Month Of The Shaper: The Lost Files Part 1

posted by / News / December 30, 2008

Editor’s Note: As most of you know, we ran a series of shaper interviews last month coinciding with our annual Surfboards Issue. We had two left to run – until a certain editor ran over his laptop in his North Shore rental. Needless to say, it took a few weeks – and our expert IT dude “{{{Raider}}}” Mike – to rescue the hard drive and retrieve the files. So out of the wreckage come two talented local shapers, Robert Weiner and Randy Cone. Listen to their opinions. They’re well worth the wait.

Name: Robert Weiner/Roberts Surfboards
Zone: Ventura County

Is your business better or worse since the Clark Foam shutdown?

My board sales have stayed about the same, although our profits are down due to increases in materials and overhead costs.

Do you feel polyurethane foam/polyester resin will always be the dominant surfboard construction?

I feel that PU/poly resin will stay more popular because of price. Most people won’t spend an extra ${{{100}}}-150 on EPS/Epoxy even though they last longer, ride insane and are better for the environment.

Do you think there’s an increasing or decreasing appreciation for a custom surfboard?

There has definitely been an increase in custom orders over the last few years. Surfboard designs are diverse now that surfers can’t always find the exact board they want on the rack. So, I encourage them to write up a custom order through their local Roberts dealer.

Are quads declining or increasing in popularity?

Quads are maintaining a fair amount of popularity. I’ve been riding quads over the last year and a half, and I don’t think that most surfers understand how important proper fin size and combinations can turn an ok quad into a magic one. If a surfer tries a quad and doesn’t like the feel, he or she should first try different fin combinations.

What’s keeping you afloat? Custom clientele? Shop accounts? Surftech?

Custom orders through shop accounts have been keeping us busy. Stock orders from overseas have also helped a lot lately.

If it hasn’t already, will your surfboard production ever have to go overseas?

A lot of board labels are manufacturing overseas to increase profits with cheaper labor and materials. I enjoy manufacturing here in the USA even though labor and material costs are more expensive. I believe quality first and hope I never have to sell out by manufacturing in China.

What kind of music do you like to listen to when you shape?

I’m no longer able to listen to music while shaping because my office manager Chad threw out my stereo while cleaning out the shaping bay.

How much time do you spend on a single board now?

All my boards are pre cut on the cnc machine so they usually take an hour or so. Customs take a little longer.

Do you spend more time on the computer screen or in the shaping bay?

Shaping bay. Computers are great tools for board design, but I enjoy working with my hands.

How important is teamrider feedback to you?

Teamrider feedback is the most important attribute for board design. I have a deep team of riders that help me create new designs and improve old ones.

What kind of board do you enjoy shaping most right now?

Highperformance shortboards for teamriders. I love to see my riders push surfing to the next level.

How often do you get to surf?

Two to three times a week. More if it’s pumping; less if it’s flat.

Are you actively pursuing “greener” avenues in your surfboard production?

We build a lot of eps/epoxy. I’ve also been experimenting with other environmentally friendly pu blanks.

MONTH OF THE SHAPER:
DAY 1: William “Stretch” Riedel
DAY 2: Mark Price / Firewire Surfboards
DAY 3: Jeff Clark
DAY 4: Chris Gallagher
DAY 5: Matt Biolos
DAY 6: Geoff Rashe
DAY 7: Mark Wooster
DAY 8: Jeff Bushman
DAY 9: Rusty Preisendorfer
DAY 10: Rich Price
DAY 11: Shane Stoneman
DAY 12: Ricky Carroll
DAY 13: Xanadu
DAY 14: Chris Christenson
DAY 15: John Carper
DAY 16: Michael Walter
DAY 17: David Barr
DAY 18: Ben Aipa
DAY 19: Jeff “Doc” Lausch
DAY 20: Jesse Fernandez
DAY 21: Cole Simler
DAY 22: Glenn Pang
DAY 23: Bill Johnson
DAY 24: Timmy Patterson
DAY 25: Tim Stamps
DAY 26: Todd Proctor
DAY 27: Adam Warden

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