Saturday, 29 January 2011

Interview with surfboard shaper extraordinaire Ryan Lovelace

So who are you?
In a very basic sense, I'm a 24 year old surf-craft-builder with a very healthy curiosity for experimentation, and a few skills that allow me to explore most every realm I find interesting.
Who I am is a difficult question, I'm still learning about that and I've realized I don't think I'll ever stop learning more. I come from a creative kind of background that I thought was pretty normal as a kid but as I grow up I get more perspective and realize just how lucky I am to come from who and where I do.

When did you shape your first board?
I shaped my first board for my 19th birthday, I have always built things for myself and modified things that I bought from other people. I like to tinker and change things to suit pretty specific needs so it was pretty natural for me to want to build my own boards I think.

Who influences you and your craft?
Influence is something I ponder a lot, I obviously draw from the experiences and lines that guys like Bob McTavish, George Greenough, Ted Spencer, Greg Liddle (etc...) drew/draw; but in terms of direct influence in my head when I'm shaping and thinking about new avenues my influence comes from my friends and the curves that I keep around my workspace. I don't have a desire to copy or follow anyone footsteps, what I enjoy is looking at a pile of information and options and mix and match everything as I go; nothing is set in stone when I shape a board...everything can be changed and modified as I get deeper into it.

Favourite pizza restaurant near Sand bar?
Pizza is dear to me. It seems to be something that everyone in or around my shop at any given time is pretty ready to eat whenever the urge strikes...there happens to be a quick and dirty pizza place half way between my shop and a pretty fantastic surf spot here in town. having my favorite wave and favorite food within spitting distance of my shaping room does present an issue sometimes :)

Favourite board you’ve shaped?
I can't chose a favorite board...every board I make is pretty specific to the wave and rider; I don't really make boards that work in all conditions all the time. I would rather make a larger selection of boards so that people can have a more well-rounded quiver to tackle what they want to with the right equipment.
I do have one 7'1" hull right now that can't seem to find it's way out of my's become 'ol faithful which is pretty rare for me and my tastes. This one has a pretty wide nose, and a bit more curve in the template between my feet which make it a bit more forgiving (in hull terms) and playful or I guess I would say higher-energy hull surfing, quicker direction changes and such.

Have you got any projects in the works?
Right now my biggest project is my new shop, I've outgrown my old digs and found something just as funky that makes me very happy and inspired. I'm working on a few short web clips of the guys here at Rincon and the surrounding area, my friends on my boards and other guys just plain shredding, just the good stuff with an eye more for flow and continuous drive and rythm as opposed to more aggressive (popular) surfing. 

ryan lovelace, 2009

Blogs of choice?
Nick Cook's In The Hills (
Morgan Maassen's blog (
The Magic Bus (of course)
Lost Stolen or Ripped Off (

How’s Herbie?
Herbie is fantastic, he is currently rolled up in a tiny ball at the end of my bed; he's had a long few days of filming at rincon, playing with all the dogs and digging holes.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years time? 
In three years I would love to see myself for the most part where I am, with a few more travel-miles logged and the creative juices flowing. I've stumbled my way into this business out of necessity and organic opportunity, I reckon I'll just keep stumbling and see where I end up...So far so good!  

Photos courtesy of:
Morgan Maassen -


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