by Blair Marlin
Would you like to start out by telling the world about yourself? Don’t be modest.
I just do what I do, you know? Either you’re into it or you’re not.
How old were you when you first started?
Shaping? About 21.
Did you start to shape your own boards or did you intend to begin a business? What was your motivation?
Just to make a couple of boards for myself. I’d do a little draw shaping, do all of the ding repairs, or whatever. I’d sell a board because they were priced cheap, then another friend of that person wants to get a board. The next thing you know, every cheapskate in town’s getting a board here from the garage.
And now it’s the multi-million dollar industry you know today? Is that what happened?
That’s how it starts.
Being a board shaper, you’re living the life of a millionaire, am I correct?
I’d say most board shapers are. Aren’t they? I mean, I hope I’m not the only one.
Describe what you do with your fortune.
I invest it all in the stock market¿Internet stock. I’m watching it right now.
How have computers helped shaping?
I invest in computer companies, but I don’t really do that much with computer shapes.
Really? You do mostly hand shapes?
Probably 99-percent hand shapes because I think boards are constantly evolving.
What do you think of Juvenile and the Hot Boys? You know, “back that thang up.”
Back that ass up! I have to get a copy of that, can you burn me a CD with that on it? That and “Come on ride the train” singing. I won’t hear that in the nightclub in Miami, will I?
Speaking of Miami, tell us about where you’re from, Bob. Well, it’s not Miami. I’m from South Florida. You know, it’s that state where a lot of surfers come from who are full-on kooks.
Kelly’s from Florida, bro.
I though that guy was from Cardiff California.
Tell me about your team.
It’s a really small, tightly manicured little team. I have Benji Weatherley on the team¿he’s the quarterback and the captain. Blair Marlin is the tight end. Paul Gomez and Saxon Boucher are the wide recievers. It’s a huge team that’s internationally known, so we’re blowin’ up. I have three garages now, so the business is starting to take off.
How can a person go about getting a Bob Yinger surfboard?
I would call either Pacific Drive in San Diego or the Board Box in Pacific Beach California. Or just call your local surf shop and just ask them. If they don’t have them, ask, “Why don’t have you them yet?” Tell them they’re blowing it. Try the yellow pages maybe, or on the Internet.
I know you were shaping for Rusty for a while. As far as being under someone’s wing, would you be willing to do that again? If Al Merrick wanted to show you a few things, would be into that?
I like the freedom of being my own boss. I would love to get the experience like I had at Rusty and Rick Hammond. I’d love to go to the college of Al Merrick for a couple of years, but you just can’t make as much money as you do when you shape them yourself. Eventually, I can work less and make more money on my own label, and that’s the name of the game.
Isn’t that the American dream?
I don’t know about anyone else, but working less and making more is what it’s all about.
What’s different about the shapes now than the ones you’ve done in past years?
A lot of TLC¿I shape them all by hand. I’ve been flattening out some rocker and keeping some of the volume out of the center of the board, and pushing it out toward the rail. Basically, I’m concentrating on the part of your board that’s under your feet.
What kind of car are you rolling these days?
The “Double O” Toyyota Four Runner. I’m all geared up for the millennium.
Any last words, thank yous, or ass-kissing?
I definitely owe Rusty and Rick Hammond a big “thank you” for letting me go to college at the Academy Of Rusty Shaping. Steve Bartell, he’s cool. Some shapers are so cool that they don’t mind giving pointers.
Any advice to kids out there who are starting to shape?
I would definitely recommend that they get a full-time job, or go to college. It’s pretty competitive, and unless you have a lot of friends who surf really well and want to ride your boards, give feedback, and push you¿it’s really tough. It’s a hobby, like building models. You build them, you paint them, and then you smash them.