A long time ago, before the clutter and noise created by our insane pace of life. Before, we traded quality for speed and convenience. Before, corporations harnessed machines and low-cost labour to pop out surfboards in their thousands. Surfers knew the people who built their boards.
Unfortunately for many, that connection has been lost. A board may carry a shapers brand. But middlemen, ghost shaping and even stencilled shaper signatures mean that your board may never have passed through their hands.
Shaping the board is only the start. You're even less likely to hear about the other people who bring your board to life. The laminator who glasses your board ensures the colour, weight, and strength are correct. The sander who translates the shapers vision for rails and channels into the final product.
We want to introduce you to the people behind the scenes, a dedicated handful of people who devote themselves tirelessly to creating surfboards of the highest quality.
So first up, Ollie Cooper, who heads up all of our production at OPEN.
Ollie cut his teeth at the LOST factory in New Zealand. Here he had a more traditional introduction to the world of building surfboards. No shortcuts; he was expected to perfect the basics and laminate 100's of clear boards before being allowed anywhere near a resin tint.
Many young shapers skip the mentorship and learning of an apprenticeship in a busy factory. After all, photoshop, Instagram and a trendy logo mean that anyone can launch a surfboard brand - right?
But for nearly a decade, Ollie has been quietly grafting. This is a testament to his lack of ego. He has a genuine passion for the craft of building surfboards and a continuing willingness to learn, which means that he's well on the way to becoming one of the best surfboard makers in the UK.
Thanks, Ollie. We're proud to have you as part of the team.