Shaper Gary Swanson of Hammer Surf believes that a great surfboard is designed off solid fundamentals; outline, rocker, thickness, vee, concave, and rail shape. He also believes in a fluid and clean outline where transitions are smooth from the nose to the tail. In sticking with solid shaping fundamentals, Swanson cautiously avoids fads and gimmicks typical in today’s overly hyped and marketed surfboards.
Gary Swanson has been in the surfing industry long enough to see the longboard/shortboard transition, single fin ear of the 70’s, thruster revolution of the 80’s, and the performance longboard exodus in the 90’s. He believes that each of these critical eras has brought new ideas and views on classic fundamental surfboard design and plans to keep Hammer Surf board designs state of the art yet deep in tradition.
Ted Kearns first started shaping in 1986 under the supervision of Outer Banks hero Murray Ross. He started out cutting fin patches and sanding rails for Ross and a year later both moved to Mickey McCarthy’s Sun Surfboards shop. Ted polished and glassed boards with Rascoe Hunt and the two started Gale Force Glassing in 1992 and soon their shop became a surfboard label with growing demand of Ted’s shapes. Kearns has been influence by Murray Ross, Lynn Shell, Mickey Mcarthy, Scott Busbey, Matt Kinoshita , Donald Takayama, and Greg Loehr.
Ted’s shaping philosophy is in understanding what the customer needs in his or her surfboard(s) as every surfer is unique with their own style, ability, grace, and athleticism. He also believes that every shaper should know how to shape all styles of boards in demand and shaping only one style board is boring. TK Performance Shapes offers custom surfboards from 5’2″ grom blades to 10’0″+ tankers and everything in between and is based on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The success and history of Byrne Surfboards revolved around the close knit Bryne brothers. Phil, Dave, and Chris were highly successful surfers growing up in Australia and competitive surfing took them to the top surf spots in the world including Bali, Indonesia and the surf mecca of Hawaii.
Bryne Surfboards got its start at a time when professional surfing began to emerge. Dave Bryne had been working as a glasser while Phil had been shaping in Australia and Hawaii. Thus, the three brothers decided to start their own label and their surfing experiences in Hawaii influenced their surfboard designs and methods.
Their success in creating high performance boards attracted the attention of some of the top surfers in the world at the time including Shaun Tompson and Larry Bertleman. Tom Carroll began riding Phil Byrne’s shapes and ended up winning two pro titles on Bryne surfboards.
Phil Byrne’s designs are also offered in Surftech’s Tuflite epoxy line of shapes.
The company’s philosophy is to continue to improve surfboard designing through working to improve every surfer’s performance.