Twenty years ago, all surfers still needed shapers. And a great part of them still had a special relationship with the man that singlehandedly carved every curve of their surf craft.
As with everything else, shaping got mechanical, and surfers got themselves believing that riding Occhy’s board would make them better and everything started popping out of bigger factories.
It still takes creativity and experience to design a surfboard and many surfers are still interested in riding a special board. One made to fit their own needs. One they won’t find next to them waiting for a set at their usual peak. One shaped for their skill and swell conditions, and not for the ASP’s top ten pro surfers.
Looking at this Cyrus Sutton short piece, you know that Ryan Lovelace is one of those dedicated and vocational designers, that on a daily basis tries to make people happy. Ryan, and every other shapers who decided that shaping is meant to be a personal, self-expressed and hand-crafted quest, are the necessary factors that make surfing a millenary culture and discipline.
It is important that surfers consider what a surfboard really is, and why it is better hand shaped by someone who cares – discussed, considered, and adapted to their own criteria.
The hand-shaped way is the only real research and development left in surfing. It is a genuine pursuit of performance, excellence, and happiness. It is a calling which few people on this planet answer for the greater good and who’s work we should all be more aware of.