- 13 February 2017 | Surfing
Ten international shapers will replicate one of legendary Santa Barbara shaper Al Merrick's classic surfboard designs during the Icons of Foam: Tribute to the Masters Shape-off.
One shaper will be judged the winner and will receive $1,000, and their name etched into the Mike Marshall Perpetual Trophy.
Each craftsman has 90 minutes in the shaping bay and should bring his/her own tools. A US Blank and template are provided. Shapers can step out and touch, fondle and look at the board at any time, but they may not re-measure it.
The shape-off competition is one of the many events and exhibits taking place during The Boardroom International Surfboard Show.
Celebrating its 10th year, the consumer-facing surfboard manufacturing trade show showcases the core of the surf industry: surfboards, fins, wetsuits, art, and gear. The Boardroom takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds between May 6-7, 2017.
"Al Merrick's surfboard designs are above reproach. You'd be hard-pressed to find a surfer that hasn't ridden one of his boards," saysScott Bass, director of The Boardroom.
"These ten shapers, although highly competitive, realize their time in the shaping bay honors Al Merrick as well as the sacred craft of surfboard shaping."
Al Merrick is the founder of Channel Islands Surfboards. He was born in 1944, in Jersey. Merrick shaped boards for the most influential surfers in the world, including Shaun Tomson, Tom Curren, Lisa Andersen, Sofia Mulanovich, and Kelly Slater.
"We've selected quite a crew of shapers. They are all talented craftsmen. It's going to be a fun event. I'm quite humbled, and I look forward to a great shape-off at The Boardroom in Del Mar," added honoree Al Merrick.
The 10 Shapers
Nick Palandrani is the defending champion and represents NorCal (Santa Cruz, Ca.). Palandrani is the shaper/owner of Source Surfboards.
Gary McNeill hails from Kirra on the Australian Gold Coast. Accomplished surfer/shaper owns an Australian Title and makes boards for Dave Rastovich.
Zack Flores, 17 years old, from Encinitas, California. Zack joins Taz Yassin as the youngest shaper to ever shape in Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters.
Wayne Rich is from Santa Barbara, California. The first shaper selected by the CI crew for this competition. A two-time champion (Yater '10; Ekstrom '11).
Matt Kazuma Kinoshita heads up his Kazuma label out of Maui, Hawaii. Mentored by 2014 Icon of Foam honoree Ben Aipa.
Ryan Sakal (Aryse Surfboards) is a second generation shaper from Leucadia by way of Huntington Beach. The best surfer of the bunch? He's in the conversation.
Chris Christenson represents San Diego and was essential when formulating the shape-off concept/rules; a judge at the first shape-off in 2007 honoring Mike Diffenderfer.
Johnny Cabianca is a Brazilian ripper who shapes out of the Basque region of Spain. He builds boards for Gabriel Medina among many others.
Jon Pyzel is originally from Santa Barbara and representing the North Shore of Oahu, Pyzel shapes boards for WSL champion John John Florence.
Rex Marechal is shaping since the late 1970s. Rex moved to Australia from San Diego in 1992 and represents NSW Central Coast. Older Seaside crew still claims him.
Icons of Foam: Tribute to the Masters Shape-off | List of Honorees and Winners
2007 - Mike Diffenderfer (Del Mar) / Ricky Carroll
2008 - Bill Caster (Del Mar) / Ricky Carroll
2009 - John Bradbury (Ventura / Marc Andreini
2009 - Dick Brewer (Del Mar) / Pat Rawson
2010 - Renny Yater (Ventura) / Wayne Rich
2010 - Simon Anderson (San Diego) / Matt Biolos
2011 - Doug Haut (Santa Cruz) / Ward Coffey
2011 - Carl Ekstrom (Del Mar) / Wayne Rich
2012 - Mark Richards (Del Mar) / Ricky Carroll
2013 - Rich Price (Orlando) / Stu Kenson
2013 - Terry Martin (Costa Mesa) / Matt Calvani
2014 - Ben Aipa (Del Mar) / Roger Hinds
2015 - Rusty Preisendorfer (Del Mar) / Roger Hinds
2016 - Gerry Lopez (Del Mar) / Ryan Lovelace
2016 - John Mel (Santa Cruz) / Nick Palandrani