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California Shaping History

California Shaping History

Griffin is a fairly humble guy, so you won't catch him in front of the camera or hanging out at the shop all that often. 

He works hard, and he knows his craft, but he would hardly admit to either.

Later this year, we will hit the 10-year anniversary of Griffin being the shaper and lead surfboard designer of Almond Surfboards.

Griffin and I have each dedicated about 1/3 of our lives to developing, testing, and building the best surfboards we can to enhance your surf experience—and we firmly believe our best years are still ahead of us.

In honor of the last ten years, and the ever-changing landscape of the surfboard industry, I thought it would be appropriate to acknowledge the shapers who came before us, and the ones who directly and indirectly made what we do possible.

As you may already know, Griffin got his start in the shaping bay apprenticing for Bruce Jones.

Even before Bruce let him shadow for a few months, Griffin had been putting his time in—gluing up stringers at Walker Blanks, hot-coating boards at Clearwater Glassing, and sweeping floors for Bruce.

Bruce, like many of the most reputable shapers in California's rich surfboard building history, got his start at Hobie.  He worked at the Hobie factory with shapers like Terry Martin, Dale Velzy, and Phil Edwards. 

According to an interview I read with Bruce, it was Phil Edwards who first invited Bruce into the shaping bay at Hobie.

The early Hobie factory saw the likes of Alter, Martin, Edwards, Velzy, Mickey Munoz, Joe Quigg, Bruce Jones, and many more take the reigns of a planer.  In the 60's there were 6,500 hand-shaped surfboards per year being built in that factory.  Those men of the 1950's and 60's shaped the future of the surfing world, through the work they did in the shaping bay and in the water.

As surfers in 2018, we all benefit from the imaginative work done by those who came before us.  At Almond, we get to benefit in an incredibly special way, because Phil Edwards was gracious enough to offer an opportunity to Bruce, and Bruce was gracious enough to offer and opportunity to Griffin.

Our first loyalty is to our customers, and the surfers providing insightful feedback, but we can't lose sight of the heritage that we are a small part of, and the role we play in shaping the future of the surfboard industry in California.

Photos: Jeffrey Allee | April 13, 2018