The Best Surfboard Shapers in Portugal: Part 2

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This is a continuation of our first article about the best surfboard shapers in Portugal, which you can read by clicking here.

Ferox

Witness the birth of a new board and marvel at the man who conceived it

Factory/Showroom: Rua do Emigrante Nähe Faro, São Brás de Alportel

Website: Feroxnow.blogspot.com

Shaper: Octávio Lourenço

The story of Ferox is really a story about Octávio and his love for the ocean, technique and for design. Three passions that, when combined with his father’s maxim that anything worth doing is worth doing right, have allowed him to flourish as a shaper and tap into his creative spirit.

The result is a master craftsman who’s fearless when it comes to trying new things and dedicated to the details, with an ability to marry quality construction and aesthetics with ease.

Although Ferox is still a small outfit in comparison to other shapers of the same calibre, the brand is up there with the biggest and best surfboard shapers in Portugal. This is thanks in part to their belief that creating the right sled for a particular client while loving every moment of the shaping process is what it’s all about.

Read on to learn more about Octávio or click here to watch the man in action.

When did you start shaping surfboards?

All my life I’ve been related to shape. As kid, I used to love drawing and working with materials such as wood, aluminium, iron etc.

I started to shape while I was undertaking a degree at university, where I actually presented a surfboard as an object of art.

Who are some of the other shapers you admire?

There are a lot of shapers I admire because I’m able to recognise the precision of their work.

I also admire the solutions they come up with to ensure they create the best shape for a particular situation. Some of these shapers are great at making guns while others work more with twinnies, single fins and longboards.

What do you think will be the next big evolution in surfboard design?

It’s hard to say. Everybody is crazy about epoxy and alternative materials at the moment. But using an alternative can also compromise the flex of the surfboards.

So, I would say technologies that allow you to adjust the flex of a surfboard with the conditions in real time would be really cool since I believe flex in a board is key to good performance.

Where is your favourite place to surf in the world? 

Anywhere from the south to the north of Portugal.

 Is there anything unique about your business, yourself or your life that you’d like to share with others?

Yes.

That is that I love what I do and that I’ll always follow my own path by taking what I’ve learned from my ancestors and creating an identity.

I also believe in respecting this planet. Essentially, I just think you should be unique and be true to yourself.

LISBON CROOKS and Surfers

These guys took a big swig from the Kool-aid and went a little mad… but they also produce some very fine shooters

Factory/Showroom: Building I, 4th Floor, Door 1, R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa

Website: lisboncrooksandsurfers.com

Shapers/Artists: Mr. Benga, Alfredo and Elvi

From the very first moment we contacted LISBON CROOKS and Surfers about this article, it was evident they do things a little differently.

In an industry that’s all about precision and replicating what works though, they offer a refreshingly simplified and unabashedly original take on the shaping process.

They’re also the first ones to say they don’t actually tout themselves as being one the best surfboard shapers in Portugal. This approach, while humble, does belie the true quality of the boards they make, which are all damn good.

Call them crazy. Call them rebels. Just don’t call them a better surfboard shaper than anyone else. Because even though Mr. Benga, Alfredo and Elvi at LISBON CROOKS make some seriously epic sleds, they always check their egos at the door first.

Watch them do what they do best here or see below for a little insight into their wacky ways.

LISBON CROOKS are known for pushing the envelope and doing things a little differently. Can you tell us how your unique approach came about?

Our approach is nothing special; we just never cared about surfing better than anyone or making the best surfboards. That means no egos are used in the making of our surfboards… only wine, laugher and our hands.

Have you ever had any crazy surfboard design requests from customers?

Of course! And we are just crazy enough to listen and try to make them a reality.

Obviously most of the times they don´t really work, but we all have a lot of fun doing them. Which is pretty rad for the customer and for us. Everyone learns in the end.

What is your best selling model?

The Hipócrita and the Facadas are definitely the models we work with and sell the most.

They are fun boards… perfect for any surfer no matter their experience or the kind of wave they’re surfing. With these two boards you are ready for everything. 

What are you experimenting with right now when it comes to the design of your surfboards?

It´s funny because we are trying to make everything simpler!

We don’t want to invent anything new or create anything better than before. In the end, a surfboard is just a fucking surfboard.

We want to see a different attitude of surfers in the water. Normally those who ride the supposedly better boards are always big jerks, so in that perspective we want our boards to be simple and nothing special, so our surfers can be good people and have fun while in the water.

What’s the worst thing about being a surfboard shaper in Portugal?

No one has the money to buy surfboards in here.

If it wasn´t for our friends from abroad coming to surf in Portugal, we would definitely be homeless and jobless. So thank you to our clients for being crazy enough to make a surfboard with us.

We really love you all.

Matta

Is there a better giant slayer and all around shredder come shaper in Portugal? Photo @matrenophoto 

Factory/Showroom: Rua Jaime Cortesão, Quinta da Vitória de Fora, letras J.C. Armazém 5
2815-758 Sobreda de Caparica

Website: Matta

Shaper: Nuno Matta

Matta is the brainchild of Nuno Matta; one of the original Portuguese shredders of the 90s who once upon a time beat Mark Occhilupo in a surf contest, traded his bike for ten blanks and built a shaping room in his grandmother´s backyard.

Beyond these little titbits though, Nuno is known for his profound understanding of the relationship between surfer, board and wave. A relationship born from his history as the only European competitor who surfed on boards that he himself shaped.

These days he still plays an active role in the Portuguese surf scene and is lauded by fellow craftsmen (including current shaper to the stars John Pyzel) for his creations.

Get a feel for what Nuno is all about by reading on below or click here to peek behind the curtain and see for yourself why he’s one of the best surfboard shapers in Portugal.

What kind of role does feedback play in the shaping process when you’re creating a second board for a customer?

Feedback is very important because it helps us to go better each time we shape a new board for our customers.

We try as much as possible to develop a personal relationship with our customers by  providing tailored advice. So, with the feedback of the first board its a lot easier to adjust each detail to create a magic carpet for the client.

What has been the biggest change in the surfboard shaping industry over the past decade?

Over the past decade, there have been some changes in the dimensions of the boards. In general, the boards have been decreasing in size and increasing in width and thickness, following the progression of surfing and the maneuvers. All of these changes must be accompanied by new technologies and the use of new eco materials.

The ultimate computer controlled surfboard shaping machine, such as the APS3000 like we have in our factory, can create the best shape and upgrade the entire shaping process. This machine finishes the board perfectly, however, the shaper intervention is still crucial. But now with less handwork, I can focus more on the final details to ensure I create an even better surfboard for the customer.

Which other shapers in Europe do you admire?

I had the privilege and the opportunity to work with some of the masters when it comes to surfboard shaping, such as Ricardo Martins, Jason Koons, Joca Secco, Xanadu, John Pyzel, Bill Johnson, Tim Patterson, Hennek, Bill Johnson and Darcy. This amazing and privileged exchange has helped me to evolve into the shaper I am today.

What do you think the future of surfboard design will look like?

I think that the future of surfboard design will prioritise the use of eco-materials with the lowest possible impact on the environment, thereby creating long-lasting boards and a magical experience for those who surf with our boards!

Is there anything unique about your business, yourself or your life that you’d like to share with others?

I’m just a pretty normal guy who likes to surf, to shape and have a lot of fun. But there are a few things you may not know about me.

For one, I beat Mark Occhilupo during the Pantin Classic in Galicia, Spain, in 1992. I have six kids, was the Portuguese National Champ in 2000 and am known for being part of the first pro surfing generation in Portugal during the nineties.

I once shaped a board in eight hours flat for Jadson André. He then went onto win the Cascais Prime using that board.

I’ve also had and the opportunity to work with some of the masters of surfboard shaping. This includes luminaries such as Ricardo Martins, Jason Koons, Joca Secco, Xanadu, John Pyzel, Bill Johnson, Tim Patterson, Hennek, Bill Johnson and Darcy.

Reckon YOU’RE the best surfboard shaper in Portugal, but can’t see your name? Get in touch! We’d love to help people reach you the next time they’re visiting the Iberian Peninsula and are in need of something to slide on.

Read more about 7 of the Best Surf Beaches In Portugal and 5 Takeaways from Nazaré, Portugal.

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Lachlan Campbell

Lachlan is a freelance copywriter from Australia who loves travelling the world writing and surfing. Based in Portugal, he spends most of his time scouring the coast looking for a decent wave, that is unless he’s in the home office creating content for major companies such as Wrangler, DAVIDOFF or Heineken. Lac also manages his own blog, The Barefoot Vagabond, which provides freelancers who share his passion for surfing with humorous and sometimes useful advice.

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