:: Surfboards. Whenever I shape a board for someone I first try to understand what it is they're looking for...I'll ask a lot of questions like "Where do you surf?" "How often do you surf?" "How long have you been surfing?" "What are you riding now?" It's also important to know how much you weigh, how tall you are and how old you are. A surfer who is 5'10", 160, 18 yr of age has different requirements then a surfer who is 5'10", 160 and 40 yr of age. Most surfers want to talk immediately about the board they want, e.g. "I want one of those new quad fishes." I'll always ask "Why?" and that will lead to a whole discussion of what the surfer is really looking for in terms of the surfing experience, e.g. "I want a board that is fast, turns easy and is easy to paddle." Now that may be a fish, but it could also be a sub-7' quad egg or a sub-8' hybrid shape. If that surfer has been riding a 10-0 classic single-fin nose rider, then maybe a hi-performance LB in the 9-0 range might better suit him.

One of the magical things about surfing is that it's more of a "right-brain", creative, emotional activity, then a "left-brain", analytical, thinking activity. The problem lies in trying to translate that experience into words when it comes time to order up that new board. This is where I come in. As your shaper it's my job to help put these experiences/feelings into words that describe what surfing experiences you're hoping to obtain and to determine what surfcraft will best help you realize those experiences. One note of advice, try as many different boards as you can get your hands on. This will help to broaden your experience and will give you a better point of reference. Swap boards with your friends or arrange to "borrow" one of my demos just to get the feel of a different shape. I like to ride different shapes and sizes because it's more fun than riding the same board every day. It keeps everything fresh and prevents me from getting lazy in my surfing.

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