(Photo: Laurent Chantegros)
I LOVE shaping surfboards and I'm kinda obsessed with this craft. Even though I am about to shape my 205th 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

Saturday, January 5, 2019

board#150: shortboard for Lizzy

Dimensions: 6'1 x 18 3/4 x 2 1/2
[completed in December 2016]
Model Vedette

The story: if there was an award for the best story of this blog, this board would won. Board #150 was the second board for Lizzy (see Lizzy's previous board#133 here). Not any second board. The board she was planning to take for a once-in-a-life-time surf trip around the world: 6 weeks, 3 destinations: Fiji-New Zealand-Hawaii. And she did ! She sent me the pictures as proof !

The shape: since Lizzy was going to surf world class waves, known for being steep and powerful, the idea was to shape a step-up board with more rocker than her everyday board. The outline would be more performance as well as, with all shortboard classic attributes. 

The artwork: as much as I would like to own it, the brilliant idea of the artwork was from Vincent (my husband).  I just graphically translated that idea and Lizzy picked the color. As a result that board was one of the most successful in Boardporn (I even got an message from Ron, Boardpoarn owner, to congratulate me on that board !). But my ultimate reward was to see pictures of the board at all destination. Thank you Lizzy for trusting me on that one ! Best project ever. 

Glass was done by Tiger glassing.




Wednesday, December 12, 2018

board#149: shortboard Clement

Clement and his Voldemort

Dimensions: 5'10 x 20 1/4 x 2 5/8
[completed in November 2017]
Model Voldemort

The story: This is Clement's second Mere-made board. Number one (board#105) was made in presence of Clement in a rented shaping room in Hossegor, where he lives. He wanted to see the process and the making of his board. For this one board, Clement was also present in the shaping room but in my shaping room in California! Clement was visiting us for 6 weeks and the goal was to have him surf his new board before he goes back to France. The challenge was accepted and  completed on time !

The shape: definitely one of my favorite shape I ever made ! Clement was super specific about what he wanted and him and I created that insane model he named Voldemort (I LOVE THAT NAME!). It was very helpful to have Clement watching the shaping except for the infamous episode when he dropped the air blower thingy onto the soft foam of the freshly shaped deck. It made a big ding we were able to fix using my magic steamer. Definitely a lot of fun shaping that board. (We even the visit of Jonathan N'Guyen, the french shaper of Native Shapco (no picture, unfortunately)!)

The artwork: Clement was also very specific about the artwork!!! It took many back and forth discussions to come to a mutual agreement on what would look cool or not (and what is technically feasible because I am a shaper, not a painter :)). But I have to say that I was very pleased with the result. Great team work !

Tiger Glassing was nice enough to expedite the glass so Clement could surf it in California. And he did ! Mission accomplished !

(Board featured in Boardporn!)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

board#148: kitesurf for Laurent

my first kite board !!! (with owner/rider Laurent :))
Dimensions: 5'2 x 18 x 1 3/4
[completed in February 2017]

The story: Laurent is almost a pro in windsurfing and kiteboarding. I was reluctant for a long time to make him a kite board because of my ignorance in the field. But with his technical help and some shaping skill improvements, I decided to give it a try.

The shape: my shape was totally based on an actual kite board from which I took all the dimensions I could. Laurent was there taking those 3D measurements with me and commenting on how to slighly tailor them for him. The shaping was very challenging due my lack of experience and the technicalities of such a small/thin board. It was also shaped from a very special high density foam blank (6'4 EA Brown color) recommended by Matt Kinoshita, one of the world experts on kite surfboards. The kite board also comes with 4 channels on a bottom that is already very thin. 

The artwork:... was not easier than the shaping part. Laurent wanted to make it an advertisement medium for his ex-company PhotoGuru. The logo was printed at Boardlams and laminated in the spray painted blank. The glassing was also very complex due to the large rice paper and the channels. Even the plugs for the straps were challenging and requested the expertise of Bryan from Ding King Repairs.

Definitely one of the most difficult and troubleshooted project I have been on. I would not have done it if it was not for my friend Laurent.