Eden Saul - Dead Kooks
When did you get your first surfboard?
I remember standing up for the first time when I was 4 or 5. It was on an old McTavish Kneeboard. I don't think it was for a few years til I was 8 that I got my first board. A secondhand Maddog shaped by Mark Plater.
What do you love about surfing?
The escape. It's something pure. Without getting all hippy and spiritual, but the feeling of a good wave, a good turn, a fast highline. It's kind of primitive.
What is your favourite board? Your favourite surfspot?
Favourite board at the moment is my 7'0 Hellhound. Tracker inspired, teardrop shaped singlefin. That is my go to board from knee high to well overhead. Favourite surf spot... Snapper, Lennox, desserts.
Who/What inspired you to begin shaping?
Alot of people really got me inspired. I more just grew from a real intrigue with design principles, why this worked and this didn't. That curiosity led to wanted to ride so many different things, the natural progression was to make them myself. It took a while before I could get what I had in my head to come together with a planer in my hand. Eventually it all started to click.
What are you most proud of?
My proudest moment to date would be coming across the line at Cairns Ironman this year realizing I'd just qualified for the Hawaiian ironman. That was huge. In more general terms I'm just really happy that I've been able to build a life around what I love to do, it's taken some time and a bunch of hard work but i feel like I'm getting there.
What sort of education have you had?
I went to a catholic school growing up in Lennox head. I went to uni and studied finance and economics. I was actually almost finished a double degree and just woke up wondering what I was doing. I didn't want an office job, that wasn't me, I never went back. As for shaping, I would just spend hours watching guys shaping, go away and shape another board. I was always picking brains for knowledge. But I was never really taught.
What was your very first job?
My first job was at Hogs Breath in Byron. Washing dishes and shit. Now I'm a vegetarian and couldn't think of anything worse.
Tell us about Dead Kooks?
Dead kooks is all about creating a one-off quality product tailored to the individual with a strong focus on functionality, form and a little flair. Alot of my work is influenced by the designs of the late 60's and 70's. Taking those ideas, outlines and desire to push boundaries and adding a modern spin.
How did you get into the position you are today?
Perseverance, hard work, determination. I had alot of people help me out. The D'Arcy family were really good to me. Sam Yoon who is a really talented underground shaper, he lives and breathes aloha and makes some beautiful crafts, Dan MacDonald and Ben McTavish have been great to bounce ideas off. Guys like Dick Van Straalen and Dan Thompson had a huge influence on me when I was young and allowed me to toy and experiment from a young age. It's been really testing at times, but you push on and then you think of the alternatives, an office job, being out in the mines. I love what I do.
What do you like most about your work?
When you get a call from a mate who just got out of the water and has had a good surf and that happiness they have got from riding something you crafted for them. Watching the boys blowing up on your boards. That's what it is really all about. The fact I get to work with my hands and be creative on a daily basis is also a big part of it.
Where can we find you online?
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We are currently recruiting a Host for our original beachside location – The Taghazout Villa, Morocco.