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Shapers Profiles

We’ve been riding Surfboards since the mid-60’s and started selling and making Surfboards in 1980. Over the years we’ve been fortunate enough to become associated with some of the best Surfboard makers in the World! Thanks to these many fine Shapers, we’ve been able to offer our customers the finest, most innovative Surfboards available. Below is a list and some photos of the Surfboard lines we now stock. Attached to many are links to their websites…….


Al Merrick

al_merrick_planer

Low-key surfboard shaper from Santa Barbara, California; founder and owner of Channel Islands Surfboards, and the boardmaking industry’s dominant figure since the 1980’s. Merrick was born (1944) in New Jersey, moved with his family to north San Diego County at age seven, and began surfing at 14. He moved to Santa Barbara in 1965, and was in the water at Rincon in late 1967 when Australian Bob McTavish introduced his newly designed short surfboard to California. The performance possibilities offered by the smaller boards—average length dropped from just under 10 feet to eight feet, and continued to fall steadily over the next two years—inspired Merrick to begin shaping; by 1969 he was making boards under the Channel Islands label, and selling them through local surf-retail outlets. (Merrick’s development was interrupted in 1968 by a possession with intent to distrubute marijuana conviction and subsequent eight-month prison term.)

Merrick came to the attention of the surf world in the late ’70s, when he made boards for 1977 world champion Shaun Tomson; at that time he also began working with aerial pioneer Davey Smith and junior-high-school phenom Tom Curren, both of Santa Barbara. As Curren’s reputation grew—at 15 he was winning pro-am contests and being hailed as the savior of California surfing—so, too, did the fortunes of Merrick and Channel Islands.

Merrick pushed his advanced water-channeling double-concave tri-plane hull design in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but his boards generally haven’t been innovative so much as models of synthesis and refinement. It was Australian Simon Anderson who introduced the tri-fin board in 1981, for example, but it was the soft-voiced Merrick who did much of the subsequent fine-tuning that saw the design become the near-universal board choice by mid-decade. “I’m a designer but I haven’t discovered anything,” Merrick admitted in 1987. “I’m just using what’s been around before . . . and I’m sure I’ll take more ideas from somebody in the future.”

Curren won three world titles using Merrick’s boards, with the shaper also acting as Curren’s father figure and part-time agent. Just after Curren left the pro tour in 1991, Floridian marvel Kelly Slater rode Merrick’s boards to the first of eleven world titles. Four-time world champion Lisa Andersen (1994–97) used Merrick’s boards, as did world champions Kim Mearig (1983), Sofia Mulanovich (2004) and dozens of topflight riders including Rob Machado, Taylor Knox, Shane Beschen, Tim Curran, Yadin Nichol, and Dane Reynolds.

Merrick, a devout born-again Christian, opened his first retail shop in 1978, and in the early ’90s he became one of the first shapers to switch over to computer-programmed machine shaping, although each board was hand-finished. By the mid 2000s, Merrick and his small cadre of machine-assisted Channel Islands shapers (including son Britt Merrick) were producing well over 10,000 boards annually, and distributing them to retail outlets around the world.

Merrick was named the top shaper in the world by Australia’s Surfing Lifemagazine in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Surfer magazine named him #11 in their 2002 ranking of the “25 Most Powerful People in Surfing,” and Surfing magazine included Merrick among their list of the “10 Best Shapers of All Time.” Merrick was inducted into the Surfer’s Hall of Fame at Huntington Beach in 2007.

Flow, a 2006 documentary, chronicled Merrick’s shaping history and features footage of some of Channel Island’s best team riders.

 


Hank Warner

Hank Warner Surfboards “Hanky” is a charter member of the Windansea crew and has shaped over 25,000 Surfboards under labels like Caster, G&S, and Hot Buttered. Along with his good friend, Skip Frye, they have been enigma’s in San Diego and ruled the point at PB for many, many years. Check out some more of Hanks boards at www.hankwarner.com

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Steve Walden

Steve Walden Surfboards

 

Known by many as the “Father of the Modern Longboard,” Steve Walden shaped his first surfboard in 1961, at age 13, and never looked back. Eight years later, the native Southern Californian opened his first board factory and store in Huntington Beach, then moved to the North Shore of Oahu in 1972, where he made a name for himself as a prolific longboard shaper. While the rest of the surfing world was fixated on short single-fins, Walden continued to faithfully hone his longboard designs. Over the years he shaped for prestigious labels like Lightning Bolt, Local Motion, HIC, and Channel Islands, but it was always his own boards that set him apart. By the early 80s, Walden returned to California where he unveiled his wildly successful Magic Model with its radical rocker, down-turned rails, and super-fast Turbo Hull bottom contour.
With arguably the most advanced and high performance longboard on the market, Walden was uniquely positioned to capitalize on the resurgence of longboarding in the late 80s and 90s. To date, Walden estimates he’s personally shaped more than 20,000 boards, and in 2004, he teamed up with Global Surf Industries to distribute his shapes and expand the Walden Surfboards brand worldwide. These days, when he’s not mowing foam, Walden is surfing. Though he competed some as a teenager, he returned to contest surfing at the age of 30 and has been a regular on the winner’s podium ever since. In fact, Walden still holds the record for the longest noseride in competition history with an epic 25.5-second ride.

.www.waldensurfboards.com

 


Erie Peeples

Erie Peeples Surfboards Erie has been shaping Surfboards in Florida since 1991. Erie is part of the high energy New School Florida crew. He is continually working on new designs to produce the most advanced designs available. Take a look at a few of his designs at www.eriesurfboards.com .

erie-2

Hayden Cox

Hayden Cox

 

Hayden Cox is arguably the most well known up and coming young surfboard designer on the planet. At 31 years old, Hayden’s innovative high performance shortboards are being ridden by some of the best surfers in the world, and his designs are drastically helping advance the riding of everyday surfers.
The Sydney, Australian native, who started surfing as a kid, began crafting his own shapes after he snapped his favorite surfboard when he was only 15. “My thought process at the time was that if I couldn’t replace it and buy a new one, I’d make it instead,” said Hayden. That year Hayden, spent his entire school vacation learning how to shape surfboards, launching his own website and even learning how to do web code one year later when he was 16.
A self-proclaimed “tech geek” Hayden is constantly looking outside of just the surfboard world for ideas on innovation and performance. For instance, on his Psychedelic Germ Model, he took inspiration from a board he built for former world champ Tom Carroll where he consulted with an Australian naval architect to build the hull on the front of the board that would be better for bigger ocean waves. Each key feature in his designs are functional and have a performance purpose.
Hayden is responsible for inventing global surfboard technology, FutureFlex (formally known as FibreFlex). The stringerless technology, created from high density EPS foam with a parabolic carbon fiber frame, creates a high energy, rapid spring back resulting in ultimate speed and drive. It’s not only used on Haydenshapes boards, but some of the most renowned shapers and worldwide brands from Channel Islands to Lost and Rusty are also using Hayden’s technology in their own models.
With boards now stocked in over 72 countries, Hayden who was recently compared to a “hip quantum physicist,” by Surfing Magazine, recently opened a new operation in Los Angles, California where he hopes to expand his brand and continue to innovate on American soil for a global audience.
While the accolades and magazines spreads on Hayden and his boards keep pouring in, Hayden gets his biggest sense of accomplishment in doing what he does best, closer to home. “Whether I am in Thailand, Bondi or Venice where I am living now, the biggest sense of satisfaction I get is watching an every day surfer enjoy one of my models.” Luckily for surfers around the globe, Hayden still has a lot more years ahead of him.
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