Growing up in Dunsborough and first standing up on a wave at age 3, surfing was always going to be a huge part of my life. Mum and Dad always had us down the beach as groms, and I couldn’t be more stoked on how we grew up. Having a master craftsman as a Dad definitely gave me an early appreciation for surfboards, as well as a healthy respect for the craft of making them.
I was always interested in working in the factory and I came to a crossroads after the last year of competing in the Pro Juniors. I’d been surfing competitively for three years and I’d had to take a lot of time out from school for the contests. I decided to leave school and started working in the factory in between contests to make enough money to get to the next one.
When it came to the point where I could choose to sink a whole bunch of money into going full tilt on the QS or get more involved in shaping, it was right at the point where my competitive drive for surfing was waining. I wasn’t making too many heats and I wanted to try different boards and go surfing for fun.
I will have a go at shaping anything, but for me the ultra high performance boards is where I froth the most. A surfer/shaper relationship like say, DHD and Fanning, is something I definitely aspire to. On the flip side, I still shape and ride some alternative equipment as there are times the ocean leaves you no other choice. I ride performance shortboards most of the time but my quiver also contains bonzers, fishes, hand plane, surf mat, alaia’s and more. All made for having fun and each craft can teach you a little something about riding waves and shaping differently.
I feel like I’ve come full circle. When I started working in the factory in WA I thought we were behind. You’d see when the CT would go to Snapper and all the guys would be getting boards off JS and DHD and you’d sort of feel left out. That’s why I was frothing to go and work over there because I love that whole side of it, shaping for guys on the tour. Wherever the tour goes I just froth out like a little kid and am always watching the broadcast.
Working in some of the factories over East has been great. Seeing the pros coming in and really tuning in their boards with their shaper. While that is definitely a goal of mine, it gets me just as excited to sit down with a local everyday surfer and make sure we get them the right board to keep the froth levels high.
We have a real special market over in Western Australia because of the quality of our waves. Surfboards made in WA are always going to work best in our conditions. There are so many really good local surfers down here who I love working with. Spending time over East and now deciding to come home, I know the quality of shaping, glassing and all stages of our boards at Yahoo are just as good as the top branded surfboards.