paul paul bar­ron bar­ron | bar­ron surf­boards

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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 .

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