Every once in a while I pick up a magazine or stumble across a shaper's bio resume on the web that provides the reader with around 100 or 150 words on when a shaper started shaping, his age, and how many surfboards they have shaped. When you happen to see a 'surfboard buyer's guide', the claims and numbers guys start making to out-do one another gets...........well.......... let me say that we better get a damn big scoop to even begin seeing what the floor looks like.
This is what a friend of mine once termed "the BSF aka Bullshit Factor".
"So and so, 31, started shaping in 1996, a terrific craftsman, having shaped over 50,000 surfboards".
So in his 15 years he claims to have shaped:
3,333 per year
278 per month (rounded off to the nearest board)
70 per week (rounded off...)
10 boards a day EVERY DAY if working & days a week.
So let's put this into perspective. Let's say that Surftech produces 80,000 boards one year. This guy has now done 5/8ths of their entire production.
The other bits and pieces that I have to laugh at are the guys that have somehow "worked with" a long list of luminary legendary shapers.
In what capacity?
If you swept their floors, I guess that means you were in the shaping room collaborating on leading edge design changing tomorrow's surfboard into today's utility go to board.
How come we've never heard of you?
How come I've never seen ANY of those 25, 35 ,50, 75 THOUSAND BOARDS YOU'VE SHAPED?
Certainly SOME OF THEM must be around............ are they at every corner in......say...........Estonia?
Probably one of the most honest answers I've ever heard was from a guy that has made his own boards and boards for friends and also works as a house painter. He said "over the last 25 or 30 years I'm guessing I've MAYBE made as many as 1200 boards......and that's just a guess. I probably could have done more, but over the last 8 to 10 years I work half the year here and theother half spend my winters in Baja. It works for me".
Next time someone tells you they have shaped 30K, 40K, 50K, etc. # of surfboards, divide that by 2 then -30% nd you maybe will get a number that starts to resemble the truth.
And those guys that CAN PROVE they've shaped that many boards, the IRS will be calling you first thing in the morning.