A word from the Wise and a Drop in the Bucket.
We’re dancing around last weekend’s event’s a tad. From one event to the other with a whole lack of rhythm or reason. Probably because we’re all still super stoked at how the whole 9’ & Single Art Music and Log Fest went and are just letting bits bubble to the forefront of consciousness and banging them out.
So let us tell you all about Saturday night. The Second Annual Shapers Forum. It’s our twisted take on a talk back show with a live audience and no camera. The glue holding it all together was Monty ‘The Duke’, although this year we were honored by a well known authority on all things surf, Phil Jarrett.
One the couches was a stacked deck of shapers. Representing a huge chunk of recent history was Bob McTavish. A man who is intrinsically linked, if not responsible for, the shortboard revolution, although he still shapes up a big spread of mid lengths and longboards. Next to him, representing the Greenroom, Mr. Fish himself, Rich Pavel. A Californian who got lost in Hawaii from the ripe old age of 15. He’s been travelling the world, shaping boards and spreading the stoke for many a moon. Third up is a bit of a twist, though once you heard his history you understood. Chris ‘Cutch’ McHutchinson started shaping boards at Ripcurl. He was chief of the broom when he first started there at 17 but his natural enthusiasm and inquisitiveness pushed him out and behind a skill planer before long. These days Cutch is pumping out all the Australasian Al Merricks from his factory in Bali. Then there was Thomas Bexon. A youthful bearded chap from Noosa whose already established a name for himself in shaping circles as a guy who is way more old school than his years and to round it out, someone who has been mostly shaping only his own and a couple of rare birds for friends, free surfer and world citizen, Ellis Ericsson.
So we’d pulled the comfy couches from the office. Got a nice lamp, a couple of buckets for beer, even put a rug down, coffee table, dropped some surfing mags on it (in case anyone got bored??) and transformed the back veranda from it’s austere normal attire into something rather homey. We even added flowers, albeit a posie in a motorbike fuel tank.
Monty and Phil steered the questions across locations; they chose three; Hawaii, Australia and Indonesia. They then probed the panel to find out when each had first encountered these places, to elaborate on person experiences in these locals and what they were riding and had shaped when they were there. As you can imagine we got personal on a whole lot of things that hadn’t been spoken about, secret men’s business.
Somewhere amongst that first section of Q & A, the drops began to fall from the heavens and like the well oiled machine that they are, the Deus staff moved into gear, smoothly transforming the retail space into a big hall. The crowd picked up their beanbags, Segway to a quick sponsor plug, thanks so much Soo Beanbags, and made their way inside. Not a moment too soon for then the heavens really opened up. We settled everyone cosy like and fussed with the sound, which took awhile before they took off again and the panel just ran and ran. Locations done and dusted they got into the nitty gritty of board design and the why’s and where for. The ideas of commercialization, the use of machinery and the art of the hand shaped. The process of designing a new board and refining there wasn’t a lot they didn’t cover. Gonna make next year that so much harder.
We’d been expecting it to run around two hours before attentions waned. Three hours and some they were still at it and the room was still packed!
The floor was thrown open for questions and the Mic was passed around and around. No one could get enough. Another fantastic facet of the 9’ & Single Art Music and Log Fest.
We would just to like to thank all the panelists for their openness and patience. You are all rad. We would like to thank Soo Bean chairs for making many a bottom comfy and lastly, everyone who came and got the stoke listening to these living legends of the water & shaping bay.