Channel Islands, Rusty, and Eric Arawkawa build boards for professional surfing’s elite. They have the coolest logos, the best outlines and brightest airbrushes. So were they always this good at building boards? Were they born this way? Did their parents train them at an early age to be the best shapers, probably not. The reality is that they started at the beginning like everyone else who has ever grabbed a blank and started hacking.
We decided to give Race Skelton from Contrast Magazine that same opportunity. He’s never shaped a board in his life and is a self-proclaimed novice when it comes to tools. We styled him out with some basic tools as well as some pretty cool ones too. Race told us what he wanted to make so we recommended the appropriate blank, a US Blanks 6’0”R, and some masonite from the hardware store so he could make his own template.
Race got down and dirty and had to learn along the way which forced him to experience the full range of emotions throughout the project. He went from being stoked and expecting the best, to almost depressed once the reality set in that his board wasn’t going to be worthy of receiving a Channel Islands logo. Check out what he has to say about the benefits of trying to shape your own board.
Shaping is an art form. The experts have spent their lives and based their careers on honing their artistic talents. We hope Race’s experience inspires you to give shaping a go or at least earn a deeper respect and appreciation for those big names who keep you in the water swell after swell.
- hand saw
- FGH Shaping pads with removable grits (40g, 80g, 180g) COMING SOON!
- 10” Stanley Surform
- block plane
- Hitachi Planer (modified for surfboard shaping)
- Bamboo Calipers
Check out our suggested shopping list for beginning shaping tool kits. You can read more about Race’s experience in his own words at www.contrastmag.com