Most surfers would love to shape their own board, but there are three main barriers that hold most of us back: space, tools and knowledge. Basically, if your dad isn’t a shaper, you will probably never shape a surfboard. Well, at least that’s what I thought, until a friend of mine told me about Shaper Studios and I dropped by their San Diego shop with a couple sketches I made of finless boards.
One of their in-house shapers, Jeff, was stoked to help me shape one and even helped modify the designs to suit me better. He told me that most people start with a very safe and conventional design. My design was neither safe nor conventional, but it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to. Above are photos of how it went down.
There are obviously a lot of steps I left out, but I don’t want to stray too far from what I’m getting at. My point isn’t that they teach you how to make a board that looks like it was shaped by aliens, it’s that they provide the space, tools and instruction to shape any board you can imagine. They can also teach you how to glass it, but I chose to get mine glassed by a professional to make sure all the channels get the extra attention they need. Shaper Studios has locations in San Diego and Vancouver, but don’t worry if you don’t live nearby. Based on my experience, I would expect them to have a shop in a community near you very soon.