Support Your Local Shaper

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My friends Pato, George, Fer and Pete all ride boards shaped by a friend of theirs from Guadalajara. His name is Marco and along with his wife Amy, he shapes surfboards under the name “ATL”, which means “water” in Nahuatl. Marco also shapes boards for Squalo. In addition to my friends, I’ve seen his boards all over the bay.

On these past two trips to La Ticla (1+2), I’ve gotten to know Marco and then Amy. They’re a really down to earth couple, really good peoples, avid soul surfers, not flashy at all and it’s been wonderful getting to know them. During our first trip, it was Marco that saved the day, after our surfboards got all dinged up. He let me ride one of his extras. After two days of riding it, I asked Marco to shape a board for me. It was time to add a new board to the quiver. Something smaller and lighter then the CI Flyer 2 (6’2″ x 18 1/2 x 2 1/4) I have now. He had another board with him that was almost perfect, albeit too small for a person of my frame. We combed over the board and agreed on proper specs, something like 6’0″ x 18″ x 2 1/4 with lots of rocker, a rounded tail and thin rails. I really wanted something that could carve well, fast and light. I’ve always felt that the rails on the Flyer 2 are too thick and for some reason, I’ve never really gelled with the board. After we agreed on the specs, a price and time-frame we shook hands and talked about graphics. I wanted to design some super-suave limited edition ‘Quality Peoples’ graphics for the board and so I when I got back from Ticla I went to work figuring that out. I got hung up on the process of how to apply the graphics (rice paper, spray paint, fabric), changing my mind every few days. The possibilities were endless and somehow I got lost in it all. The designs went from simple, to complex, to simple and back again.

When we went back down to Ticla, Marco had brought with him a shortboard with pretty much the exact dimensions I wanted, so rather then mess with the whole graphics thing, i just took the one he had brought with him. I knew I wanted to customize it in some way, so I set about to figure out a spray paint graphic and chose some simple stripes ala my twitter page. A tape off the stripes using painter’s tape, layed on the spray and clear coat and then when dry, a sanded the whole thing down to get rid of some of the build-up from the spray and the glossiness. Close up, the stripes have a nice matte, aged appearance. Simple. I’m happy. To top it off, I had picked up some stickers in India, so on the top, I put Ganesh, cuz he would bring me nice waves (being the remover of obstacles). and on the bottom, I put Hanuman, cuz he’s mischievous (sometimes in the line-up, you gotta have tricks).

And so, today, I took her out to Veneros for her first ride. Apparently, there are rumors of incoming waves from a hurricane, out in the pacific, but you wouldn’t know it, as there wasn’t much more then 2 footers. I tried my best and actually had a pretty nice carve. And then a boogieboarder managed to run me over as a graced the rock bottom of Veneros at low-tide (danger, will robinson) and packed it in. The Ganesh and Hanuman stickers were paper backed and came almost completely off in the hour that I spent in the water. I was so looking forward to rocking Ganesh and Hanuman stickers on my board, when everyone else rocks the same 10 interchangeable surf brands. Someone has to make a line of waterproof vinyl ‘Hindu deities’ stickers.

Thanks goes to Marco and Amy for the hook up. Support your local shaper.