Mariano Gryner (Gryner Surfboards)
Do you remember the first board you shaped?
Of course! It was a 7.6´ funboard. I was in Hawaii. It’s hard to know where could be right now.
Considering the exponential growing of surf culture over last years in our country, can you name the pros and cons of this growth?
Well, I will give you a two-sides answer. On the bright side, since this sport has grown so much, the demand has grown in the same way, so there is more work for me. The awful part is, the breaks are crowded as ever, and when you have so many people in the water the surf etiquette goes out the window. There are a lot of people with a respectable surf level but without any knowledge of how to behave in the water.
On the shaping room, machine or by hand? pro and cons?
Hmm… It’s a controversial topic. I have a pre-shaping machine (it’s not software operated) called a profiler. I use it on maybe 50% of my boards. The other half is pure hand shaping. I think to have a fully automated machine could be useful for a brand or a shaper who wants to have 100/200 boards in stock. It will save you from the physical effort but if the operator is not good enough in the programming process, the result could also not be good enough. The software includes generics shapes… which means you get generic shapes. Plus, you always have to give a hand with the shaping anyway. I know shapers who worked several years on profilers or CNC machines and in the last years they went back to hand shaping. In my opinion, in the future people will demand pure handshaped boards without any techonology in the process.
Do you notice any trends in the current shapes? Is there any particular style which is more requested than others?
Yes. A lot of kids (and not so ‘kids’) have the need to move to a more stable shape (hulls, eggs). Shortboards demand a big effort.
Please describe a typical day in the shape room?
Shape, glass, sand – a lot of things because I execute every step in the board-making process. The shaping art is really intricate. I was taught in a school where first you are a fixer, then sander, then glasser and finally you become a shaper. In this day, it is easy to say “I’m a shaper”, but in my opinion you must know all the processes to deliver a quality product.
Do the customers usually take your advice and suggestions?
Yes, usually they are very open to suggestions.
Since the situation in our country is not the best, how do you manage the lack of material to shape?
It’s complicated. In our lovely country with all the restrictions to import, you have to be aware. When the blanks appear, you invest all you got. The foam is made in Argentina but with imported chemicals so the price is always different.
Epoxy VS glass: Which do you choose and why?
I prefer to make and ride classic polyester/foam boards. They are more versatile with a better performance. It has been checked worldwide. There are very interesting innovations with carbon fiber and epoxy, but the feeling you get on a traditional board is hard to achieve with other materials.
Please let me know your favourite shapes to work and why you like them.
I am very versatile, but i like to shape my super-retro model shortboards and 9 feet longboards.
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?
In my opinion, it has no impact on our local businesses. When some of these boards arrive here, they came with super high prices. These are the two sides of our import/export policies in our country: We don’t have to worry about pop-out boards, but the access to chemicals and products to shapes is really difficult to get a hold of.
Please name three shapers and three surfers who inspire you?
Shapers: Kazuma because of his dedication and discipline.
Surfers: All the 60’s/70’s riders in the golden era. In fact, i don’t pay much attention to how the other people surf.
What are your five favourite surf spots in the world?
Chapadmalal, Honores and Serena in Argentina plus Hookipa in Hawaii.
Last one: Why do you surf?
It makes me feel really well physically and mentally.
Check out Gryner’s favorite break Hookipa in Hawaii