The Inertia Gear Editor
duct tape shaping bay

The Duct Tape Shaping Bay in action. Photo: Vans.

The Inertia

Editor’s Note: This article is brought to you by our partners at Vans.

There’s a lot going on at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing this year. Shortboard and longboard comps, kids’ surf camps, BMX, skating – and that’s just the start. One eye-catching feature of this year’s U.S. Open is the Duct Tape Shaping and Glassing Bay, run by the crews at Golden State Glassing and Shred Manufacturing Co. They’re grinding every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so if you’re in Huntington Beach, swing by. Here’s what I got into when I checked it out:

The Shaping Bay, pictured above, is what it sounds like – a fully-equipped shaping room with every tool a shaper could want to craft a surfboard. Yesterday morning saw local groms like Caity Simmers and Reef Persidok stepping up to try their hands at the art with the help of master shaper Brian Anderson. Reef used the opportunity to create a channel-bottomed quad for barrel riding. “I’m gonna get so tubed on this thing,” he told me.

Jay of Golden State Glassing glasses a board

Jay squeegees excess resin out of the channels on Reef’s new board. Photo: WS.

The boards then move next door to the glassing room, where Jayson “Jay” Gera of Golden State Glassing takes on his part of the process, using an epoxy-based eco resin to glass each board with colorful flare. As much as shaping is an art, glassing is too. Reef’s board was glassed with a green resin tint on the bottom and mustard-yellow swirls on the deck. “It’s so cool to be able to demonstrate the surfboard glassing process because this is how everyone glasses all around the world,” says Jay. “Even for boards made in Taiwan and China, there’s no machine that can glass a board. It’s the same process that we’re doing here, and I don’t think enough people realize that.”

Shred MFG resin recapture

Juliana of Shred MFG pours leftover resin into wax comb molds. Photo: WS.

Throughout the process, Shred Manufacturing Co. is there to do what they do best – reduce, reuse, and recycle. “Shred uses the waste from the surfboard manufacturing process to produce skateboards and lifestyle products,” says Shred co-founder Jeff Schauf. “Surfing is a sport that connects us with nature, but unfortunately the surfboard manufacturing process is a pretty wasteful one, and can really do some damage to the planet. So for us it’s all about reusing that waste and keeping it out of the landfills.”

Display boards at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing

Left to right, boards shaped by Dakota Roche, Zion Wright, Troy Elmore, and Holly Wawn. Photo: WS.

Next door to the Glassing Room, a select few boards shaped and glassed here at the U.S. Open are on display. Shortboards shaped by Zion Wright, a fish and a mid Dakota Roche shaped with inspiration from the curves of his bicycle, and a couple of boards each from Australian Holly Wawn and Huntington local Troy Elmore. I thought the boards were just for show, until I saw Morgan Cibilic and friends stepping up to try out a couple themselves. The boards are available for anyone to try, free of charge, so I checked out one of Zion’s shortboards and took it to the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier. With some afternoon wind the waves were nothing special, but the board felt solid when I could actually get it under my feet. Today, I’ll see if I can try one of Holly’s creations. It’s a surfers’ dream over here at the Vans Duct Tape Shaping Bay: straight from the artist’s hands to the water.


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