BOARDS AND SHAPERS
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ALLAN BYRNE AND CRAIG HUGHES
The 2013 NZ Surf Mag Surfboard Design Issue- Dedicated to the memory of Allan Byrne and Craig Hughes, two gentlemen that dedicated countless hours to the betterment of NZ Surfing (and many more dust covered in the shaping bay) so that we could ride a wave better. Together, in completely different ways, you both lifted the sport of surfing in New Zealand and internationally to where it is today and paved the way for what it will become in the future. May you rest in peace!
There is one tool and one tool only that makes surfing possible. So often in surfing we celebrate inventions and sing praise of the advent of new additions to our game; warmer wetsuits get awards, internet surf forecasting gets plenty of thumbs up when a new swell gets upgraded and new brews of wax all stickier than the last become favourites. Yet the link between our desire and those waves which you see at your local, is the surfboard, more often than not those guys that have spent millions of hours toiling away in a dusty bay crafting these creations so that we can ride a wave better, become forgotten and the praise they deserve muffled. So we dedicate this issue, not only to two of our great shaper brothers that have recently moved on to a carpet lined, air conditioned shaping bay in the sky, but to all our shapers that have dedicated their lives, unselfishly to bettering others surfing. Here in NZ we seriously don't know how lucky we have it as surfers. Kiwis have always been regarded as being fine craftsmen and innovators, it is in our blood, our genetic makeup. Look at other industries, such as boat building where Kiwis lead the world, and the world comes to us. Yet in surfing many here presume the best boards come out of international factories racks and feel Kiwi board builders aren’t up to speed. Sure those overseas labels have the best surfers riding and promoting their brands which creates a following, but if you want to get down to the details you might want to consider that many of those overseas factories have glassers, sanders and sometimes even shapers all Kiwi, tuning that product, and why? Because Kiwi craftsmen care! You don't often hear "She'll be right" coming from the mouth of a Kiwi craftsman, only "It aint leaving till it's right!" and that attitude has created a demand for their services in the board building industry across the world. Sure times have changed slightly with manufacturing and computer shapes and mass produced moulded boards have entered the market, and as surfing grows there is a place for these. However, there is also the place where these came from, the developments that brought us to this point and for those billions of hours of sweating it out covered in foam dust that our shapers all endured collectively, hand shaping, to come up with the formulas we now base an industry off. We salute and thank you for forming the link between what we dream of riding and where we dream of going on these waves we catch! Hats off and plenty of thumbs up..(likes) Yours in surfing, Cory Scott and the team at NZ Surfing