glen carkeek | primal
What made you want to become a surfboard shaper? It was pretty accidental, I always was the kid trying to make things in the shed and saw some second blanks for sale one winter weekend. I got hold of a couple of them and just kept going.
Best thing about being a shaper? It would have to be job satisfaction. The process of thinking through design and transforming it into a functioning shape is very rewarding. The absolute best part is the general stoke it creates. For most surfers a surfboard is up there as their most prized possession, from ordering the board to surfing it for the first time and best case it being a magic there is an aura of stoke the whole way. To experience it week to week is a privilege.
What are you focusing on this year as a shaper? Our key focus this year is to get the Futurelite technology to a bigger market, both locally and internationally. Have the technology available through many shapers allows for surfers to get their favourite shaper to design. Internationally we have had Billy through Hughes shapes taking on the world’s best, winning in England on a Futurelite this month. Now Paige has just picked up a Steve Morris Futurelite to test drive. The plan is to take it to the international market, watch this space. 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 has always been a key component in your board choice. With CNC machines we have that measurement at our fingertips. It is an individual thing dependant on ability, style of board and just outright personal
preference. To know your optimal volume is just another tool in understanding your equipment, something every surfer should try and get a grasp of. It will always result in choosing the right board.
What are the key things a surfer should look at when looking for a new board? Always be objective in what you really need. Consider ability, conditions you surf the most, but most of all buy Kiwi. With pretty much every shaper using a computer to shape their boards do you
think shapers will ever become irrelevant in the future? The big misconception on shaping machines is just that. The machine only cuts what the shaper designs, it takes thousands of boards to get an understanding of what makes a board ride the way it does. There are so many different levels of ability. Styles of surfing and surf craft. As a shaper we have to relate to all of these needs and design the right board for every need. Shapers are probably better described as surfboard designers now. It is a more precise and accurate process than it ever was, shapers are even more relevant than they ever were. Who’s the future of NZ surfing? Grommets, we need more of them in the water.