Two little shorts of uber homie Simon Murdoch on a twin fin Piggyback - the first clip is his first session on the board, and the latter the two settled in a bit. I couldn't believe that was Simon's first go on that board, and more, that style of board - Worth noting. Total G.
One week into Shapetastic Voyage 2014 and 32 boards down over the last 10 days - 12 more boards to go before I leave the East Coast - I thought it may be a good time to give a little breakdown of how the Voyage works and how it started. There have been some radically hilarious rumors about me and how this all works; the best being that I come from a wealthy family and have a trust fund - which would be a great conclusion to jump to, and is completely untrue, so I'll break it down; 5 years ago I was lucky enough to be invited to shape in Portugal by Rui Ribeiro at Magic Quiver Surf Shop. He ordered a handful of boards, enough for me to pay for my plane ticket to and from, Nico (Wavegliders Surfboards), the shaper I would be staying and working alongside offered me a bed to crash on, so I jumped at the chance - that ended up growing into a visit to work in France the next year, and then a stop to work on the East Coast in New Jersey on the way home - this is the blueprint for every year since, and it keeps growing. Enough work for a plane ticket, enough time, and whatever floor or couch or *fingers crossed* bed, is available, and I'm there.
Magic Quiver as well as other shops all over the world do the same with many other shapers. Rich Pavel and Malcolm Campbell have been on similar travels yearly now for a long time and have opened huge doors for other shapers to do the same. Fortunate is a word that comes to mind, and I do my best to put my head down and work for my opportunities; to build good surfboards so that I'm asked to come back and do it again. Its rare that I get to surf great waves along the way, though I have gotten lucky here and there! I'm normally shaping 13 or 14 days on end, and on the 15th I'm gone and extremely grateful, hands raw, totally exhausted and exhilarated - Last year I shaped nearly 200 boards on the road in 4 months - To say that I love my work is an understatement, and to be able to do it on the road is a great privilege. This year is the first year I've been given a hand for the Voyage, and its offering me to opportunity to travel to a few more out of the way spots and make some more experimental boards on the road - Stetson has been an extremely nice partner to develop a relationship with and I'm humbled by their support and faith.
The generosity and openness of people I've met makes me excited to start again every summer. It never ceases to amaze me how welcome people make me feel and what they so easily share - stories, experiences, wisdom, and new opportunities seem endless.
So if you want, and you try, and you aren't afraid to work, you don't need a magical bank account or a grand scheme - build lots of human relationships and keep surfers happy, they are always hungry for new boards. I grew up a very shy and quiet kid, and one thing life so far has proven is that if you open yourself, others will open to you.
This is subject to change, however as a rough estimate, if you're interested in ordering a board in the near future or during the 2014 Voyage, the info below may be intriguing!
Jan-May at home in Santa Barbara with a short visit to Glide Surf Co. in New Jersey
Shapetastic Voyage 2014 begins ---->
May through July: South Africa, Italy and Portugal
July through September: Australia, France and England
October through December back home.
I'll be taking a limited number of orders this year in each location, so contact me if you're interested, lots of details are being figured out still but the wheels are turning and we should get chatting!
For the record I wanted to put out a note regarding the Stubbie; My use of the template is in no way intended to claim or imply any relationship or affiliation to Wilderness Surfboards - which is owned, operated, and has consistently been so by Bob Duncan for decades. The original and lineage of the Stubbie is available through Wilderness Surfboards. I apologize for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the story, or if I in any way unintentionally implied anything along the way by noting where the template came from. I am in no way affiliated with Wilderness and do not intend to convey anything of the sort.
Well shoot! It winds down again; One more shaping-travel season comes to a slow, just as waves pick up at home - odd, its amost like I planned it! Its been a few years now and it just keeps getting better - four summer seasons now of growing new communities of friends and learning faces of new waves through europe, australia, and indonesia - and it isn't exactly getting old yet.
In May I premiered Almost Cut My Hair at home and within days hit the road for five weeks of shaping through europe; home for two weeks and off to New Jersey I went to shape 25 boards in four days. Home again for two more weeks then it was off to Bali to shape at Deus for three weeks...Home for three weeks and then on the road in Australia and hawaii for 5 weeks respectively to keep on the foam grind. I honestly don't know how many boards I've shaped this summer, my planer has a few more miles on it and my passport gained a bunch of stamps again.
I couldn't have designed a more ridiculous life path for myself, and if you'd asked years ago what you thought i'd be doing, this would have been nowhere near the realm of possibility. A big thanks needs to go out to everyone who helps me on my adventures, and those who so fiendishly support my habits by ordering all these boards.
So with that, I'll leave y'all with a pile of photos from the season, as I haven't posted much about it!
Stringerless Volan v.Bowls at Kirra
Spotted in Biarritz
Pre and post-bedroom addition on the bus during my time at home
Went to Biarritz
Deus colab logo by The Land Boys
Took herbie to Jersey with me!
Wore a headband in Italy
Ari Browne blowing up Byron Bay on the rabbitsfoot by Ryan Heywood
Rabbitsfoot built on the Gold Coast
the Voyage was spotted en-route on our way out of Sydney...shakaaaaaaaa!
Found some waves in Australia
v.Bottom during one of my two stints in New Jersey
Rode a motorcycle in Bali with Katie and some Texans
Made a board for my babe
Moved into a new house with 'da boys
Ryan Burch at Uluwatu
Throughull built for Nick who joined on for the trip to Bali
From my room in Max's house in Viterbo, Italy.
If you want to check out a super up-to-date feed of WTF I'm up to, check out my Instagram @ryanlovelace, also you can search for the #shapetasticvoyage2013 tag for the entire adventure in photos if you're ultra curious.
I'm absolutely amping to get home and settle in for the wave season in the bus. New projects are always on the horizon, don't worry...