top of page

The Evolving World of CNC Shaping: Our Favorite Hand Shapers in Hawaii

Updated: Nov 11, 2023




Today, let's dive into the fascinating world of surfboard shaping and explore the differences between modern-day CNC machine shaping and the traditional methods of hand shaping with redwood and polyurethane foam.

In the ever-evolving surf industry, technology has made its mark on the art of surfboard shaping. Modern-day surfboard shaping often involves the use of Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. These machines are capable of precise and consistent cuts resulting in highly accurate board shapes and dimensions.

CNC machine shaping offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows for faster production times enabling surfboard shapers to craft multiple boards in a shorter period. Additionally, the use of CNC machines ensures that every board within a specific model is virtually identical providing surfers with a consistent experience.

Moreover, CNC machines offer the possibility to experiment with complex designs and intricate contours that may be challenging to achieve by hand. Shapers can input their desired design into the machine and it will faithfully replicate it on the foam blank. This level of precision and repeatability has revolutionized the surfboard industry making it easier to satisfy the demands of surfers worldwide.

However, let's not forget the allure of the traditional methods of hand shaping with redwood and balsa boards. This time-honored approach embodies the craftsmanship and artistry of surfboard shaping. Skilled shapers use their expertise, experience, and keen eye to sculpt boards by hand paying meticulous attention to every curve and contour.

Hand shaping allows for a unique, personalized touch. Each board becomes a true work of art reflecting the shaper's individual style and the character of the wood used. The warmth and natural feel of polyurethane foam or wood can create a connection between the surfer and the board that is hard to replicate with modern materials.

While hand shaping may take longer and be more labor-intensive compared to CNC machine shaping, it offers a sense of authenticity and a personal touch that resonates with surfers who appreciate the artistry behind their boards.

In conclusion, both modern-day CNC machine shaping and traditional hand shaping with redwood and balsa boards have their merits. CNC machines provide speed, precision, and consistency, while hand shaping offers a unique, artisanal experience. Ultimately, the choice between the two methods comes down to personal preference, the desired outcome, and the individual connection a surfer seeks with their board.

So, whether you're riding a board shaped by a CNC machine or by the hands of a skilled craftsman, remember that the true magic lies in the waves themselves. Embrace the joy of surfing and cherish the special relationship you have with your board regardless of the shaping method used. Ride the waves, my friends, and may each session be filled with stoke and endless possibilities!


Here are some of our favorite guys still shaping by Hand!


1. Toliver Beebe hails from the beautiful island of Maui! Toliver is not just your average wave rider; he's a true charger at Honolua Bay, fearlessly taking on its legendary waves.

But Toliver's talents don't stop there. He has also delved into the art of surfboard shaping learning from esteemed mentors such as Ken Bradshaw, B-Boy, and other old school surfers. Under their guidance, Toliver has honed his skills and developed a keen eye for crafting boards that can handle the power and grace of the ocean.

With his deep connection to the waves and a strong foundation in shaping, Toliver brings a unique perspective to his craft. Whether he's riding the waves or shaping a board, his passion for surfing shines through creating a seamless blend of artistry and functionality.

So, keep an eye out for Toliver Beebe, the San Francisco area born, Honolua Bay charger and talented shaper. His skills both in the water and in the shaping bay are sure to leave a lasting impression. Mahalo to his mentors for passing down their wisdom and may Toliver's journey continue to be filled with stoke, innovation and unforgettable rides.


Instagram: @toliverbeebe


2. Jim Yarborough is the master shaper residing on the iconic North Shore of Oahu where the waves at Sunset Beach hold a special place in his heart. With a deep passion for the craft of surfboard shaping, Jim's expertise and dedication have earned him a legendary reputation in the surfing community.

Jim's "Hail Yah" journey in shaping is known for his incredible craftsmanship and for being a ghost shaper for the renowned Dick Brewer, one of the pioneering figures in surfboard design. Under Brewer's mentorship, Jim honed his skills and developed a profound understanding of the intricacies involved in crafting boards that can handle the power and beauty of the North Shore's waves.

What sets Jim apart is his commitment to the traditional art of shaping wooden surfboards made from balsa wood. Embracing the natural beauty and buoyancy of this exceptional material, Jim creates boards that not only perform exceptionally but also possess an exquisite aesthetic.


Instagram: @hailyeahsurf


3. Bob Olson, a true shaping legend, hails from the shores of Seal Beach, California. With a career spanning decades, Bob has become one of the world's oldest and most respected figures in the art of surfboard shaping.

Though Bob had spent the majority of his life honing his craft in California, he made the bold decision to relocate to the beautiful island of Maui over 40 years ago. Embracing the island's vibrant surf culture and breathtaking waves, Bob found solace and inspiration in the warm waters and lush landscapes of his new home.

However, tragedy struck when a recent devastating wildfire swept through Maui, sadly ravaging everything in its path, including Bob's precious shaping room. This heartbreaking loss was a blow not just to Bob but also to the surfing community who had come to admire his exceptional craftsmanship.

Despite this setback, Bob's spirit remains unbroken. His passion for shaping and his love for the ocean continue to fuel his determination. With the support of his fellow surfers and the tight-knit community, Bob is slowly but surely rebuilding his shaping room determined to keep his legacy alive.


4. Mark Anderson is a true force to be reckoned with at Honolua Bay on the beautiful island of Maui. For the past three decades, Mark has been an integral part of the local surf scene leaving an indelible mark on those who have witnessed his fearless approach to riding the waves.

Mark's name has become synonymous with the underground charging community at Honolua Bay. With his unwavering commitment and unmatched skill, he fearlessly tackles the powerful and challenging waves that grace this iconic break. Mark's passion for surfing seen in his shaping approach, along with his dedication to mastering Honolua Bay, is truly awe-inspiring.

But it's not just his surfing prowess that sets Mark apart. He is also renowned for his solid custom board crafted to suit the unique demands of Honolua Bay's waves. Mark's knowledge and experience in shaping allow him to create boards that perfectly align with his style and approach that enhance his performance on the water.

Mark's presence in the Maui surf community is felt by both seasoned locals and wide-eyed newcomers alike. His humble demeanor and respect for the ocean have earned him the admiration and respect of all who have crossed paths with him. Mark is not just a surfer, he is a living embodiment of the spirit of Honolua Bay.


Check out Honolua Underground on their Website.


5. Chuck Andrus, a renowned hand shaper based on the beautiful island of Oahu, is no ordinary shaper; he's a master of his craft, known for his exceptional big wave guns and solid approach to hand shaping.

With a deep understanding of the ocean's power and a passion for tackling massive waves, Chuck's big wave guns are nothing short of works of art. Each board he shapes is meticulously crafted to handle the immense forces of the ocean allowing surfers to charge with confidence in the most challenging conditions.

Chuck's dedication to hand shaping sets him apart in the surf industry. He believes in the artistry and personal touch that comes with shaping a board by hand. With years of experience and a keen eye for detail, Chuck brings his solid approach to every board he creates ensuring that each one is a masterpiece in its own right.

What makes Chuck's boards truly special is the level of customization he offers. He takes the time to understand the needs and preferences of each individual surfer and crafts boards that perfectly align with their riding style and the waves they seek to conquer. This personalized touch creates a deep connection between the surfer and their board resulting in enhanced performance and a truly memorable experience.


For more information on Chuck


We know there are so many other good guys still shaping by hand so for now, keep enjoying those waves and learning your wave riding vessels!




mahalo nui

1 comentário


Tim Sykes
Tim Sykes
22 de out. de 2023

🌊🏄‍♀️

Curtir
bottom of page