When you picture a shaper, what do you imagine they look like? Often a shaper is the “man behind the curtain” in the surf industry. Most people have heard of Rusty, Al Merrick, and Erick Arakawa when it comes to the big names in shaping. Amazingly enough, these giants in the industry only make up a percentage of all boards ridden in the U.S. The odds of you getting one of these gentleman to personally shape a board for you is pretty limited unless you’ve got an immense bankroll. Well Jason, where can we go then for an affordable and quality made surfboard? Wait for it……
As we’ve talked about over the past few blogs, you know that South Coast employs talented in-house shapers that will meet with you to shape a board by your specifications. Our “shaper series” videos have let you get an insider view of some super fun South Coast boards we have to offer. As I learn more about our shapers, I really start to appreciate their craft and passion for the sport. You’ll know that your getting a quality board and that it’s being put in very competent hands when your speak with them. Not everyone knows what shape or size is perfect for them, but Robin Prodanovich and Larry Ricci have been surfing and shaping for decades. This insider knowledge helps them to put everyone on a board they end up loving. That’s something you can’t always expect when you grab a board from the rack.
We’ve already met and heard from Robin Prodanovich about a few of the boards he’s most excited about. Now take a trip with me to meet another of our great shapers, Larry Ricci. I’ve personally had the pleasure to know Larry for the past four years as an employee at South Coast. Throughout the years I’ve learned many amazing things about his life and philosophy on shaping. Larry has been all over the world and has surfed in almost every possible wave condition you can imagine. Worldly experience has helped him to incorporate this knowledge into his board designs. Robin and Larry both transferred their love for the ocean and surfing into a successful shaping career. Larry started shaping back in the late 70’s and found that his friends loved his designs and wanted him to shape their boards. He was able to take boards from the big names in the business and take what ideas he enjoyed about their boards and mold them into his own shaping. Eventually, Larry was able to springboard his personal shaping success into a career working for some of the best board companies in the world. At South Coast we have been able to lock him down for the past several years. He has shaped more boards then one can count and has come up with some amazing designs you might have ridden already. Anyone who knows Larry, realizes that if you get him started on a conversation about surfboard shapes, your in for at least an hour discussion. Normally that would put anyone to sleep. His passion comes out though in these meetings with him. Someone who loves their job and craft so much has to make a quality board. Larry accomplishes both respect and admiration for those lucky enough to get to share a few moments with him. If you have a chance stop by South Coast and learn more than you would ever expect in a short time with Larry. Don’t let the long hair scare you away! He is one of the most approachable people I have ever had the pleasure to know, and he is happy to shape about any board you might have dreamt about.
In this video Larry will talk about one of his favorite models, the Wing-Quad Fish. The Quad Fish paddles like an old school fish but takes maneuverability to the next level. Single to double concave, cutwing, and quad fin set-up provide increased turning performance in a wide variety of wave conditions. Watch the video and really get a better understanding of what this board can do for you. If you want to learn more about Larry Ricci make sure to click on the link above for some other great articles and interviews with Larry the “Legend”. For all your surfing needs, make sure to stop in at one of South Coast’s five locations or visit us online at southcoast.com.