Evolution of design requires innovation, critical analysis, and the courage to try something new. Masters of the field of board building spend some of the best years of their lives hidden away from the cameras and the spotlight, covered in dust under the fluorescent lights of a shaping bay—it’s not exactly the romantic career like that of some of their clientele. All things considered, shapers really don’t ask for much in return other than notes on how to improve. They are often their own harshest critic, sniffing out faults and problem solving; their labors of love require countless hours and an overwhelming amount of tedious patience. It’s rather remarkable how many boards are still hand-made every season.
Shaping is a tradition passed down from generations of wave-lovers. Supporting your local shaper can help your hometown surf community thrive and provides jobs for the handiwork. Let’s get behind these mad scientists! They are selfless, and in my opinion, some of the most passionate and knowledgeable surf junkies in the business.
In this special issue for our winter Beach & Board Buyer’s Guide, we break down new trends in board design. We sit down with shaping icon and founder of …Lost Surfboards, Matt Biolos, to dive into the recent evolution of performance shortboards. Given notes by top Hawai‘i surfers like Mason Ho and Carissa Moore, Biolos has nailed down the art of high-performing models ridden by the best of the best. We also interview the legendary Kerry Tokoro and local Hawai‘i shapers to get the run-down of the current trends on the racks this winter, innovative techniques, and the story behind how they fell in love with board building.
We salute the movers and shakers of our sport, from the craftsmen and women to the glassers and distributors who pave the way for a new shape under our feet—each person a vital part in the evolution of wave riding.