The Del Mar Fairgrounds played host to a huge gathering of surfboards and the people who ride them at the Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo. Held over the weekend, thousands flocked to check out some of the surfboard industry’s colorful characters and get a glimpse into how our crafts are made. Legendary surfers and shapers like Ben Aipa, Matt Biolos, Mickey Muñoz, Rob Machado and more mingled with the crowd and checked out some futuristic (and some plain weird) designs.
Above: The girls at TransWorld Business rap with SD surfer/shaper Ryan Burch.
Wayne Rich Wins Shaping Competition Honoring Carl Ekstrom
Over 6000 attend two day Sacred Craft Expo in Del Mar celebrating the surfboard; Daniel Thomson receives “Best of Show” recognition
Encinitas, Ca., (October 10, 2011) — Putting him in rarefied air with Florida’s Ricky Carroll, Santa Barbara’s Wayne Rich won his second Tribute to the Masters Shape-off Competition presented by US Blanks. This year’s competition was unique in that the six shapers were tasked with creating an asymmetrical design inspired by legend and honoree Carl Ekstrom.
“Wow! I’m over the moon. This is humbling, exciting, truly an honor, because the five other shapers really brought their A-games,” said Rich. “This year’s format created a design environment for all of us to get creative, and it that helped make this event the best one yet. These five craftsman, and all of the surfboard builders here today, proved to me one very important lesson; hand-shaped surfboards are in a really good place. We’re not going anywhere.”
Carl Ekstrom, Rusty Preisendorfer and Stanley Pleskunas judged the final shapes which included a five minute proof-of-concept Q and A with each shaper. The other five competing shapers included defending champion Matt Biolos of LOST surfboards in San Clemente, and San Diegan’s George Gall, Tim Bessell, Ryan Burch and Daniel Thomson . All six shapers were selected by Carl Ekstrom.
Daniel Thomson of Tomo Surfboards in Encinitas won “Best of Show” with a surfboard that combined unique carbon fiber construction with a quasi-rectangular outline and extremely sophisticated applied theories. “Best of Show” finalists included a Barry Kanaiaupuni chambered balsa quad-fin gun, a Donald Brink asymmetrical fish, a futuristic asymmetrical channel bottom from Ryan Burch, an exquisite Holmsey ‘Sidewinder’ inspired longboard by Nick Palandrani, the 16′ ultra glider from Chris Christenson and one of Gene Cooper’s ultra-gorgeous and highly refined ‘pig’ longboards.
“There were some incredible boards on exhibit and it made picking just one very difficult,” explained expo director Scott Bass. “Each and every craftsman created something special. We’re fortunate to have a committee of respected industry insiders who select “Best of Show” and they are above reproach.”
On Saturday evening, Billabong’s Art of Shaping LA County Edition Auction raised tens of thousand of dollars for SIMA’s Humanitarian Fund. Jeff Ho’s “POP” Zephyr gun was the top auction item garnering $7,100.
“Billabong is deeply grateful for the efforts and contributions of all 24 Los Angeles County shapers that participated is this year’s event,” said Billabong’s Royce Cansler. “The collection of handcrafted surfboards they produced was truly an amazing sight to behold. We also want to thank those who purchased these boards and in doing so helped us raise over $38,000.”
With over 160 booths at this year’s celebration of the surfboard, the Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo was the largest consumer surfboard expo ever produced with over 6000 in attendance. The congregation of surfers from as far away as Australia, Japan, New York, and Michigan flocked to the packed house of surfboard industry shapers, designers, manufacturers, brands and businesses. Legends such as Greg Long, Rob Machado, David Nuuhiwa, Mike Hynson and a host of others cruised the aisles. There was even a rumored Phil Donahue sighting (who apparently came over from the Gourmet Expo a few buildings down). Scott Bishop, of SurfCamera.com, was approached and discussed business with a key buyer from Amazon.com. Retailers from Santa Cruz to Tijuana roamed the floor to gain insight from the core surf audience.
Sacred Craft Expo thanks our sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for joining us in our celebration of the surfboard and all the authentic culture the flows from it.
About SACRED CRAFT
The SACRED CRAFT Consumer Surfboard Expo provides an opportunity for shapers, surfboard craftsman and surfboard manufacturers to come together under one roof and share their passion with the surfboard loving public. It operates with one objective, to unite passionate surfers with the surfboard industry.
For more info, go to sacredcraftexpo.com