. We have quality materials in our country to work with.
Epoxy VS glass: Which do you choose and why?
I choose foam and polyester. The flexibility and performance on the water is superior to epoxy. That is why the best surfers around the world still use traditional boards.
Please let me know your favourite shapes to work and why you like them.
I love to shape different shapes, but I’ll give you my top three: Guns, high-performance shortboards and a little bit of retro (fish, classic longboards).
Lately the environmentalists criticise surf because the boards are (in their opinion) far from be eco-friendly. What is your opinion?
I think it’s true, the boards are made with toxic materials. In some countries the foam leftovers are being recycled to be reused in new boards, but we are far from that. I really hope someday we can do the same.
How do the pop-outs boards being made in Asia (China/Korea) effect you commercially? How do you see the fact that some big names are also behind these productions?
Here in Argentina we are not affected. Nothing compares to a tailor-made board and to discussing with the shaper what it is that you want. This is a craft discipline, and I really think it will be this way for several years. The big brands, with all the marketing, advertising and sponsoring, want to let you think that their boards are the best ones, but there are thousand of shapers around the world making quality boards. But as I told you before, the brand and the logo sells a lot!
Please name three shapers and three surfers who inspire you?
Shapers: My mentor Tim Bessell – one of the greatest shapers around the world and Rusty and Luck Short from Australia. Surfers: Locally, my team rider Juan Manuel Arca. He demands the best from me and my shapes. Around the world: Tom Curren, Kelly Slater and Dane Reynolds.
What are your five favourite surf spots in the world?
Ugh.. I love a lot of spots but I still owe a visit to J-Bay and a couple of other beaches.
Last one: Why do you surf?
Just because I love it!