When you’re making a board, and it’s glassed and you have it in your hands, do you know the magic ones when they’re out the door, or is that as surprising to you as anyone when they come back and tell you it’s magic?
He knows exactly what he’s feeling, so he can simply point to a part of the board, whether it’s rocker through the middle of the board or the exit rocker or a bump in the outline, and say, “I want a little less here, a little more there,” and it accomplishes just what he wants.
It’s pretty easy to make a board that’s fast or to make a cruisey board with flow, but to bring all of the dynamics together, and to have them work at the highest caliber, really demands a lot from me. I enjoy that the most. FeaturesL. A.
SURFER editor Todd Prodanovich sat down with Al and Britt for an exclusive panel discussion on Al’s early career, the path he forged at Channel Islands, the concept of ‘the magic board,’ what’s in store for CI’s future, and more.
Boards are more going toward flatter rocker and a lot of speed for general people, and I think that’s a good thing.
I went into the shaping room, grabbed a sanding block, and mimicked his hand motions. “You mean like this? ” I asked. “Yeah,” he said, “about that much. ” The next board I shaped him, I did just that. It was the only change.
Working with team riders at the caliber you’re working with, you get a lot of feedback, and they’ll tell you when you make them a magic board.
So that makes it easy for a shaper: when you have a guy like Dane who knows what he’s feeling and what he wants and how to translate that into a board.
You guys also worked with Dane on the Dumpster Diver, which became one of the best selling boards in the last decade.
Who was the first surfer you made boards for who really pushed your shaping and brought it up another notch?
And then they give it to another surfer of their caliber, and it’s a magic board, the best board they’ve ever had.
That’s the first board I remember making.
Any time you get a board that has speed, flow, and can catch a lot of waves, then you’re winning.
Literally, it was five swipes from the center of the board to one foot up on the rail rocker with sandpaper that made all the difference.
I wanted him to understand what was going on underneath the board, and the rocker of the board and the outline of the board, so that he could relate it back to me.
One day he came to my house – that’s where my shaping room is – and he had the board.
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