SHAPERS' CORNER: PETA ARRETXEA
Basque Country one-man shaping band Peta Arretxea gave up being a Mentawais guide for mowing foam in an Industrial Zone in Irun. Sound like a strange decision? Here's why.
WHAT'S THE STORY BEHIND PETA SURFBOARDS? YOU CAME TO SHAPING PRETTY LATE?
Lots of passion, lots of dedication, and eagerly wanting to learn... I’m brand new to the craft, a year and a half in. But now I’m as hooked to shaping as to surfing, kinda like a mid-life crisis now that I’m 39 haha. It’s just like starting surfing all over again.
A FEW YEARS AGO YOU WERE A SURF GUIDE IN THE MENTAWAIS GETTING BARRELLED OUT OF YOUR MIND, NOW YOU'RE IN AN INDUSTRIAL ZONE IN IRUN... WAS THAT A GOOD CAREER CHOICE?
Different, absolutely different, but it takes me to the same place, surfing...
I enjoy shaping my boards and surfing them, a big achievement for any surfer. Imagine surfing the barrels of your life surfing your own boards... It’s the ultimate feeling to craft something with your hands.
WHAT KIND OF BOARDS DO YOU SHAPE, FOR WHOM?
Surfboards for people who want to be happy in the water, catch many waves and have a laugh.
WHOW HAVE BEEN ROLE MODELS/INFLUENCES IN YOUR SHAPES?
Josh Hall from San Diego is the guy who got me into it, he’s been a big influence. Now I’d love to invite different shapers to come by, there’s always something to learn from everybody.
I talk to my boards, stroke them... the only thing I don’t do is fuck them...
IS THE 'RETRO' THING JUST A FASHION OR HERE TO STAY?
Right now it’s a bit of a fashion for sure, but these boards have always been around. Today nearly everyone surfs thrusters, but we all started with beat up single fins. Now people that didn't know about them are discovering them. They are very valuable for 80% of surfers, easier to catch waves, better glide, good for laughs... If only we had been a bit more open-minded years ago, we probably would have surfed better. Like Bruce McKee, doing quads at the end of the 80’s, everyone thought he was a weirdo. It’s only in the last few years they’ve become ‘normal’.
WOULD YOU LOVE ONE DAY TO BE HUGE AND HAVE A MEGA FACTORY OR PREFER TO STAY SMALLER NUMBERS HIGHER QUALITY/INTIMACY?
Small, intimate, and quality. I'm not ambitious about money, better to have more time to surf. The bigger the factory, the bigger the problems.
YOU DO EVERYTHING, SHAPE, GLASS, SAND... 100%?
I do all of it to be able to offer a better price. I also think it’s good to know all the processes. This way, if ever I end up only shaping, I’ll be aware of everything else. I put lots of me in to each board, I talk to my boards, stroke them... the only thing I don’t do is fuck them.
YOU DON'T SELL IN SHOPS... HOW COME?
I prefer it when people come to my place and talk straight to me. In terms of shop trade, I don't want to bother anybody, and nobody bothers me. I've always enjoyed talking to my shapers, always having a chat before placing orders, so that’s how I shape too.