Matt Kechele Mow Foam
by Sean Slater
Matt Kechele has been a major surfing and shaping influence on the East Coast since I was a tiny kid growing up in the swamplands of Southern Florida. He shows more enthusiasm and energy in and out of the water than any amped screaming grommet. And there’s no sign of Kech slowing down.¿Sean Slater Who are/were your major shaping influences?
I’d have to say Greg Loer, Richard Munson, and Al Merrick, of course. I’ve always liked Rusty shapes as well. All these shapers have vast knowledge and plenty of experience¿they’ve proven themselves. I’ve ridden all of their boards at one time or another, and I feel we’re on the same wavelength.
What other things you do when you’re not shaping or surfing?
Skateboarding, Frisbee with my dog, hangin’ out at the beach with my wife.
What direction is shaping going in the future?
Major design refinement and accelerated learning curves with the aid of computer shapes. In a nutshell, thicker and wider boards will come back into play.
What’s your favorite kind of board to shape?
A six-two performance Module¿that’s the name I use for my design, flat to slight “v” off the tail block.
Do you have any advice for learning shapers?
Get the latest Clark Foam 64R, a butter knife, a sureform, and 40-grit sandpaper, and have a go, mates.
What are your favorite blanks to shape?
The 64R and the 63H Clark Foam.
What different labels have you shaped for?
Ocean Avenue, Quiet Flight, and my own label, Matt Kechele Surfboards, which I continue today.
What’s up with the tail you used to make for me and Kelly about fifteen years ago? It was known as the Slater tail.
Now it’s state-of-the-art. It’s a rounded pin with the tail snipped about three inches from the end, so you have a combo of a rounded pin and a squash tail.
Where has the double-wing 757 quad bat-tail gone since you shaped those for us when we were little?
I think the wakeboarders took that over. I’ve seen many wakeboards with bat tails lately.
You took us to Hawai’i for our first year. What did you feed us while we were there?
Nachos every night.
Was that your favorite surf trip?
That was definitely one of the best surf trips I’ve ever been on.
I can remember this one time on one our East Coast surf journeys, we pulled over on I-95 to help a snapping turtle cross the highway. We then taxed it for advertisement by putting stickers all over it before letting it swim away. Can you recall any other animals or reptiles that have been used for advertisement?
Laughing Yeah, I remember that. That was a good time.