Surf Board Shapers
~ by Trevor Brown
Thousands of people coming from all regions of the country for contests and events have made surfing one of Costa Rica’s most popular sports. However, surfing is much more than a sport; it’s also one of the greatest forms of self-expression.
Just as in music, dance, and other arts, there are no rules in surfing.
You have a wave, a board, and how you choose to ride one with the other. Self-expression in surfing is often found via board design.
Modifying the boards’ dimensions, shape, thickness, fin placement, and other small factors can change how a board performs custom to the style it is surfed.
In Costa Ballena, two local surfers have taken their expression to a new level by hand-shaping boards for themselves and their friends.
Matu López of La Casita Pizzeria in Dominical started shaping boards by disassembling broken longboards and reshaping them into retro-style short boards.
His creativity and craftsmanship quickly grabbed the interests of his peers, which resulted in several requests to make similar custom boards.
Now with more experience and a more refined skill, Matu continues to make boards for local Dominical surfers.
Esneyder of Uvita works on his own masterpieces. He has been hand-shaping boards for years now, and has made everything from performance short boards to classic longboard shapes.
When you surf in Playa Hermosa, look for locals riding his boards labeled Colo Tico.
Each shaper expresses their love for surfing through creative board design.
Living in Dominical, I’ve been fortunate enough to ride Matu’s shapes, and I’ve watched dozens of his boards being ridden by his friends. Each board draws a different line on the wave, and is surfed differently. Watching a stylish surfer on a hand-shaped board will always have more appeal than watching contest tricks.
This creative self-expression has propelled surfboard design and innovation since the beginning.
INFO: Trevor Brown – [email protected]