A GOOD CHRISTIAAN
Gracey rocked up at Euroglass the day I did this interview and said to Christiaan, "Look at your haircut, it looks like my motorbike helmet!" Gracey is fricken awesome. He also told us a wicked story about Miki Dora pretending to be blind so he could get free upgrades on flights and also take his dog with him. Dora made Gracey drive him to Geneva so he could get certified blind by his mate who was a (crooked) optician. Anyway...
A surfboard factory manager known as 'the horse' marvels over the latest SE with Timo and C Bradley.
Who have you been making shred sticks for lately Mr Bradley?
I started out the year making boards for Jeremy, Wilko, Tiago... I did a few for Mick when I was in Oz. Also Rossy, Dingo, D Hobgood, Taj... with those guys I don't do em consistently, it's just trying stuff out, it might work, might not.
What's new and awesome in terms of shaping trends for those guys?
Hmm well last year a lot of guys dropped an inch or two in length and went a bit wider, and this year it seems like maybe some guys have come back. But with Wilko, he's been doing his own thing. I like shaping for him because he's looking for something different and willing to try new ideas, and he's coming up with ideas. So we've trying to fit boards for certain waves, mainly Vipers and Things. ast year he stuck with 6'0"s and 6'1"s and now this year we're working on shorter designs with elements of longer boards in them... basically trying to get smaller boards to work more like conventional boards.
What about the board he surfed at Snapper?
I didn't expect him to surf that one in the comp. Last year I made him a couple of 5'7" x 19" that he surfed and won the Cold Water Classic in Santa Cruz on. We were a bit worried it would be too short for the Goldie so I made him a 5'9" x 18 7/8"s and it really seemed to work for him at Snapper. He was surfing unreal. So that's given us quite a bit to work with, I've been making him some new boards using the feedback from Snapper.
How do you shape a board to go backside differently?
Some guys like a board that's straighter out of the tail for backhand surfing, Wilko is quite backfooted so that kind of suits him. Generally a board with more curve in the tail probably works better forehand. Backhand you push a bit harder and maybe less curve suits better for that.
So you're not gonna tell us too much about the new ones you're shaping Wilko?
Well they're not secret secret... it's just we don't know if they work yet so don't want to say too much until he's tried them. But the new ones I'm making him should go well in beachbreaks too, forehand and backhand. For them we've lowered the rocker, pulled it in a bit more. But it's kind of Wilko's deal in that the ideas are his so I don't want to say too much coz it's his input and his ideas, the feedback you get is probably more important than anything. For example, if someone else wants one, I'll ask Wilko first if he minds, coz it's his design really. Damien Hobgood wanted one... I'm sure Wilko will be cool.
Going back a bit, Jeremy won Pipe on Bradleys in December, tell us about them.
He was on a 6'1" CB1. I made him some that went well in Tahiti so we worked on them and made a board specifically for Pipe and it worked out well. Yeah the last 2 CT events have gone alright, I've had a winner and a QF on guys riding my boards.
Do you notice a big spike in interest when that happens?
For sure, after the board is on the webcast I get all kinds of hits on email wanting to know what board it was and if crew can order them, both from pros and from the public. Having a guy doing well in a major event on your board and with the popularity of the webcasts definitely helps with demand.
If you too would like to order a board to go forehand, backhand, both, or straight... get in touch with Euroglass: