• subtitle: Your Local Shapers Are Here To Rescue You With A Rightside Intervention

Written by  Allison Arteaga
Friday, 4/05/13

Like most East Coast surfers, you have probably been suffering for a long time under the delusion that boards made here on the East Coast can’t cut it. You’re addicted to surf industry hype, and you’re in denial about it. But your local shapers couldn’t sit back and watch you hurt yourself any longer. So in ESM’s March 2013 issue (Volume 22, #167) they gathered to stage an intervention and help you see the truth: that riding a locally produced board could actually be better for you.

These guys really care about you — so much so that 129 of them from all up and down the coast came together hoping to convince you to get the help you need. There was such an overwhelming response that we couldn’t even fit all of their appeals in the mag. Which is why we’re just now wrapping up our four-part web extension. Last week, our shapers outlined a treatment plan to help both you and them. And this week, as one last bit of encouragement, they’ll give you a sneak peek at all the exciting things in store for East Coast board design. So, just take a seat and hear these guys out. This will only take a few minutes…


“There’s a bright future ahead for all of us…”

I still see boards going shorter and wider with slightly fuller rails. They just work well for our waves here on the East Coast. We have smaller surf that tends to be weaker than the west coast. A little flatter, wider board, which tends to be faster, actually works better in most of our conditions.” –Josh Miller/Miller Surfboards (North Florida)

“I think the trend right now is a heavy emphasis on the concave bottoms, and they have their place and work well, but for smaller waves, I feel the round-nosed fish tends to do better with a speed flat bottom.” –Greg Elliot/Greg Elliot Custom Surfboards (South Carolina)

“The trend is designing for the average surfer: the guy who doesn’t get to surf every day and wants to have fun when he can surf. It’s just as challenging to shape a board for an older guy who’s just beginning to surf and tune it to his needs as compared to the hot young 20-year-old kid who can shred. They’re both exciting.” –Jim Saunders/Phoenix Surfboards (New York)

“Here in the Great Lakes, I see the volume starting to make a comeback, and more performance longboards and personal art. The future seems to trend on fins and placement options.” –Marty Karish/No Quarter Surfboards (Great Lakes)

“There is a lot of experimenting going on now with shorter boards, and I see people going back to trying different style of channels again.” –Todd Holland/Todd Holland Shapes (Central Florida)

“The biggest trend in East Coast shaping seems to be a departure from the pro tour type shortboard. 95% of the surfers/waves on the East Coast do not benefit from that type of board. I would like to see the East Coast become the authority in the high tech/alternative type of construction, like what the Coil guys are doing with their exotic laminations, what Drew Bagget is doing with CoreCork, and what Greg Loehr has done with epoxy resins. They are sending East Coast-built products to California instead of the other way around.” –Richard Prause/Grasshopper Surfboards (South Carolina)

“I think we all would like to be able to export our boards to other countries.” –Werner Vega/Werner Vega Surfboards (Puerto Rico)

“The future needs to include some more durability in custom high-performance equipment. Thin, lightweight shorties with pop that doesn't fade with 6 sessions is the holy grail. And it sure isn't Polyester/Urethane with a wood stringer.” –Gary Wilson/Kinetic Surf Designs (South Carolina)

“Epoxy has come a long way from when I started shaping, which now is about 30 years. Epoxy has made its impact on Florida because they float a little better than polyester boards. But not all surfers like them.” –Mickey Miller/ Miller Surfboards (South Florida)

“Trends? I am sure it varies from beach to beach. Carbon on the tail is cool, right? But seriously, less waste and more environmentally friendly materials.” –Jason Hendricks/Green Room Board Co. and Hendricks Surfboards (North Carolina)

“A lot of shapers who said years ago they would never use the aid of a computer and machine are rethinking that. Being able to reproduce a board as closely as possible to the one before helps with refining the whole board design, and the board gets better and better as it evolves.” –Dru McDaniel/Havoc Surfboards (North Carolina)

I have been hand-shaping for 30 years and can hold my own with the best of them, and I think using a shaping machine is just as challenging, and it’s a tool that takes time to master just like the planer. But it’s the best way to keep the consistency that people expect and that top surfers need to be competitive.” –Todd Sutz/Island Inspired (South Carolina)

“The biggest trends are computer shapes, and while I understand the need for them, I'm glad I don't rely on them. I've gone past that in my years of experience, and I am lucky enough to shape for individuals.”  –Marty Keesecker/Wave Riding Vehicles (Virginia)

Also check out these shapers from the slideshow:

Wes Craft/Craft Custom Surfboards (North Carolina), Troy Borden/Troy Borden Surfboards (Central Florida), Sean Fell/WBZ Surfboards (Gulf Florida), Brian Wynn/ Wynn Surfboards (New Jersey), Jeffrey Pollack/Spindrift Surfboards (Texas), Chris Shipley/ShipleySurf Designs (New Hampshire), Matt Kennaugh/Cloud Nine Customs (New York), John Lucas/Lucas Surfboards (North Carolina), Tommy Grimes/Island Surfboards (New York), Greg Paul/XTC Surfboards (North Carolina), Mike Whisnant/Whisnant Surfboards (North Florida), Kenny Briel/Savage Surfboards (North Carolina)

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More Top Stories
Access all the past archives of all features under ESM Exclusives.