SHAPERS ADAM “SPARROW” FLETCHER
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