(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

Friday, September 23, 2016

board#115: longboard for Isabella

Dimensions: 8'0 x 21 1/4 x 2 3/4
[completed in November 2015]
Model Valerie

The story: Isabella is a teenager from the East Coast but she studies here in California and therefore she lives with her uncle's family. It was his idea to give her a surfboard to reward her good work at school. Plus, she could now follow him on the waves during her free time. I thought it was already a very special board but it became even more emotional when I learnt that Isabella wanted an iris as artwork. This was the favorite flower of her Grand-mother who she misses a lot.

The shape: Isabella was a surfer in training but not her uncle who could help me to figure out the type of board she would need. My best-seller model Valerie adjusted with more length and volume overall was picked.

The artwork: Like mentioned in the story section, Isabella insisted for an iris. I was a bit resistant to make what she was suggesting first with vivid colors... Because it was representing her Grand-Mother, I wanted the artwork to be soft and delicate. Even though I am not a painter, I took my brushes and painted the flower on the foam. Because of the texture of the foam, it looks like watercolors. Exactly what I imagined for Isabella.

Only photo I have :(

Saturday, September 10, 2016

board#089: mini-gun for the YMCA

my 7 year old daughter with the board donated
to the YMCA Dance Department

Dimensions: 6'8 x 19 1/2 x 2 5/8
[shaped in July 2015, completed in March 2016]

The story: it happens that I don't get enough coffee when tracing my outline and I end up cutting a board with the wrong dimensions. This one is the perfect example. I was supposed to make a shortboard for Paul  when I totally got the widest point wrong (from very far). I didn't noticed until I was done... I am like "wait a minute... that shortboard looks like a mini-gun to me !!!..." Of course, I reshaped one for Paul with the right wideness [see his actual board here] but I keep this shaped blank in the corner of my shaping room. Juts in case. And almost a year later, that board found an owner. The YMCA Dance department (where my daughter dances) was having an end-of-the-year performance with the Endless Summer theme... I suggested I could donate a special board for the occasion. This is how that old shaped blank was back into business!

The shape: The shape was a classic shortboard shape which ended-up a mini-gun due to an outline mistake. I accentuated the pintail to make it even more  a big wave board. The final result was so cool that my husband wanted to keep it !!! Too late, it is for the YMCA!

The artwork: The Endless Summer theme was of course a requirement. It was an easy one for me as I had done a couple of similar artworks in the past: one on a real Robert August longboard [click here] and a replica on one of my shapes [board#018]. I suggested that the famous silhouette should be a dancer for the occasion. This was printed on rice paper by Boardlams while I painted the board with the orange/pink famous color combo. 
The beautiful glass was performed by Global Glassing in Oceanside.

The testimonial:  Because the Dance Department was raffling it, it was on display in the YMCA lobby for a couple weeks before the drawing. There were even some posters made for the occasion ! The board went to a photoshoot with the dance team. This board became the "star" of the YMCA for a while !!! A lot of my friends bought some tickets as well as my husband who wanted it back :) First the tickets could only be purchased in person but they had to open it up to phone purchasing as it was so popular! I was super stoked! Then, it was the big day of the performance. The whole Dance Department did a terrific job on the show. The kids were amazing on stage. At the very end, the board came on stage for the raffle drawing. I was called on stage too... Most of the people in the audience had bought some tickets so the whole place went quiet when my daughter dove her head in the ticket jar... And the winner is.... a woman named Andrea who bought 200 tickets!!! She was not in the audience but I got to meet her in person later this month and she was stoked: the board is now in display in her living room until her husband gets the permission to  take it in the water. I hope this happens because like all Mere-Made Surfboards she is made for the Ocean!

this poster, for sure, landed on the wall of my shaping room!

Photo by Rob Randolph

... and the winner is...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

board#102: shortboard for Laurane

Laurane (15 year old) with her snow/surfboard

Dimensions: 6'0 x 19 5/8 x 2 3/8
[shaped in July 2015, completed in August 2016]
Model Valolo

The story: this board was originally shaped for Mark but I removed more foam that I should have so I had to reshape another one for him (see board#108). The shaped blank sat for a long time in my shaping room... until Philippe showed interest in getting surfboards  made for his two 15 year old daughters, Maylane and Laurane. The boards were supposed to be created for a music video-clip so it was decided Laurane would have this cool shortboard shape even though she had no surfing experience.

However, soon enough, I was told that Laurane got bitten by the surf bug and would ride the board after all. The good news is that Laurane is a very determined young lady. The challenge of surfing on a shortboard is not one for her. She is very determined to rock that board. As a matter of fact she already rip on it using it as a wake board :))) I am confident that in no time she will paddle it in real waves.

The shape: (see board#108)

The artwork: The idea was to reproduce the pattern of her favorite board: a snowboard!!! She worked with her dad and grand-dad to get me a sketch of the "Burton surfboard". I was sold when they mentioned snowboarding as I was myself really into it (and Burton being my favorite boards). The artwork is a strip pattern which I entirely made by tape masking/air brushing. An empty space was left to received the Burton logo printed on Rice paper by Boardlams. Definitely a challenging artwork to pull off. 

Laurane taking her board for a first spin !!!