Everybody Should Shape Their Own Surfboard, At Least Once
A bright, sunshine-y day of DIY handshapes and heaving Haleiwa for the Vans Duct Tape Festival
For any surfer serious about the pursuit, whittling your own piece of foam is a rite of passage.
A revelation of sorts, hacking into a block of PU, cutting an outline, making that first planer pass, surforming it just so—it’s one of the one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences a surfer can have.
While the Duct Tape franchise has been synonymous with Joel Tudor’s hand-selected longboard contests since its inception in 2010, in the last year Vans and Tudor have broadened the event's focus toward the forgotten art of shaping your own surfboards. Starting with last year's Duct Tape Festival in Tofino, Vans' Duct Tape Festivals feature handshapes from their teamriders, all of whom possess varying degrees of experience with blank and planer.
Tanner Gudauskas pushing Nathan Fletcher's quad through a proper rail-grab bottom turn.
Michael February , jazz hands on Nathan Fletcher's quad.
Yesterday at Haleiwa, after weeks of wind, weather, and raw swell, the Vans crew enjoyed a sunny day with light winds and solid surf for their Duct Tape Festival beach day. The event showcased six handshapes from Vans team riders, and let anyone interested take them for a spin in the chunky, but rippable surf.
Shaped by Wade Goodall, Nathan Fletcher, and Alex Knost (the advertised star of the show, Dane Reynolds, was kept Stateside by the horrifying fires still raging in Ventura), the six boards ranged from a stubby diamond tail quad by Nathan, Knost’s psychedelic-sprayed 7'0 pintail and 6’8 Bonzer he shaped with Malcolm Campbell (as seen at Kelly’s Wave last week), and Goodall’s 7’0 Haleiwa-specific double ender, a collaboration with Morning of the Earth Surfboards’ Chris Brock—reminiscent of Tom Curren’s famous handshape with George Greenough in ...Lost’s 5’5” 19 ¼. (Goodall also shaped a 6'0 that he couldn't have imagined a worse wave for than solid Haleiwa—regardless, the thing looked great under everyone's feet.)
Wade Goodall burying his handshape through a Haleiwa hack.
"I bought an old Bonzer a few years ago, that was in really good shape, and that got me really into them," says Al Knost, who consulted the caring hands of Bonzer pater familias Malcolm Campbell on this 7'8 three-fin take on the 70s pin tail outlines Al's been pushing the last few years.
Pat Gudauskas making Wade Goodall's Chris Brock collaboration look spicy.
With plenty of surf on tap, everyone from Pat, Dane, and Tanner Gudauskas to Dylan Graves, Tomas Hermes, Tudor, Michael February, and others got weird in the Haleiwa rip bowls, putting the unorthodox sleds through their paces. The crowd chatted up the boys on their creations, took photos with the Van Doren clan, smashed pizza basking in the soft Hawaiian sun, and enjoyed the view on a bright and brilliant North Shore afternoon.
Scroll through for a look at a few of the boards the boys whittled for everyone's enjoyment:
Wade Goodall made this slick, flat, speed-shape little 6'0 for pretty much the opposite of solid Haleiwa in mind. Alas, the little slipper fit the Vans teams feet just fine, from the looks of the lines they were taking on the short pintail.
Al Knost looked as loose on this 7'8" Bonzer at lumpy, well-overhead Haleiwa, as it did last week in spiraling Lemoore cylinders.
"I think everyone's performance surfboards are going to look something like this soon," says Nathan Fletcher on his stubby quad-fin. "Shorter, thicker. I shaped this for small beachbreaks, or like inside Rocky Point, small, quick little air waves."