(Photo: Laurent Chantegros)
I LOVE shaping surfboards and I'm kinda obsessed with this craft. Even though I am about to shape my 145th board I'm still considering myself as a novice but I hope to become a master one day... This blog is a virtual portfolio and a diary of my journey in the shaping world. Feel free to leave comments or contact me directly at valerie@meremadesurfboards.com.



Valerie Duprat
-Shaper of Mère-Made Surfboards

Thursday, January 5, 2017

board#123: shortboard for Danielle

Danielle with her new shortboard

Dimensions: 6'2 x 23 x 2 3/4
[completed in April 2016]

The story: I am the one who contacted Danielle. I found her art on FB, randomly. Her artist name was Mermamamigration and her art centered around the Ocean, including mermaids!... Of course she was a surfer and I wrote to her : "we are meant to collaborate".  Shortly after we met in person and we decided to make a surfboard together: I would be the shaper, she would be the guest artist. 

The shape: Danielle wanted a shorter board than her 7'2 to have a more "performance" board. The challenge was to keep enough volume to be able to ride in most of the conditions in SoCal without losing to much of the "fast board" characteristic. Also keeping a bit of rocker for bigger days. I based my shape on the Average Joe board from Lost with a squash tail and round rails. I put my single to double concave signature for speed.

The artwork: I was so pleased to have Danielle work on her board. A real painter ! I just gave her recommendations about what the foam and resin can handle in term of paint and quantity. I handed her the shaped blank and she did her magic. When she brought the board back for glassing I was totally in love with what she did: ocean creatures floating in teal/blue waters. Everything I would liken my own board! I am so happy our project resulted in such a cool piece of art she can surf whenever she feels like shortboarding!

painted foam before glass (artwork by Danielle)

painted foam before glass (artwork by Danielle)

Danielle signing her art !!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year's statistics (2016)

What a year for Mere-Made surfboards !!!

Probably the most successful so far.

Even though the number of boards decreased compared to last year, I can't be more proud of 2016 production! A total of 36 boards which is a bit less than last year due to the extra time spent on artworks which have became more and more complex lately. That also means I am maxing out my hobby production (i.e., I can't work more than that unless I quit my day time/full  time job :))

Like in the previous years, shortboards is what I do most, followed by longboards and funboards. I am also very excited to have shaped my first kiteboard too!

This following stat I am particularly happy about: compared to last year, there is a 20% increase of the number of boards shaped for female riders which almost reaches the male rider orders! Yay!

Geographically, my boards are localized mainly in California since I don't ship (customers have to do the pick-up in Encinitas). But I managed to shape some boards in France while vacationing and one recently during my training in Maui.

Social media exposure has been great in 2016. I have to say that opening an Instagram account helped getting more attention worldwide. Part of that success came from the 12 boards published  by Boardporn, the biggest surfboard account on Instagram! (Thank you Ron!)

In addition I also got three paper publications in surf magazines including Surf Session (France) and Surfgirl (UK) which were illustrated by my loyal friend and amazing photographer Laurent Chantegros.

Surf Session "Mademoiselle" 2016

Surfgirl 2016 
Talking about exposure, I partnered again with my surf gear sponsor Howzit and Mere-Made got featured in the 2017 catalog/campaign as well as poster display in they booth (photos by Corey Walter and Laurent Chantegros).

Also this year I got to shape at Swop Surfboards and ND Surf (both located in France) and I recently had the chance to do an intense shaping training in Maui with Matt Kinoshita at Kazuma Surfboards. All those experiences are priceless and definitely make my 2017 year very exciting with the new skills I am developing...

Sunday, December 11, 2016

board#122: shortboard for Paul

Dimensions: 6'6 x 20 3/4 2 11/16
[completed in January 2016]

The story: Paul is a board collector and obviously a Mere-Made board collector since this one is the 4th in his quiver! (see previous boards: board  #067, board #091,  and board #092).   The fun fact about this one is that Paul ordered it without knowing that it was already fully paid by one of his friend. Very cool friend!

The shape: The new board is actually an iteration of board#092 with a "compressed" version of the previous shape : i.e. shorter, wider, fuller, flatter for more versatility. However I kept the foiled rails which are Paul's favorite.

The artwork: Paul gave me two keywords for the artwork: "bright colors" and  "stripes". He could not make me happier (he knows I am a huge fan of stripes ;)). I made diagonal bright red stripes with matching rails. We call it the "peppermint board" .

Testimonial: last time I surfed with Paul, he told me: "since I surf your boards I am such a better surfer. Thank you for shaping me boards which improve my surfing." I almost cried.

I got to surf with Paul last month!
And look what he was riding !...