harry hands | raw surf

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What made you want to be­come a surf­board shaper? Want­ing to make my own board and surf some­thing I’d made was pretty ap­peal­ing.

Best thing about be­ing a shaper? Mak­ing some­thing with your own hands and see­ing it come to life. Putting a mas­sive grin on peo­ples faces is a big one too.

Worst thing about be­ing a shaper? Toxic chem­i­cals, waste prod­uct and ev­ery­one want­ing their boards fin­ished when the swell is pump­ing.

Who in­spires your shap­ing? Surfer? The aver­age Joe and Joe’ette that’s stoked off their ride, doesn’t drop in and is out there rain, shine or hail.

What are you fo­cus­ing on this year as a shaper? Cut­ting down on waste ma­te­ri­als and con­tin­u­ing to lower the amount of bad stuff that goes into a board and find­ing ways to im­prove the toxic side of our sport. 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? Vol­ume is a fac­tor for sure. One of the key things for most of us is pad­dle power, and quite sim­ply a bit more float in your boat equals catch­ing more waves.

What are the key things a surfer should look at when look­ing for a new board? Fig­ure out what you want to do on a wave, what kind of surf­ing you want to do and re­ally en­joy….and be hon­est about it. Sure we’d like to smash it like the pro’s but some­times their boards may not be the best match to abil­ity. Highly rec­om­mend open­ing up to new things, try out as many dif­fer­ent boards as you can, en­joy the slide and pick the one that’s most fun. With pretty much ev­ery shaper us­ing a com­puter to shape their boards do you think shapers will ever be­come ir­rel­e­vant in the fu­ture? Some­one still needs to knock out the pro­to­type and ac­tu­ally un­der­stand what all the shapes, curves and num­bers ac­tu­ally mean and do. Like with most things you need a bal­ance, hands on knowl­edge vs ef­fi­ciency.

Who’s the fu­ture of NZ surf­ing? The groms, keep the frothers froth­ing!

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