Surfboard shaper: hands that make waves

Surfboard shapers are the guardians of surfing. The surfboard revolution has always started in the shape room, with the major inputs from the world's greatest surfers. One surfboard can change your surf forever.

The first surfboard is responsible for bringing you to the sport. Many surf beginners lose their interest in surfing because they didn't the correct board for the early waves.

The best surfboard shapers of all time have already produced thousands of great surfboards. Each surfboard design is unique and serves a specific function. Old school surf, classic and smooth carving, vertical turns, off-the-lip adventures, super speed surf lines, tube riding or aerial antics may be strongly boosted and improved by the tweaking and tuning the foam, through hydrodynamics.

Surfboard craftsmen do surf. The rocker, the tail, the rails, the bottom contours, the fin setup, the glass and polish process -it all comes to a final fruit. Each surfboard has its dimensions: length, width and thickness are not random variables and "feel". This is ocean mathemathics that can only be solved by the hands of experienced surfboard shapers.

These surf artists work in special environments. The shaping room should be around 16'x8' (9,6 x 4,8 meters) with bright horizontal fluoros lights mounted on each side of the space. Standings on which blanks are shaped should be fixed to the floor, aligned with the adjacent lights.

Lights are one of the main secrets of any shape room. They will allow surfboard shapers to correct any design imperfections detected in the initial blank. Accuracy is compulsory is hydrodynamics. The best surfboard shapers in the history of surfing have developed their own techniques and skills. An elite group of ultimate surf shapers has defined the future of surfing, in the last 50 years.

Al Merrick is one of the most important names in the surfboard shaping. Since 1969, his Channel Islands Surfboards brand has defined modern and high performance surfing, in the competitive scene.

The custom surfboard world wouldn't be what it is today, without the Hawaiian feel of Jeff Bushman. His famous big guns have passed the most demanding testing grounds in the ground, in Oahu's North Shore, in Hawaii.

The creative and cutting edge personality of Simon Anderson brought us the Thruster surfboard. Equal size fins and a balance between maneuverability, stability and drive were the ingredients which revolutionized contemporary surfing.

Decades before the computer-shaper, Rusty Preisendorfer was already bringing surfboards to life with immense quality. The legendary surf craftsman started shaping at 16 and quickly shaped innovative ideas under his Rusty Surfboards trademark.

Bob McTavish, Eric Arakawa, Gerry Lopez, Hobart Alter, Tom Wegener and a few more have been shaping the best surfboards in the world, whether it's a single fin, a twin fin, a thruster or a quad. Surfboard manufacturers make dreams come true. Now, just add your stoke.

Discover the legends of surfboard shaping in "Boardroom".

The Best Surfboard Shapers of All Time:

Al Merrick
Allan Byrne
Ben Aipa
Bert Burger
Bill Riedel
Bill Stewart
Bing Copeland
Bob McTavish
Bob Pearson
Bob Simmons
Bruce Jones
Chris Jones
Dale Velzy
Dick Brewer
Dick Van Straalen
Donald Takayama
Drew Anderson
Eric Arakawa
Gerry Lopez
Greg Bennett
Greg Noll
Greg Webber
Hap Jacobs
Hobart Alter
Iñigo Letamendia
Jason Stephenson
Jeff Bushman
Mark Neville
Matt Biolos
Maurice Cole
Mike Diffenderfer
Murray Bourton
Nick Uricchio
Owl Chapman
Phil Byrne
Reynolds Yater
Robert August
Robert Weiner
Rusty Preisendorfer
Simon Anderson
Skip Frye
Terry Martin
Tom Wegener
Wayne Lynch