Shaping At Home with Daniel and Curtis

Daniel and Curtis are two childhood buddies who grew up surfing San-O, Church, and Lowers together. At 23 years old, fresh out of college, and into the “real world,” the two got inspired and decided to make their own shaping room…and they got all their materials for FREE! Here’s there story:

First off, what was the inspiration behind the “free” shaping room?

We were inspired by our buddy who is a shaper in Morocco. He taught himself how to shape by watching a video and now he makes boards for professional Moroccan surfers. He started running his business with a low budget and he had to get creative due to lack of resources. This showed us that quality/creative boards can be produced if the effort is willing to be put forth, even on a low budget.

Where did you manage to get all of the materials for free? Who donated the land space?

The supplies for the shaping tent were an accumulation of generous people and getting creative with our resources. It started with needing a roof over our heads. We didn’t know where to even begin, but realized that we needed something because it was November and if anything was going to happen in the middle of winter it had to be done in some sort of shelter. Daniel’s dad, Randy, had generously offered us an old outfitter’s tent that he and Daniel used to take camping every year. It is 20 x 16 feet, so we figured that would be plenty of space. Then we needed a place to set up shop, so Curtis’ dad, Rick, generously offered us a place to build our tent… not sure how pumped his mom is on the huge eyesore in her backyard now. Then the floor was built off of old pallets donated from Daniel’s old plumbing boss and the lights from his pops. Lastly, a majority of our tools were given to us by a family friend, Stan, who has shaped in the past. Stan also gave us tons of advice in getting started, he is a man to be listened to because of his expertise in building sail boats. So everything needed for the shop was free… HUGE!

Seems like a pretty cozy situation with a fireplace and all. Where did you get the idea for adding in a fireplace? Any other unique features of your setup?

Yeah we needed to keep it cozy and we figured that it would help us stay warm in the middle of winter. It keeps things a little interesting due to the fact that we are working with flammable chemicals with a blazing fire, all inside a small tent. But it’s all good!

How long did it take you to put everything together?

We were able to build the whole thing in a couple of days thanks to Curtis’ dad. He saved us hours of backbreaking work by leveling the dirt out with his tractor. Then the tent took us about 30 min to set up, the floor took a day, the racks a couple of hours, and presto, the Shred Shed was born!

How many boards have you made so far? What kind of boards?

We have each made one so far and have started another. The first boards were both 5’8″ single-fins. We decided to do massive diamond tails. Curtis did a slight v-bottom and Daniel wanted to keep it as flat as possible to see how much speed he could get. We are just wanting to build the boards that we imagine in our heads. We are excited about experimenting with unique shapes and having fun riding them.

Where would you suggest one to look when wanting to learn how to shape, build their own shaping room, etc.?

Just be honest with people about how little you actually know and ask questions. What helped us out was talking with guys that had experience. People were pumped on our ideas and our desire to make different types of shapes, so they would give us as much advice as we wanted. We also must give credit to JC and “Shaping 101.” A must for anyone starting out. A huge help came from the videos that you, Korduroy, shared with us: Shaping Room, Shaping Blocks, etc. Lastly, find a best bud to share the experience with!

What do you find to be the most difficult part of shaping? What about the difficulties of glassing?

The hardest part of shaping is staying clean… the stuff gets everywhere! Also with our first boards we wanted to take our time so we used no power tools. When we finished shaping we had some serious arm-pump from the surforms.

As for glassing, is like working with a time bomb, before you know it it’s too late. Most of the frustrations came in this part of the process. What you thought was a great shape can turn into a disaster within a blink of an eye. It was a fun process and we learned a ton from it. It is amazing how much detail is involved to get a perfect glass job.

What has been your favorite step of the process…besides surfing the final product?

There were so many nights where we both didn’t want to close up shop because we were so pumped on how things were turning out. Every step of shaping gave us so much stoke because we were seeing this ugly block of foam begin to turn into something that looked like a surfboard. This started out as a project to see what we could create, little did we know how much fun we would have with it!

Do you feel like you have found a new hobby to take serious or is it just something for fun every now and again?

We have fallen in love and are actually planning on building many more boards. Between the two of us there are so many things we would love to shape, it is just hard trying to figure out what will be next. Right now we are starting to work on some shapes for a trip to Costa Rica. For now we are stoked on shaping our own boards, but who knows what might happen in the future.

Do you have a name for this project?

Yup, the name is Citrus. We decided on this name for two reasons. One, we are shaping in the middle of orange groves and two, we hope this project produces some good fruit for all enjoy and take part in.

For anyone that is interesting in following us on this adventure, check out our blog at www.citrusshapes.com or Facebook.

Also, if you have any questions about what we are doing or just want to drop a line and say hey, email us at citrusshapes@gmail.com

Thanks Korduroy for all the help. Keep the stoke coming!!!