On paper, shaping yourself a surfboard by hand would seem like a giant pain in the ass. Shaping bays are small, dusty, sweat-inducing spaces. Planer whirs are not anyone’s preferred soundtrack. You’ll make a lot of shit surfboards on your way to the first one that rides at all like you want it to. But when you stick it out, the journey changes you and it changes your surfing in some wonderful ways, and you realize that the thing that seemed like such a pain has become something incomparably fun.
Case in point: Alex Knost, Ellis Ericson, Andrew Doheny and Shyama Buttonshaw. These four surfers, the stars of the film above, started their handshaping journeys many years ago. And amid all the clouds of foam dust they learned a thing or two about how their equipment works and what feelings they wanted to chase in their surfing. It’s had some profound effects on their style of riding waves, but more importantly, they’ll be the first to tell you that it’s been a ridiculous amount of fun.
Press play above to get some insights into the unique surfing and surfcraft of these DIYers as they test out self-shapes in pulsing Indonesian surf.