In an ideal world, where the wind is always offshore, Donald Trump is a piss-trough lolly and Kanoa Igarashi is still on the QS, the surfer-shaper — the surfer who shapes his or her own surfboards and rides them as they were meant to be ridden — would be heralded as the very apex of the sport.
To be very, very good at one is laudable, but to be a high achiever in both disciplines is one of the most difficult gigs in surfing. These six below have done that, and much more.
Through their surfing and their designs, they have all changed surfing for the better. It’s time we gave them their props.
“Before Gerry the boards were too straight and too wide and basically the boys were pearling on every wave at Pipeline,” two-time Pipe Master Rory Russell told Surf Europe, using the word pearling for the first time anywhere since in 1979.
“So he worked on a rocker and outline that would fit in the wave. And they worked. We all stole the templates of course. Anyone who has ever had a tube at Pipe has Gerry to thank.”
Gerry Lopez’ efforts at Pipeline, both as a competitor and as Zen-stylist in the ’70s and early ’80s rightfully overshadowed his role in the board design that made the whole cakewalk possible in the first place. However since dropping out of the Pipe spotlight and relocating to the forests of Oregon, Gerry has continued his surfboard shaping, wracking up five decades of high-spec foam wrangling for every type of person and for every type of wave.
“Anyone who has ever had a tube at Pipe has Gerry to thank”