tommy dal­ton | lost

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What made you want to be­come a surf­board shaper? My dad has been mak­ing surf­boards from his early teens, so I guess it’s in the blood re­ally. I used to get paid pocket money to do fac­tory jobs when I was a grom­met and it all started from there re­ally. I went from clean­ing and sweep­ing the fac­tory to dings, glass­ing and sand­ing and then want­ing to start shap­ing my own boards.

Best thing about be­ing a shaper? Test­ing equip­ment! I love mak­ing my own boards. Also mak­ing boards for fussy good surfers that push your shap­ing skills and abil­ity, and fig­ur­ing out what works best for each surfer. It’s been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to travel and shape over­seas in the U.S, Spain and Aus­tralia and meet lots of amaz­ing shapers along the way!

Who in­spires your shap­ing? My dad for sure, he worked hard against a lot of tough com­pe­ti­tion when I was grow­ing up and still man­aged to hold a national fol­low­ing. Matt Bi­o­los, he has given me the most amaz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties by get­ting me work­ing with him in the USA year af­ter year and also work­ing in Spain amongst some of the world’s top shapers.

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? Yes it has been good for me as a shaper and even bet­ter for the cus­tomer as it makes buy­ing boards, once you know what vol­ume you like, a lot more ac­cu­rate. As a shaper I feel I have the knowl­edge to work out what vol­ume suits each per­son for their surf­ing abil­ity. With pretty much ev­ery shaper us­ing a com­puter to shape their boards do

you think shapers will ever be­come ir­rel­e­vant in the fu­ture? The ma­chines have made it a lot eas­ier for peo­ple to start shap­ing, but it still takes years to de­velop the finer de­tails of the craft, in de­sign (even on a com­puter) and shap­ing/fin­ish­ing. I think the shaper will change but to make con­sis­tently good boards and to put the right boards un­der the feet of many dif­fer­ent surfers I feel the surfer will still need the shaper wher­ever the surf­board changes take us.

What board should ev­ery surfer have in their quiver? The new Lost Taj Beach Buggy, this board has been rid­den by NZ’s best surfers with over­whelm­ing feed­back.

Who’s the fu­ture of NZ surf­ing? Jett and Neko Dal­ton plus one more on the

way. Watch this space!!

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