Shaper (surfboard)

Shaper (surfboard)

A shaper is someone who builds and designs surfboards by hand. Originally made from wood, most modern surfboards are made from pre-formed polyurethane blanks or styrofoam and then fine shaped by the shaper using an array of tools ranging from surform rasps, sanding machines and power planers. When the form is sculpted in the foam core, the shaper may complete the build by layering fiberglass sheets over the deck and bottom and laminating these with a thermosetting resin such as polyester.

Wooden surfboards are making a comeback as an eco friendly alternative, requiring ultra-light boatbuilding skills.Many professional shapers actually outsource the highly specialized lamination to specialized "glassers", one who laminates fiberglass to a foam core of a surfboard using thermosetting resins like polyester or epoxy. [,21214,707907,00.html Surfboard glasser industry in trouble] Fins and assorted plugs are usually installed after this process and the final product is fine sanded and often glossed with buffing compound and special glossing resin. When shaping, the shaper often takes into account the specifications of the client surfer, and molds his medium to best accommodate the user's personal surfing style and wave of choice.

Notable shapers

* Hobie Alter
* Robert August
* Roy Stewart
* Mickey Munoz
* John Whitmore


External links

* [ wooden surfboard builders forum]
* [ a shapers directory, work, stories]
* [ a surfboard design forum where shapers show their work and discuss designs and techniques]
*fr icon [ design forum]

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