By now someone like me can probably get away with saying “Rone Shine needs no introduction,” except it’s likely best to phrase it “BoardPorn needs no introduction”. Because BoardPorn is Ron Shine’s public identity, and Ron Shine is on this episode of The Wire Podcast (scroll down if you have no patience).
You can think of Ron as the wizard behind the curtain. He’s the ghost in the machine, or “The Benevolent Dictator of The Surf World Internets”. Because if you make a surfboard and send him a picture of it he will show it to 145,000 surfers no matter who you are. Even if you’re in Russia making boards from old foam you found in broken refrigerator doors, Ron will have surfers on the Gold Coast seeing your shapes within days.
That’s why we, and I mean all of us, are lucky to have him. He restores balance in the surfboard world as if he were Johnny Depp’s character in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Except Ron does it non-violently, giving buzz and attention to Jon Pyzel and Donald Brink and maybe even you after you cobble together your first board at Shaper Studios.
He sorts through over 300 photos a day that are sent to him via text, DM, email and all medium of message transfer, and for many, it would be a tiring task to sort through them all. But for Ron, it’s an energizing endeavor that brings surfing into his life in the moments that he’s not actually surfing.
The first 25 minutes of this episode explores the details of why Ron started BoardPorn, and how he turned it into what it’s become today – the world’s largest online community of surfboard enthusiasts we know of.
If you’re already a fan, you’ll enjoy this view of the wizard behind the curtain as he waxes about his favorite fins for his Baked Potato (and other boards he rides), where he Instagrams from, what the next big thing in shaping is, the dream access he enjoys to his childhood surfing heroes, his previous life as a surf journo and more nuggets.
As a resident of Rockaway Beach, New York who has a day job high in a Manhattan skyscraper, Ron’s lifestyle isn’t the stereotypical picture many would expect from the person at the helm of BoardPorn. But it’s a surfing life that’s as authentic as any. Enjoy this episode: