paul paul barron barron | barron surfboards
What made you want to become a surfboard shaper? I was totally addicted to surfing from age 16, surfboards seemed so expensive back then and I wanted to try out different types of boards so I picked up a planer and the rest is history.
Best thing about being a shaper? Traveling the world surfing and work- ing and trying out as many boards as you want, all in the name of research. Seeing people genuinely stoked on a product that I’ve made.
Worst thing about being a shaper? The health concerns like dust, fumes etc (which is why I’m looking at more environmentally friendly ways of building boards, I’ve discovered some cool products I can’t wait to try out).
Who inspires your shaping? Surfer? The everyday person out there who is so keen on getting a custom, they value the time and the skill involved in getting a custom made board. I get a buzz seeing people of all ages stoked as on their boards, acting like groms.
What are you focusing on this year as a shaper? The new patent Barron Flex, I am working on having it available for the New Zealand market by the end of the year. I’ve also got a few other different concepts and designs which will be released in the New Year. Surfboard companies are starting to include board volume on their dimensions, do you think it’s a good measurement to base your board choice on and how do you decide what volume board fits you? You can only know the volume of a board if it is computer shaped - it’s a good guide for guys buying a board off the rack. When it comes to a custom hand-shaped board then it’s between the shaper and surfer to work out the best dimensions. I use volume on all the Barron epoxy cyber lines, the new Barron flex also has a recommended weight for the surfer and the flex.
What are the key things a surfer should look at when looking for a new board? Make sure the width and thickness suits your body type and ability as boards have got shorter and wider. Research the different types of materials available - there are some amazing materials to choose from now, some that help to enhance board performance and therefore enhance your surfing. With pretty much every shaper using a computer to shape their boards do you think shapers will ever become irrelevant in the future? Yes to some degree we already are, most surfers know the brand of a surfboard but not the shaper. I still hand-shape all my poly boards, I love hand-shaping, I think it’s art. It’s still a challenge to get a truly custom made computer shaped board, that’s where the planer rules.
What board should every surfer have in their quiver? A Craig Hughes, it would be a nice way to honour him and his family, you would also be buying a pretty sick board. Craig’s results with his sponsored riders speak for themselves .