(Photo: Laurent Chantegros)
I LOVE shaping surfboards and I'm kinda obsessed with this craft. Even though I am about to shape my 220th 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, November 6, 2015

board#082: shortboard for David

David Charbonnel from SWOP holding his Mere-Made Surfboard.
A collector picture for sure!

Dimensions:  6'0 x 21 1/2 x 2 5/8
[completed in February 2015]
Model Viper

The story: When you think about it, surfboard shaping is a recent art which has been transmitted to one generation to another, once only (the third generation of shaper is in training right now). Like in all craft, skills  and techniques are often kept as "secrets" by the masters. I got lucky. I was a total stranger to shaping. No family members involved even from far. And still I was trained by one of the best french shaper, David Charbonnel. I crossed his path totally randomly in 2010. He became my shaping mentor. Neither him or me, no one, saw that coming.  It just happened and here I am few years later shaping a board for my mentor. His first board ever not shaped by him. 

The shape: when I got the text saying David would like me to shape him a board, I almost fainted. When he texted me his shape requirements, I fainted. Of course, it was a very technical shape as he wanted to challenge his student. Even though I was terrified, I was also electrified by the wish to show off my new skills. I gave it all I  got. 

The artwork: How more difficult to surprise a shaper who is also known for the amazing artwork created by his life partner and business partner, Frederique Seyral? She is a real amazing artist with real talent... I needed to compensate my lack of drawing ability by something unique which was never done before, specially never done by the SWOP team. Surprisingly the idea came right away, like it was a obvious thing to do. It was actually my response to David who said he would measure precisely all the dimensions to evaluate my skills. I sketched all the dimensions on the foam with a pencil on one half of the board along with all the shape details, like shapers' notes. The other half is a finished board with a sage color.

The testimonial: David got his board during his last trip to California, where he surfed it for the first time. Great fed-back on the shape. He brought his board back to France. Last summer I saw it in the rack: it had severe dings which means it has been surfed more, at least once.  I wasn't expecting it to become his preferred board. I am not that delusional!! But if you happen to see it in his workshop, please ask David to borrow it for ride. Boards are meant to be ridden  not to collect dust!

all dimensions are indicated on the foam 

I got to try board#082

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