Dane Reynolds, Alex Knost, Tanner Gudang, and Lee Ann Curren Walk Into A Shaping Room…
Handshapes for the Duct Tape Festival in Zarautz and the case for mowing your own foam.
“The boards all look really refined, at least a lot more refined than mine,” Dane Reynolds says of the handshapes his Vans teammates built for the Duct Tape Festival Zarautz.
Beginning in Tofino last June, as part of Vans’ and Joel Tudor’s expansion of the near decade-long Duct Tape franchise, the new festival-style weekend affairs have come to comprise much, much more than just a longboard contest, offering the communities it “infects” the chance to meet, surf, eat, drink, and rap out with the Vans team about board design, and even give a handful of the team’s very own handshapes a spin.
Once the festival leaves town, the boards remain there for the local community’s enjoyment, available for anyone to come and take for a spin from a local shop.
Here’s what Dane, Lee Ann, Alex Knost, and Tanner Gudang had to say about the eight beauties—all dolled up with variations of Basque blood red—they will be leaving behind, after the Duct Tape Festival wraps tomorrow with a Sunday matinee final in Zarautz.
“I didn’t do any measurements on either of the boards,” admits Dane when pressed for details on the hip-y twin-fin and stubby little Paipo-esque number he hacked for the Basque Country.
“I have no idea how big either of them are—I kind of find that fish boards work better if you don’t worry about the details. Just kind of wing it and go by feel.”
“I shaped them at my place, and had them glassed at Channel Islands,” says Dane. “I just wanted to make something that would be user friendly.”
“The twin fin is off an old MTF template I made, off my favorite MTF from a while ago,” says Dane. “It’s basically a MTF, buuuut it must be like 22-inches wide. [Laughs] It’s really fucking wide. But it works good, I’ve been riding it, it’s really corky, but it goes pretty good.“
Alex Knost, Dane Reynolds, and Tanner Gudang fondling Dane’s Duct Tape offerings. Zarautz, Basque Country.
“I’ve surfed this area before, and I figured the waves were going to be pretty average, so I made something that I thought would hopefully go fast and have some glide,” says Dane.
“The first time we did this, in Tofino, I made something sort of fishy, but still kind of a performance-oriented board. And people weren’t very interested in riding them. For Haleiwa, I made more of… I guess crazier designs. But they didn’t make it there.
For this one, I guess they’re still a little crazy of designs—but they’re super user friendly. A twin-fin that’ll glide well, and then the little body board is sort of a novelty, but I do like riding those things, they’re really fun.”
Dane and his twin-fin stand-up boogie/surfboard mutant.
“I’d made a board pretty similar [to the squared-off number above], but it was pretty, like, hardline stand-up body board,” says Dane. “I made this one a little more of a… surfboard.”
Sure, the stubby little number’s cute, but does she dance?
“Dane’s a crazy inspirational dude, so I was always going to by hyped on what he was putting out,” says fanboy Tanner Gudang. “At each one of the Duct Tapes, he’s had really insane boards, so I knew he was going to bring something really fun. Working alongside Dane, and Alex—those guys are legit. You’re looking at what they’re doing, and it’s so inspiring. I mean Dane was legitimately blasting on his boogie-board thing [see above gallery]—it was crazy.”
Alex Knost’s Endless Summer II-inspired log should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed his career since before he knew his way around a microphone or a Bonzer. The “most ripped off surfer in the game” (according to Joel Tudor) cut his teeth as a grom hanging in the Robert August factory, sponging knowledge from the brand’s legendary roster of shapers.
“I rode for Robert when I was really young,” says Alex. “And one of my earliest jobs was in his shop, basically, picking up trash [in the factory], cleaning up after the shapers. I shaped a few boards when I was younger, but I didn’t really start doing it seriously until i was about 22, but I was lucky enough to have spent all that time around guys like Mark Martinson and Mike Minchinton.”
“Everyone’s boards look pretty good,” says Dane. “They look pretty refined, compared to mine [laughs]. But I mean, Alex is a shaper, he makes boards for a living. Or, well maybe not for a living, but seriously. He made me a few before, and I liked them. He made me a single-fin, but like 5’6 or 5’8. That was more when he was starting out as a shaper.”
Dane Reynolds with Al Knost’s single-fin.
Lee Ann Curren, Zarautz, 2018.
“I’d only shaped one before, which was really bad,” says Lee Ann Curren, whose gorg twin-fins certainly took top honors, both absolutely pristine specimens.
“I was really excited about Lee Ann,” says Tanner Gudauskas. “Because didn’t know what to expect. And then, what she came up with was so bad-ass. And she is a badass—just so special, and so cool.”
(It’s worth noting that, aside from the two dazzlers Lee Ann brought for everyone to enjoys, Saturday afternoon, after PUKAS’ Mario Azurza warmed up the packed Zarautz promenade, the gathered crowd found themselves entranced by a forty-minute set of absolute sizzlers from the prodigal daughter—what former Surfing photo editor Jimmy Wilson could only describe as “absolute bangers.” Lee Ann says she getting in the recording studio soon, and hopes to have an EP out by year’s end.)
Lee Ann letting Papa Tudor inspect her handirwork, a 6’10 Skip Frye-inspire longfish.
“The double-nose is really Ryan Burch-style,” Lee Ann Curren tells Stab. “It’s a 5’5”. I didn’t know what to do with the nose when we were shaping it. It was either, we went round, or did something crazy, so that’s what we went for.
As for the stretched out, swallow-tailed twinny catching everyone that passed by the stack of sleds eye—Lee Ann had been haunted by the design since riding one in Iceland, belonging to Chris Gentile, of New York City’s Pilgrim Surf + Supply.
“I’ve been wanting a long fish for a long time. I’d ridden an 8-foot long fish, that might have been a Skip Frye, and was just so much fun. We had a seven-foot blank, so we made a 6’10. My friend Son of Cobra glassed them, and he did a beautiful job.
All the boards look really fun, every single one of them, but Tanner’s boards look perfect for me.”
Lee Ann Curren, Zarautz, 2018.
Tanner Gudauskas and his 5’5″ and 5’6″ fishies, inspired by a board he first shaped in 2012, while visiting Zarautz.
“I think I’ve just become more interested in what I’m riding, and why I like it, and pushing that side of things,” Tanner Gudauskas tells Stab. of his fledgling love affair with a electric and surform planers.
After shaping his first board with his pops years ago, Tanner had a fire lit under him for shaping after a visit to Zarautz in 2012, where he built a board at PUKAS’ famous Olatu factory, which burned down tragically last year.
“Whenever I finish shaping a board now, I’m always excited for the next one.”
Joel Tudor and Dane Reynolds with Tanner’s handshapes.
“I made a 5’5” and 5’6,” says Tanner. “I tried to go as Greenhorn as I could. They’re so simple. It has beak nose, absolutely nothing on the bottom, and it’s super fun.”
Tanner and his twinny.
Tanner Gudang’s love note to Zarautz, on the stringer of the 5’6 fish he’ll be leaving behind for the town to enjoy.
“These festivals are so cool, because it’s all about the process—that learning process, of getting people to try shape,” Tanner says. “For me, I don’t have a shaping bay, so I’ve always kind of rented spaces wherever I could to make boards. But I worked with Donald Brink on all of these, and we’ve been hanging out a lot. He’s such a cool guy. He’s like Willy Wonka. He’s like a spirit guide. Because there’s a lot of things that are pretty intimidating when you’re starting out shaping. I still have my training wheels on, so it’s nice to have someone to compare notes with.
It’s like a house, you gotta build the foundation well, before you can start framing anything. I’ve shaped with a couple different people, and everyone has a different process. ”
Tanner Gudang, psyched to have his feet on familiar foam at the Duct Tape Festival in Zarautz.
“I made a surfboard here in Zarautz, in 2012, at the original PUKAS factory, and it was one of my most fun personal handshapes,” Tanner says. “So I wanted to recreate that and give it back to the Zarautz community. They’ve done so much for me and my brothers, so it was really nice to be able to give something back here.
Everyone respects and appreciates how PUKAS includes the community, so that’s why having the Duct Tape here in Zarautz is so fun, and so easy and so rad. It’s the most unique surf community in the world.”
Following the Duct Tape’s Sunday grande finale, all eight of these lovelies will live in PUKAS’ Zarautz shop, for anyone lucky enough to find themselves in the humbly iconic European surf town to enjoy.
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