SHAPERS ADAM “SPAR­ROW” FLETCHER

New Zealand Surfing - - Between Sets -

When the leg­endary Maz Quinn was ap­proached to be an am­bas­sador of SU­PER­brand he leapt at the chance. Here was a surf­board la­bel at the fore­front of de­sign in­no­va­tion who had a vi­sion to make the per­fect board, and what did Maz need? Just that! With back and forth feed­back with his shaper Spar­row, de­sign in­tri­ca­cies have been tweaked to make the boards more suited to NZ con­di­tions, yet Maz ad­mit­ted they went pretty damn well from day one, “They just needed a lit­tle more beef through the cen­tre to sup­port the ex­tra weight of our wet­suits and have the rocker toned down a lit­tle for lo­cal con­di­tions.” With Maz more than stoked on the per­for­mance of his boards we caught up with the man who mows those blocks of foam into magic car­pets.

What made you want to be­come a surf­board shaper? I was spon­sored by DHD at the time and work­ing Part time at the fac­tory to pay for the JNR se­ries events around Aus­tralia .My re­sults at the time weren’t where they needed to be and turned more in to a full time job where I could still be around surf­ing all the time.

Best thing about be­ing a shaper? Be­ing able to make your friends and your­self boards and be­ing able to go for a quick surf when­ever the waves are good.

Worst thing about be­ing a shaper? Prob­a­bly get­ting has­sled to make ev­ery­one cheap or free boards all the time!

Who in­spires your shap­ing? De­fi­nately all the team and my close mates, they all surf re­ally good and I love hear­ing their feed­back. I’m al­ways look­ing at other shapers boards and what they’re do­ing, gen­er­ally ev­ery­one is on the same page tweak­ing things here and there to make them the lit­tle bit bet­ter. We have the shapers col­lec­tive at SU­PER­brand and share all our files to make the best boards for ev­ery re­gion around the world. It’s a good in-house rivalry to try make the team the best board. If one of us nail a magic one we share that file and try and im­prove it that bit more.

What are you fo­cus­ing on this year as a shaper? Just try­ing to im­prove the teams boards all the time and then tak­ing that in­for­ma­tion and mak­ing sim­i­lar boards to suit the gen­eral pub­lic. I think the main fo­cus lately have to make surf­ing more fun so ev­ery­thing has been short and wide for that! Surf­board com­pa­nies are start­ing to in­clude board vol­ume on their di­men­sions, do you think that vol­ume is a good mea­sure­ment to base your board choice on? Also, how do you de­cide what vol­ume board fits you? I think the vol­ume makes more sense to the cus­tomer but de­pend­ing on where the vol­ume is placed through­out the board can make a big dif­fer­ence on the board feel­ing too thick or too thin at the same vol­ume. I do use it as a guide, but the ba­sic prin­ci­ple is the heav­ier you are the more vol­ume you need. In say­ing that your abil­ity comes into play as well, bet­ter surfers can ride a lot less vol­ume then be­gin­ner’s. I think once you find the right vol­ume for your­self al­ways use that as a rough guide when buy­ing a new board . What are the key things a surfer should look at when look­ing for a new board? It re­ally comes down to abil­ity and the waves you will to be surf­ing. Good surfers know what they want, be­gin­ner’s and in­ter­me­di­ate surfers should steer away from the high per­for­mance less vol­ume boards and go for some­thing fun with a lit­tle more vol­ume . With pretty much ev­ery shaper us­ing a com­puter to shaper their boards and the shaper putting the fin­ish­ing touches on that do you think shapers will ever be­come ir­rel­e­vant in the fu­ture? I don’t think so, most shapers now are de­sign­ers any­way. It’s made it a lot eas­ier for shapers to fine tune boards to get ex­actly what they want. Al­though the ma­chines get the boards pretty close they still come out a lit­tle un­even on the rails or bumps here and there so that’s where the shap­ing part al­ways comes in to play.

What board should ev­ery surfer have in there quiver? I’d rec­om­mend our TOY model! It’s been our best sell­ing board for the last 5 years and ev­ery­one that’s had one al­ways comes back to get another one. It’s prob­a­bly the most ver­sa­tile board we have in our range from the be­gin­ner to the ad­vanced surfer. Check it out on our web site for more info www.su­per­branded.com/surf­boards/su­per­toy.

Maz Quinn on his SU­PER­brand. Im­age by Cory Scott

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