Will Webber on shaping for the CT

Stu Nettle
Talking Heads

The ratings arc of your standard QS warrior usually ascends incrementally as, year upon year, they get a better seeding into the bigger contests. After a few years of campaigning, and given some talent and hard work, they might find themselves within striking distance of the Championship Tour.

This year, Australia has two new CT surfers: Jack Robinson and Morgan Cibilic.

Consider that it took Jack five goes at climbing the ladder. Morgan, on the hand, rushed the stage.

2018 was his first full shot at the QS, and he finished 111th. While last year he jumped 100 places and finished 11th, qualifying for the CT when Yago Dora double-qualified after making the Quarters at Pipe.

For much of his surfing life, Morgan has been riding boards by meat-loving wildman Will Webber, the two of them forming a partnership based on loyalty and results.

Six weeks out from Morgan's CT debut, and two days after his 50th party - loose from all reports - Swellnet spoke to Will about his young charge and the boards he's making for him.

Swellnet: How long have you been shaping boards for Morgan?
Will Webber: The first one was in 2011. I think that'd make him 12 years old.

I remember walking along back beach with my girlfriend and I saw him ride this wave, and I waited for his dad to come in and I said, "Man, your son just navigated that wave really well."

I remember that because it was an unusual word - navigated - but you know, he wasn't jumping up and down like other kids. He was a kid who knew where the power is.

You saw potential?
Yep. I could see he had that really rare thing, you know. After all these years it's like, "When's another Horan or Occy turning up?" And I saw him at that age and I went, "There's potential here."

Yours is not quite a John Pyzel/John John relationship but it still stretches right back.
Well he had a break when he went down to Newcastle and worked for a surf shop. They took him off my boards for maybe two or three years, but then I saw him a bit later and he said, "Can I get another one of your boards?"

That board went better than what he was riding so that was a good heads up for me.

In what way?
I shape for all kinds of surfers, but he was a grommet that was riding what I'd call a cutting edge shaper....a Top 10 shaper, so it was a good little bit of information for me. It gave me confidence.

I figured I've got the right things happening in my boards.

How have the boards changed over the years?
We started at 4'9" and now we're up to 5'9"...

Ha ha...OK, well let's talk about last year. He caught fire midway through the season, what happened there?
Well, it's funny, he generally has a poor start to the year. I thought he could qualify, but as the arc of the last six months became clear, I was like, "All right, things are picking up very quickly.

Were there any changes to his boards? What caused the sudden improvement?
Someone recently asked me that and...fuck, unfortunately this is going to have to be off the record.

[For five minutes I had to take my journos hat off. God I wish I could share this part of the conversation with you, dear readers, but Will's an upright fella and I gave him my word.]

OK, you've watched plenty of his heats, what sort of a competitor is Morgan?
Morgan makes the odd mistake but, unlike a lot of kids, he learns from them. More importantly, he got into the QS 10,000 in South Africa [10,000s are usually reserved for surfers in the Top 100] and he got through two heats. It's like he tasted blood and went, "Hang on, I can beat these guys." I think it changed his whole psyche.

What about heat strategy?
Yeah. It's not like he's got a defensive programme.

I'd say there was a bit of an Occy thing happening, I'd give him the odd bit of advice and then he just says something and I'd go, "Well...fuck...I think I'll just leave it up to you."

And he'd win?
Mostly.

Will and Morgs, hands on in the shaping bay (Photo Lindsay Hunter)

OK, you must have been riding him through Hawaii when it was all on the line, did he take any of your boards over the North Shore?
Yeah, but before that he was in Europe, he was actually going to be in the Rip Curl Peniche comp as a wildcard but a day or two before it he blew his knee out.

While there he was actually offered boards by a Hawaiian shaper, and he said, "Thanks heaps, but I'll stick with Will."

That's good.
And it was good, so I just went with it. I went, "I'm confident, I can do this."

Some guys would have gone, "Fuck, well I've got this far but I don't want to let him down in Hawaii." Go out and get Tokoro's or whoever.

So it was unreal that he was on my boards. Man, he even rode a board from the season before - a 6'0" that he rode at eight foot Haleiwa. And then I did him a 6'6" and a 6'8", and he rode the 6'6" at Sunset.

He doesn't sound too finicky with his boards. Is he easy to please?
Yeah, this is kind of another point that draws back to Occy. Rod [Dahlberg] said it's just like working with Occy. Some surfers give amazing feedback, they really get into the nitty gritty and you work hard making these small changes, but Morgan's boards just bloody go - or he makes 'em go. Only recently have we got into some changes off the main theme.

Such as..?
The one we worked on last year is like a bump, squash tail board, which I think of as a pretty Californian design - like, Merrick and Mayhem's. The Live Wire he's got work well when it's three foot and upwards, but he wanted something with a bit more release off the top when it's smaller. So we did the first one and I kind of didn't get it looking like the American style. I looked at it and went, "Fuck, it actually looks like one of Greg's."

And I went, "Well, that's good." I'd rather be following that bloke than someone else.

He rode it in small conditions and he wasn't knocked out by it, but then it ended up being his favourite board! We did another one the other day, and we're at the point and he wasn't into it. "No problem," I said, "We'll just sell it, no fuss. We're experimenting."

And then he goes out and gets these two waves and just fucking destroys them.

So, I just went, "You know what, we might give the boards a bit more of a chance each time."

So, that's what you're going to shape for him for this season? Versions of that board?
Yeah, that and also two new ones I've done that are a more extreme version of it.

When you say more extreme, what do you mean?
Yeah, just pushing the tail rocker and tail concave depth. Also making it a single instead of a double.

Morgan surfs very long on the rail, he doesn't double pump the bottom turns and he often connects top to bottom turns without breaking the line. Radical convaces can get flighty, are you worried about messing around with that part of his style?
Well, that's why we're doing it right now. I thought, "Let's go out on a limb. Let's go 12 months into the future, and we'll work back." It's a process. I've pushed it a little more extreme so that we can eliminate this if it doesn't work.

Are you nervous? Sending someone out on tour riding your boards?
Well, we got ourselves into this mess, so...

The things is, I never aimed to have a CT surfer. I never even wanted to have a team surfer!

I just like surfing, shaping, and making people's boards, you know, but this just...developed.

It's wonderful the way its developed: same home town, a history that goes way back, separated, now reunited - it's a full love story.
So that's why he didn't come to my 50th.

For his own good by the sounds of it. OK, now are you going to go up to the Gold Coast?
100%.

It'll be great seeing how he goes on the tour.
Fuck. When you look at the guys that are on it, like the top 10 of the QS and I just go, "Uninterested, uninterested, uninterested, Jack interested, Ethan interested, Morgan interested."

Yep, a lot of people are keen to see him step up.

Click to check our some of Will's boards online

Comments

mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 1:00pm

this is why you should trust your local shaper

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 9:09am

Aye. 

If any internediate surfer thinks they can tell the difference between the latest model from CI, Mayhem, DHD et al, and a high performance shape from a hot regional shaper like Will they're kidding themself.

If they argue the point then they're high on the marketing Kool Aid. Nothing less. The same argument has gone on for two decades and it's utterly bogus.

This is the age of digital files, machine cuts, and hand finishing, so local shapers can make anything that's being made OS. They've got access to every dimension of every board on the market and can fine tune anything to your specs.

Surf culture is best when it shucks off the empire builders and the monopolisers, and operates at local/regional level.

mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 9:51am

100% Stu. I would also believe that a local shaper puts more effort into their craft then a mass produced factory shaper would too.
Small business rely on customer service and satisfaction. Stoked surfers keep coming back

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 12:23pm

Then why do the best surfers I know typically ride big name boards and rave about them ?

The entire point of this article is an attempt to quantify the ability of Will Webber as a shaper due to the fact that a pro surfer is riding his boards. It’s the exact same “ marketing spin “ that you’re railing against....namely you’re disputing that just because the best surfers ride these boards doesn’t make them any better .

If the best surfers riding a board means nothing then what’s the point of the article ?

I bought a Pyzel Ghost recently and it doesn’t seem to work for me. But I bought it after consulting with surfers who are far superior to me and who ride Ghosts by choice. They’re not paid and they rave about them. That’s the voice I trust.

Sure , buy local if you’ve got a local shaper , but don’t give me the story that their boards are doubtlessly the equivalent of globally renowned shapers just because it’s a romantic notion.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 12:41pm

Might begin the reply with an anecdote: About three years back a local shaper around here put out a model that was the EXACT same board as a big name label. The only difference was his sticker and model name, but the feedback he got from unsuspecting riders - both good and bad - told him everything he needed to know about smoke and mirrors in the board business.

Two boards, same dimensions but different stickers, and very different responses. How to explain that?

The main point of the article, though it should be plural, there were a few*, is that loyalty counts for something, and also that perservering with a shaper pays dividends. That fact is emphasised with people who's income is derived from performance, but there's also a reward for the average punter too.

Another anecdote: Good friend I went to Hawaii with two years back is on the buff program with Pyzel Australia, who dont seek paid pros but local rippers. He gets Ghosts for about $300, a gig that began around when we went to Hawaii, and he raved about them while there. Surfed with him on Sunday and he was more honest about the boards, paraphrasing: Not the best boards I've ridden but where else are you gonna get them that cheap?

Yeah, lots of boards work under the feet of rippers, but even they're partial to flights of fancy when the next shiny thing comes along.

* See also: The odd couple; Don't believe the hype; Making Angourie Great Again.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 12:59pm

I don’t have a local shaper and I’m done with the idea of perseverance. The times I’ve got a custom board the item delivered was unrecognisable from the description of the board I ordered . And not in a positive way.

How many chances do they get to hone a board at your expense ? Might be fine if you’re surfing with the shaper regularly, but if you’ve been served dogshit - and I have been given custom boards by shapers that were far more inappropriate for me than the Ghost - where to from there ?

The shaper says “ oh , that’s a shame ....come in , pay for another one and we’ll try again. And again. And again. And maybe get it right.

Loyalty is all well and good, but if you don’t have that initial relationship with a shaper then it’s no problem to look around. How many surfers have endured years of shit boards due to loyalty ?

PS The fellas raving about the Ghost weren’t on deals ,they just like boards that work. Just because a shaper is rich / famous / renowned doesn’t mean their boards are hyped dogs.

PPS The call about “ not the best boards around but where would you get them that cheap “ is much more likely to be applied to the local ‘ave a go.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:03pm

Maybe you think all good surfers are infallible to advertising and celebrity and whatnot, even when they've paid top dollar.

I don't.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:21pm

Not at all. It’s just a matter of valuing opinions.

Who’s opinion on surfboards do you value more ....the fella getting sets at the best waves in Australia/ world and who tries every variety of board maker or the punter who’s lived down the road from the shaping bay he’s exclusively frequented his whole life ?

One time I was over East and not far from a regional hot shaper . I got them to shape me a custom for specific wave. Told him what I was after and then waited. This wave was on the other side of the country and put off leaving whilst the custom went through the usual extended run of time till it was ready. When the shaper showed me the board I felt like vomiting , it was totally removed from what I’d ordered. I took it took the wave , gave it many chances till it was back in the board bag. I ended up riding a $50 board from under a bloke’s house for the rest of the season and it was so far superior to a specifically shaped custom it was like night and day.

I’m not a victim of marketing. It’s got nothing to do with my board buying decisions what JJF has done on a ghost when I buy one. I got one because of the concept of the board.....volume , forward wide point , pulled in tail , low nose rocker.

When this is reaffirmed as a working board by better surfers than myself I jump. What else can I do ?

Doesn’t make me a fool.

And what’s the difference between buying a Pyzel and buying an Outer Island / Stretch / Chris Garrett ? They’re not local shapes. You just think you’re not attracted to marketing because you bought Patagonia instead of Quiksilver.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:35pm

?

I've never bought an Outer Island nor a Chris Garrett, though I think MItchell and Chris are good guys. Got two Stretches cos a mate holds the license.

Yet the vast majority of my boards have been local shapes, from a few different shapers, any of whom could've been mentioned in the same breath as Pyzel, DH, Merrick et al, if they chose a different biz model, namely putting sponsored surfers on their boards, giving them away for free, then hoping one of them breakthrough so the gullible would rush in to ride what X is riding.

It's how that biz model works.

Or you can be a local/regional shaper servicing local surfers with shit hot boards and service.

Dont bash your head against a wall getting boards from someone who wont follow an order sheet, but jeez, we're three decades into the machine age. Just tell him to make a Ghost if you must - or whatever model you want - and if it doesn't work get him to tweak the file so it does.

You get control over the outcome, money stays local, and surfing stays healthy cos creative recalcitrants covered in foam dust are the best thing we have.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:45pm

My issue is that you think people who ride label boards are only riding them cause they’re gullible and want to ride what X is riding.

I ride label boards and it’s got absolutely nothing to do with what X is riding. Every single label board except the Ghost has been cause I’ve walked into a shop and found a board I thought I’d like by holding it under my arm.

The Ghost was bought under the same pretext as the Desert Storm I got .....recommended by good surfers I know personally.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:50pm

No, that's incorrect. I don't think everyone is gullible, the boards obviously work for some people, but the amount of people who end up on them isn't relative to their quality, it's comensurate with their advertising. Thats all.

Sure it's brushing with broad strokes, but if your boards are working and you take offence feel free to throw some cutty spray in my face.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:56pm

I would if my board worked.

Would spray being pushed by the forward rail suffice ?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 1:56pm

Ha ha

brutus's picture
brutus's picture
brutus commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 2:13pm

I see both sides , some people just love branding and the aesthetic of the brand , whereas you probably like the consistency of riding a model board that suits your style , so there are merits to both points of view.

I am a backyarder , only do customs, as each surfer has certain technical differences in their surfing and the challenge of designing and making a specific surfboard for them is really interesting , if you are not current riding the best board of your life, why not?

Also just because a shaper is a local , dos not mean he is better or worse than one of the big brand Shapers.....a big question is being asked currently of the big name shapers...." what have you actually designed from scratch ,that is a game changer?"

brutus's picture
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brutus commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 4:48pm

I see both sides , some people just love branding and the aesthetic of the brand , whereas you probably like the consistency of riding a model board that suits your style , so there are merits to both points of view.

I am a backyarder , only do customs, as each surfer has certain technical differences in their surfing and the challenge of designing and making a specific surfboard for them is really interesting , if you are not current riding the best board of your life, why not?

Also just because a shaper is a local , dos not mean he is better or worse than one of the big brand Shapers.....a big question is being asked currently of the big name shapers...." what have you actually designed from scratch ,that is a game changer?"

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 6:22pm

No local shapers around here, so I'm forced to try lots of different boards (borrowed/bought/etc) to find the gems. I have also shaped about 30 boards, so have a tiny bit of an idea of what works for me - and especially for the weird waves we surf here.

I have now found a shaper whose guns I will trust completely, and another whose shortboards and step ups work perfectly for me. Would happily buy label-free boards from those guys, but that's not in their interest (not that my surfing will win over anybody).

I have also tried very similar looking shorties that lacked zip/something special/excitement, so will not go there again.

I'm still super curious about other boards, and will continue to experiment as the opportunity presents itself.

Sas's picture
Sas's picture
Sas commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 6:17pm

I think building a big business and building a good board are a different set of skills. I reckon the pros ride for the big businesses because they have the capacity to give them 100 boards a year and pay them too. There’d be plenty of good shapers who aren’t great at building a business.

ballbagmanifesto's picture
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ballbagmanifesto commented Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 4:31pm

Is that really true about telling the difference Stu? I have't had new board for a long time but in the time before "models" (90's to mid 2000's) I rode allot of DHDs, JS, Bourtens and Dahlbergs and they were all so different (like bin after 2 surfs if they felt weird different), even between each other with the exact same dimensions - it was a truly rooted time to break a good board if you weren't on a custom program...

ballbagmanifesto's picture
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ballbagmanifesto commented Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 4:34pm

* The Dahlbergs never ever felt too weird obvs. Onya Rod.

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 1:28pm

Cool article. Interested in the board changes and the 'off the record bit'. My first thoughts were that the change was he grabbed a 'name shapers' board and copied it, not that I care. Everyone does it.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 3:41pm

Ha ha ha...fuck no.

Def didn't say that.

eel's picture
eel's picture
eel commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 8:08pm

Haha fair enough. Spewing you can't post it. Board design bits and pieces are what I love reading about the most.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 4:25pm

Wild will.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 4:27pm

He may not have been chasing a WT surfer but hes been quick to put Morgan front and center on his website....and why not. Good luck to both.

knB

MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 4:44pm

Morgs" dad Al taught him to be a respectful human. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Webber 50th's are legendary at 2464. Great article stu

mikericho's picture
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mikericho commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 7:51pm

Did a g land trip with Will, Legend and funny as fuck !!
Deserves all the accolades go forth and conquer Sir.

Benjc85's picture
Benjc85's picture
Benjc85 commented Monday, 10 Feb 2020 at 10:19pm

He got off the piss? Is that what he did?

Lord Humongous's picture
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Lord Humongous commented Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 at 6:35pm

Ha Ha, him and Branno went bezerk back in the day.

yodai's picture
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yodai commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 7:02am

Good feel story

christopher.jones's picture
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christopher.jones commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 2:10pm

I remember sitting with Will on Bondi Beach in the 90's. Talking through the specs of my new board. He had a lot more hair back then!

Great to see you again champ!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 3:10pm

More shaper interviews please.

I can definitely see Blowins point of view up top- i've ridden a mixture of brand boards over the years with very few customs. I've also been on the receiving end of a custom totally at odds to what i ordered (Goldy shaper name will not be disclosed) was like the fucker had cotton-wool in his ears. I tried to surf it a couple of times and it now remains buried somewhere under my bros house. Conversely, the next experience was much better, based on the strength of a few emails, i have a couple of boards that i can honestly say are up there with the best i've ever owned in 40 years of surfing. And through necessity (aforementioned a few lean years) i'm still riding them and still happy. One is gonna die soon though, i hope i can get something close again.

Good article, all the best to Morgan and Will.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 5:57pm

Fuck you Stu, you've made me log in again!

Article, thumbs up.

And, a shaka for the comments. Hello Brutus, hope you're well. Which board should I get?

Now, I think I've posted this before, my experience with 'shapers' is the same as Blowin ... outcome doesn't align with the order. I've gone from custom's with local shapers, to off the rack, to designing my own, to few off the rack, and in all of it, the best boards are the ones that suited me, fitted me, and felt 'right' in the 'under the arm' "test".

I am also calling BS on the 'same board' different stickers 'outcome' reported. While I have no doubt a design was copied, or file used to 'cut' the blank, the nuances of glassing, fin placements, and flex impacts WILL make them all different. Fuck, I was making the exact same board, same file, get it cut and made and then glass with different tweak each time, all still 2x4ox on deck 1x4oz bottom, but different laps ... and you know what, they feel different! Heck, same board file cut in different foam and glassed to same schedule was night and day.

Having surfed with many less than intermediate crew, who never knew fin impacts, I've shown a lot the feel, difference first hand by testing with them, on their boards. Once eyes are open, or feel understood, the differences for even the most intermediate surfer can be translated to board design.

I do believe the average surfer would benefit from taking a DIY process to their board design process. Bit of free software like AKU, measure up a favorite board, what it into the software and get it cut, then outsource the glassing. Your own DIY 'custom' for around $450. Tweak and refine. Why not?

But, again, great article. Love the discussion in the comments.

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

Rojosh's picture
Rojosh's picture
Rojosh commented Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 at 7:19pm

Would love one of wills boards .. as a collector of new equipment definitely
Have bought of local shapers and got dogs and gems ... how ever buying models from Pyzel, DHD, mayhem .. I do like them better for ease of purchase , and with machines being that good you break one that you like roll in your local shop and pick the same model same dims of the shelf

billythekid's picture
billythekid's picture
billythekid commented Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 12:33pm

thing is that shapers live around a particular type of wave. they shape boards for that wave. isn't that why its better to buy local?

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders commented Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 5:49pm

i think local shapers that listen to what you are after are fantastic, I recently had two boards shaped by Chayne at CLS in Port Kembla, the first was pretty good but not quite what I was after, the second is a screamer, I asked for less tail rocker and more V in the tail and bingo, the fast loose drivetrains board we all look for, Love it!!

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders commented Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 5:51pm

Wayne Webster also listens my Desert Storms are both custom for me and I love them also, by the way it helps to know what your asking for, I have tried dozens of boards off gumtree, I now have a quiver I love

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig commented Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020 at 10:22pm

I've been through the whole spectrum. Custom ordered to my specifications, got what I asked for and it went shit. Mostly because I didn't know shit. Custom ordered from another shaper, didn't get what I wanted and it went unreal. Mostly because the shaper saw through my idiot ideas and gave me the board I needed......and vice versa and back again. Had a few models...same deal. Luckily over the years I've managed to work my shit out and get it somewhat right - both from returning to a favourite shaper or finding a model to suit. It's taken a friggen long time to figure it out though and still get it wrong sometimes....to quote someone from somewhere...(maybe Cory?) "even the bad boards teach you something." It's the endless pursuit that keeps it interesting. Volume shapers, small guys, backyarders...I'd wage a bet most do it for the love....If they make a few bucks along the way more power to them.

Optimist's picture
Optimist's picture
Optimist commented Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 at 5:09am

The machines today look a little different from the first
https://www.boardrap.com/inventor-of-the-computer-made-surfboard-french-...

lilas's picture
lilas's picture
lilas commented Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 9:44am

After years of being frustrated with off the rack and custom boards, I felt like the only way forward was to educate myself about board design, and discover what was a good shape for my style of surfing. It's the harder journey but it's one that gets you to where you want to be, and I also feel it's the cheaper option as you are not playing guessing games any more.
Admittedly I had to go through a few designs to find my ultimate shape, but I no longer need to search for the latest thing, as I know what works for me. My surfing style will not change, so why should my board design need to change? [Unless of course I want it to.]
I dare say I could ask any shaper for a board and get a board that works for me because I understand what works for me. Something I really wish I had many years ago. Would have saved me a lot of money, frustration and heart-ache.
So if you're feeling like it's all too much, you'd be surprised how much peace, some design-enlightenment will give you.
Design tip of the day - If you are an average surfer, DO NOT get boards with a deep concave in them. Yes they are the fastest boards, but a deep concave is also one of the most unforgiving designs you can ride! Instead try a board with a flatter bottom and even a touch of Vee in the tail. You will find you fall off a hell of a lot less as flat-bottom boards are very forgiving and easier to get on-off rail. Hope this helps :)

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig commented Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 10:40am

Tried that too. Shaped and glassed a board in a class. Result was a misshapen, uneven blob. Finish coat was rippled and bubbly. Fins fell out a few surfs in. It did have an attractive pink spray though. Some people are just not meant to work with their hands. I'm one of those.

rmshapes's picture
rmshapes's picture
rmshapes commented Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 12:17pm

Good on you Will Webber and good article Stu. Ride what you want people, there are strong arguments for and against the local shaper. And what really defines a "local shaper" anyway? Most are local shapers by definition but marketed poorly or extremely well. Truth is, most shapers today are using the same technology, materials, ideas etc. and are capable of producing great boards, It's the media hype/promotion that drive sales and perception. And the comment about rich shapers? That was funny.

Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970 commented Friday, 14 Feb 2020 at 1:52pm

Hahaha! $$$ cheers Rex

Mark Ashley-Wilson's picture
Mark Ashley-Wilson's picture
Mark Ashley-Wilson commented Saturday, 15 Feb 2020 at 9:27pm

If you check his site Morgan is front and centre - as he should be. Must be awesome for a small town shaper to get a guy that's ridden his boards for years to make the CT and then stick with him. Pretty sure the shaping monsters would've been circling for his signature. Good onya Will and Morgan and best of luck at Snapper and the rest of 2020.

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Sunday, 16 Feb 2020 at 8:13pm

I'm with you on that one Lilas. I make my own boards too and some are good and some are pigs. My current board is the best board i've ever ridden (it's a fish and my first one ever and i'm a convert) and I have a theory on board design, Wanna hear it? Ok then. There's a few design concepts which go into a modern board and if you put these things into a board it will work.

These things are:- nose rocker,
tail rocker,
and concave (including double concave.

It's not magic you put these things into a board and it will work. Of course you can refine it by adding wide points and hips, positioning of the pivot, maybe vee etc but these are the basics. So in my opinion there's a good place to start if you wanna make your own boards. Apart from that its pretty good fun fucking around in the shaping bay and you'll always get more ideas flowing as the shaping process unfolds. You'll probably never buy another board again especially when you can make 4 boards for the price of a professionally shaped one. That way you can afford to stuff up a few times and still be ahead but best of all you'll learn what works best for your style of surfing. After all who knows how you surf better than yourself.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 16 Feb 2020 at 10:04pm

Backyard vs front yard.....
I shape em in my shed actually.
Glass em also, quite satisfying to surf em
Crunt of a time making them LOL.
"Only a shaper knows the feeling, of being a lightning rod for foam resin and petroleum byproducts."

Fazesurf's picture
Fazesurf's picture
Fazesurf commented Monday, 17 Feb 2020 at 8:32pm

Man that board under Adam Robbo's feet at the ABB looked so good!!

Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970 commented Monday, 17 Feb 2020 at 9:03pm

Cheers! Yeah he was judged as the surfer of the event, was due for the trophy but had to make his flight. It's a 6'2 x 19 3/8 x 2 3/8 @ 33 litre Smiley Face model

Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 9:27pm

New model is going well at Bells. The new single with forward of fin planshape deviation. Adam Robbo is going to send some footage soon. Cheers everyone for your comments.

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:09pm

Was that the bright green one? Looked sick. Also looked to have quite a bit of float. Might be just me but it seemed to sit a little higher in the water - in a good way though as it allowed flow and manoeuvrability.

Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970's picture
Wilber1970 commented Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020 at 10:17pm

No that one was a Smiley Face model that Robbo rode, this one is not too far from it, the one mentioned in the interview. Tighter rounded pin than the Live Wire, higher 'hip' and new single concave tail rocker blend.