Last weekend I had the honor to compete in the Tribute to the Masters Shape-Off honoring Simon Anderson. The other shapers in the shape-off were Pat Rawson, Brian Bulkley, Michael Baron, Larry Mable and Matt Biolis. When I was asked to be a part of this I was a little unsure how the whole event would unfold.
I had a couple months to prepare and I searched the internet for the board Simon rode at the 81 Bells contest. We where told this would be the board we had to duplicate and I was trying to get an idea what I was getting into. I was real young around the early 80’s and I think I rode my first wave in 81. The guys I was shaping against where full blown shapers at that time. The only guy who maybe wasnt was Biolis but I’m pretty sure everybody else was. I only shaped a hand full of 80’s design so I needed to practice, plus we only had an hour and half to duplicate the Simon. David Barr offered to show me a few things and he was the perfect person to learn from on these designs. He was shaping and competed as pro in the 80’s. We practiced a few before the event and after a few I felt ready. I had them down in under an hour and half considering it was a real easy design: flat deck, down rail, and mostly a flat bottom with some vee through the tail.
The day before the event I got to meet Simon, he came through our factory with Gary McNabb. It was funny because he was looking at all the boards we where building and most of them where all thrusters and I thought to myself he probably is thinking these fuckers have all been biting my designs for years now pay up bitches. Actually he is cool and humble guy. We were all hyped that he came through.
Anyway, the day of the event we all got our first look at the board and it was nothing like I was practicing. It was a lot more modern than I expected. Simon was saying he couldn’t bring an old one because he is always trying to improve the design. With all the morning anxiety 12:00pm came up real fast, it was my turn to shape. I got into the room a little nervous while trying to get all the kinks worked out. I started off with a few hiccup’s then after about 20 minutes I put my head down and zoned out all of the people staring at me through the glass and started mowing foam. The hardest thing was the lighting because you couldn’t see any shadows. I had to shape completely by feel. I had to trust my hands because my eye’s where blinded by the sun shinning through the bay windows. I blew threw the board in about an hour. That left me with a half hour to clean it up and fine tune things. All said and done, I was just stoked to get it done in the time period and hit all my numbers. It was a great experience and an honor to meet Simon Anderson and duplicate one of his boards.