Shaper Junior from JNR Custom Surfboards, Algarve, Portugal

Hey, I'm Junior!

I’m a surfboard shaper in the Algarve, Portugal. I shaped my first board 17 years ago. I have been making surfboards full time for the last 5 years.

 

I’ve always been into sports, like windsurfing, kickboxing, snowboarding, but only got introduced to surfing in my early 20s.

 

Since then, my life and passion evolves around surfing 🙂

The first board I've shaped was at a friend's place in Scotland about 17 years ago. I built it just for fun, never with the intention of doing it as a job.

Travelling, surfing, shaping

I studied mechanical engineering, but I’ve always been more interested in working with my hands and the outdoors. Therefore, I ended up doing various jobs that also allowed me to live in different countries: 

I worked on catamarans in Greece, dolphin boats in Portugal and running surf-related workshops in Norway. I worked a few years on building sites and as a surfing instructor in Portugal. 

However, I was always shaping a few boards here and there, but never really thought about doing it full time. 

Only when I lived in Australia for a year and worked for OKE Surfboards run by an amazing family, I realised I could turn my passion into a business. 

Only a few years ago, working for my mates from OKE Surfboards in Australia, I realized, you can really make a living with shaping surfboards.

Creating boardS for living

I love the whole process of shaping – from start to finish. When I worked for ORG Surfboards in Lisbon, I was mainly laminating. I learned a lot, but still, when you work in a factory, you are part of a production line. Repeating only one part of the process. This is great for really honing and mastering a skill but it can get repetitive.

Making boards from start to finish keeps things fresh. Plus you have complete control of the finished product. No passing the buck if things don’t go to plan.

You can never have enough surfboards! Why would there be so many different ones if you are only supposed to have one???

Shaping Process

I start by designing the board on the computer. I organise materials, machine cut, then hand finish the board. It’s a beautiful part of the process and it’s definitely the one where you can get lost in details. 


Next step is glassing the board. How strong you glass it depends a lot on what the board will be used for and who will surf it. You need to get it as strong as possible with the right weight. 


After the board is glassed it’s then finish sanded. The last stage is curing which just needs a warm place and patience.

"Georgie Porgie", do you like your board?

I love my board! When making it, Jnr listened to exactly I wanted and took my measurements into account – the results were awesome. My board is perfect all conditions as well as my skill level. I adore my board so much that I had to cart it back to NZ with me. Thanks so much Tuna!!

Georgie

Auckland, New Zealand