Andy Warhurst - Rake Surfboards
What was your first board?
It was an old dunga of dads from back in the 70s, a beaten up yellow singlefin but i couldn't tell u who made it
What do you love about surfing?
What's not to love? It's not a very original answer but i guess it's the feeling of being in the ocean with mates or even alone and being able to forget about the problems of the world on land and just be happy with what's going on at that moment around you. Plus the satisfaction you get after completing a difficult maneuver or making a big barrel is second to none.
What are you most proud of?
I'd have to say I'm proud of what I have in my life, things like family, friends, surfing, there are a lot of people who arent as fortunate to have basic things like that. I guess I'm proud of my work, the fact that in this day and age the art of making surfboards the traditional way is a dying art and I'm lucky enough to have learned all aspects of the trade.
Who are some of the people you feel are shaping the path for surfing today?
I'd have to say it's the guys reverting to old ways and making custom surfboards and veering away from the ghost shaped or made in asia massed produced pop outs. Obviously the top 44 are shaping the path but also the whole alternative side of surfing and board design is playing a massive part in it too.
Tell us how you got started shaping.
I started off at the bottom rung of the factory, polishing, getting the feel for the tools, then moving up to sanding, then fins, filler coating, working my way up to shaping. I was lucky enough to start off actually working in a busy factory. By the time I got to shaping, it was just another process i had to learn and figure out.
Do you shape your boards by hand or do you use a machine?
Up until the last couple of weeks Ive handshaped all of my boards besides when I was younger working for another company where I cleaned up the odd pre shape. Now Ive just had a couple of files made up for those basic stock boards, they defenatly cut out a lot of planing time but the important parts are still done by hand, things like concaves, rail shapes etc.
What sort of education have you had?
Well I'm a high school drop out haha. I finished up at the end of year 10 to pursue an apprenticeship as a boat builder/surfboard maker. Although I did my apprenticeship in a surfboard factory, today I am a fully qualified boat builder and have worked with boats in the past upon completing my trade.
What was your very first job?
Like I said above I was an apprentice in a surfboard factory and lucky enough to say that was my first job. I worked for 4 years at Southcoast Surfboards in Torquay and at that time we were a very busy 6-8 man team. It was a pretty fun work environment there because most of us were just groms so there was a lot of tom foolery but at the same time we were drilled to produce good quality. This was where I learned the ins and outs of board construction and how the industry ticked along.
What is your current job and what does it entail?
Currently I shape all of the longboards for Rake Surfboards. Adrian Knott shapes all the shorties and I glass tints/pigments and clears plus finish them all off from start to finish. It's pretty satisfying not just shaping the board but doing a nice tint and finishing them off to a high standard and knowing that you've done it all by yourself. Seeing that finished product shiny in the customers hands is pretty dam rewarding.
How did you get into the position you are today?
I guess perseverance in the early days, making mistakes but learning from them. It's one of those things you dont just learn over night. Ive been working in the industry for 9 years now which is nothing and I still learn new things about surfboards everyday. Doing a good job definetly got me here I'd say, like most industries word of mouth is the key. You produce a good product then customers and employers pass on the good word.
What do you like most about your job?
I definately surf more than most people haha. Its pretty nice not being a 9-5 person. I get to surf whenever I like and when I go into work I get to work on things that I am passionate about. I'll never know what its like to have a job that has nothing to do with my dreams and hobbies. I knockoff after making surfboards then I go down the beach and go surfing and when I come in I talk about the surf that I just had. Plumbers dont knock off, then go hang around drains and pipes. I'm truly blessed in that sense I think.
Where can we find you online?
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Posted by: Troy Roennfeldt, on March 3, 2013
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