Dan Cobley - An Interview with a real Californian Shaper
I love California. I love surfing in California. People who live and surf California say, "If you can surf the waves of California, you are able to surf everywhere in the world."
So why shouldn't I get a board shaped in California? I was strolling around from surf shop to surf shop. Yes, I found sooo many nice boards! And, yes! I thought about getting a board from a surf shop in California. But who shaped this board, and why is it right for me? One time I met a guy in the water. His name is Kris. He learned shaping from Dan. Thats how I met Dan from Hermosa Beach, California.
I'm crazy with surf boards. A surf board is more like a buddy, a son, or a daughter to me than just a surf board. I love my surf boards. I have really high expectations on my board. Plus I'm a girl, so I really wanted to get a surf board that fits to my surf skills, that fits to my life, and that fits to my personality. My surf board is my best friend in the water, so it better fit the part!
But why should I get a board from Dan? Talking with him for 5 minutes, and I was pretty sure his surf board is his best friend too. Plus, I told him what I wanted in a board, and thats exactly what I got! I gave him a basic idea, and he did the rest. Well... okay, I have to be completely honest with you. I told him in a crazy girly and maybe a little hard to understand way what I want, and I probably made him crazy while I was looking for the best color and the best board design.
I asked him for an interview, because my surfboard popped out even better than I could have ever expected. I'm telling you this after I surfed my first California wave with my new California surfboard.
When did you start shaping Surfboards?
Shaped my first surfboard in 1996 when I was a junior in high school but didn't really get into shaping until I was 19-20 when I met this guy Dave Daum who made me the best board I ever rode at the time. I basically made him teach me how to shape.
Why did you get into shaping?
"I was just really curious how boards worked and wanted boards a certain way that other shapers weren't making the right way for me."
What was the first board you shaped?
"First board I shaped was a 6ft short board. Super narrow nose. Bump squash. Very typical of 1996."
What are the recent trends in Surfboardshapes?
"There is no specific trend these days. Makes it a fun time to be a hand shaper with as much experience as me. I get to make a little bit of everything all the time. For instance, today I shaped a 5'8" fish, and a 7' mini log. Yesterday I made a 5'10" swallow tail shortboard, a 6ft speed shape fish, and a 9ft long board. I get to stay fresh!"
I saw that you already won the best underground shaper award. What makes your boards stand out?
"I just make quality boards. Nothing fancy. No frills and no added costs. Just boards for real surfers to do real surfing."
Close your eyes for a second. Image its 4-6 ft and glassy out... What are you riding?
"If it's crowded I'll ride a 9ft high performance long board. Empty barrels- 5'8" nubby pill."
My first experience with California's waves was 2 years ago. Since then, i fell in love with California. What is special about living, surfing and shaping in California to you?
"Having traveled around a bit I can honestly say that southern California has some of the most consistently good waves and temperate weather of anywhere."
PS: If you are thinking about getting a board from Dan too, just send him a message on Facebook and say Hi from Dani! By the way! There has been no compensation. I just really love his work! Thats why i asked him for the interview.