On order to become a surfer, we need a vehicle. There are tons of different boards out there to ride the waves in our Atlantic Ocean and many people never think about how there are made. I sat down with one local shaper to get some more info what goes into the making of a SURFBOARD.
Meet Phil Taylor of Phil Taylor Handcrafted Surfboards
Background: I’ve been building surfboards for 18 years. I taught myself and acquired some industry experience. When I first started there wasn’t all this information and instruction available. The internet was a new thing so there weren’t all these YouTube videos that are available today. It was hard to even find out where to purchase supplies like blanks. Shapers and Glassers didn’t share anything so I had to figure it out on my own. After working briefly in the industry I found that processes that I had developed on my own worked better for me and yielded a better end product. That’s how I build my surfboards today. I outsource nothing and cut no corners. I do not use CNC machines or glass shops. Every board with my name on it is completely handcrafted by me and me alone. Just the way it has always been.
Why did you get into shaping: I love surfing and I am an artist so it was inevitable. The shaping came easy because I have been sculpting since I was a kid. The glassing on the other hand, took years of anguish.
What is surfing to you: Surfing is the quietest place in my life. It truly is a reset button. Nothing is expected of me or asked of me when I am out in the water. It is a quiet and tranquil practice. Surfing requires your mind and body to work together in perfect concert. This development is fulfilling, exhilarating, and euphoric. And the more challenging the waves, the greater the reward. As far as priorities in life, surfing rests right under family.
What type of board do you ride: I like high volume low length alternative shapes. I have been riding a new shape of mine I call a Hobbit. The one I have been riding is 6’9”. It’s a longboard outline, a nose rider to be exact, so coming in at 6’9” makes it very short for its shape.
Tips for those searching for the perfect board: Keep an open mind- if you keep following the same directions, you will wind up at the same destinations and you won’t be getting anywhere.
Be realistic- a surfboard isn’t going to make you surf like someone with 20 years experience when you do not have 20 years of experience. It’s important to be honest and realistic as to where your surfing is at today and where you want to be tomorrow. Find out what your needs are in terms of surfing.
Listen to your surfing- all the answers you are looking for are in your surfing. Pay close attention to what is going on during your sessions and how you are feeling. Pay close attention to what is working and what is failing. Take all this information to your surf shop or shaper.
Favorite thing about Worcester County: Assateague Island Federal Park ORV Access. Countless uncrowded surf breaks that you can drive up to and surf. In the winter a fire on the beach is always nice to come out of the water to.
Words to live by: If you have to ask yourself if something is right or wrong, chances are its wrong.
If someone wants to get in touch to have you shape, what is the best way to do so?