An excerpt from a feature in SURFING’s January 2014 Surfboard Issue.
The first shaper says to the second shaper, “Do you even know anything about me?”
The second shaper replies, “I know you’re the descendant of a criminal.”
They laugh, and a busty bartender takes their order. The two then start discussing surfboard technology, the demands of team riders, making boards for women and more. They talk for about an hour, drink their drinks and leave.
And if you’re waiting for the punchline — sorry, we don’t have one. All we could come up with was a pitcher of beer, two bloody marys and a few thousand words from two of surfing’s leading shapers. This is the state of surfboards today — no joke.
SURFING: What is the future for surfboards?
Darren Handley: Fins and flex. Fins are so important. You can put bad fins in a magic board and it will go shithouse.
Matt Biolos: That’s the thing: I wish we had more downtime. The tour ends at Pipeline, then it’s the holiday season, then it’s January 20 and Dino Andino is standing over me, going, “Dude, we need to make boards for Snapper. We’re going to Snapper in a month!” We don’t have an off-season. We can’t take our surfers to El Salvador and surf right-hand pointbreaks with 30 boards for a month. Every other sport allows for a period of R&D and with the World Tour structure we just don’t have that. So it’s tough to progress.
D: Guys like Matt and I don’t have time for it anymore. But that’s the beauty of our sport: There are all these smaller shapers out there that will help drive the future of surfboard technology.
M: I will say, I think it would be really good to have composite stringers, made of Kevlar, carbon or fiberglass. Take the x-factor out of the wood — the warp, the bent stringers, the knots — if we can get the flex right and start controlling the stringer, that would be a big step. But yeah, it’s the smaller, outside-the-box guys who will come up with the big changes. Being established brands, we have the relationships and the know-how to work at the top level. Usually these guys will come to us with the new ideas, and we offer a platform to launch them.
Get your paws on an issue to read the full interview.