We Sent our Skate Photographer to Make a Surfboard

Photos and words by Andrew Peters

I was honoured and excited when I found out I was getting invited to Huntington this past weekend to shape my own surfboard. Only thing is… I don’t surf.

I’m used to getting side-eyed for this travesty when I admit this to Hueys around the world after they’ve learned I’m Australian and work for a Monster Children—it doesn’t seem to add up. I wish I was actually brought up on the beach, but the western suburbs of Sydney are more comparable to the Inland Empire of California than Orange County or Malibu.

Nevertheless, Brian Anderson from Golden State Glassing was more than happy to finally kick-start my surf career. I figured I should try to make something that was actually going to inspire me to take it out in the ocean once it was done: a single fin, 7-foot hog, something that might keep me afloat. The idea of shaping a surfboard is pretty simple: carve out all the bits you don’t want, keep the bits you do, and then sand down incrementally with different tools ’til it’s ready to get glassed. The practice itself is a lot more involved and takes a real craftsman to get a finished product that is actually going to work the way you want it to in the water. Luckily, I had Brian there to keep me on the right track and stop me before I screwed the pooch on multiple occasions.

The next step was to glass the board with an epoxy resin, which first we dyed to decorate the board with a red and yellow splatter pattern. I was slowing these guys down all over, but eventually the board was ready for the drying rack. The guys from Golden State will be shaping boards down at the Vans US Open in Huntington all through the coming weekend while the surf and skate events are underway, so get over there and check it all out if you know what’s good for ya!

More info about the Vans US Open of Surfing here.

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