tommy dalton | lost
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!!