(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

Saturday, October 15, 2016

board#119: longboard for Rico Leroy (at Arakawa factory!!!!!!!)


Dimensions: undisclosed
[completed in December 2015]

The story: this story is a true fairy tale for shaper. It all started in 2014 when I got to have a tour of the Eric Arakawa Designs factory by Eric himself. This already sounded like a fairy tales just to meet one of my favorite shapers (if not my favorite) and I am so grateful to my friend Rico Leroy for making this happen (click here to see that story). At the end of the tour, Eric offered me come back to see him shape... And then I almost cried because I was leaving the next day... BUT I came back a year after, and sure enough I had not forgotten his offer! I didn't see him shape but he lend me his own shaping bay to shape a performance longboard for Rico. I got to use an original Arakawa template to trace the outline. I also used his tools. But the very best part was to have Eric commenting on my techniques and giving me precious tips. I was so honored to be there. I will never forget that experience.

The shape: Before I started the shape, Rico and I went in the showroom and deeply looked at a longboard he really liked. We studied it for 30 min and then Eric came with the corresponding US bank and template. I was totally immersed in Arakawa universe: I was like shaping under hypnosis. Of course, my shape was not "Arakawa-perfect. But Eric's advices while shaping it, made the board and the whole experience magical. 

The artwork: Rico had a print from his sponsor to put on the deck. However he insisted to have a spray of Buttons' famous triangle pattern on the tail (bottom) to remember his friend. We didn't have much time and not much tools (we were outside the factory in full sun) to make that artwork. But somehow we pulled it off. Not perfect but the laughs we got out of it is making up for the imperfections.

Testimonial: it is Rico's board of choice when he longboards on the North Shore !! That is all I need to say!

Collector picture with two legends, both named Eric

cute Hilo gets to ride it too !!

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