When and where did you start bodyboarding?
I first started bodyboarding about 24 years ago now, I grew up in Terrigal on the N.S.W Central Coast.
What do you love about it?
What’s not to love! I just love that feeling you get when you scoop off the bottom and set it up into the pit and just get barrelled, come flying out and your mates are on the paddle back out hooting and screaming. The anticipation of the waves to come and the memories of sessions past, that is what I love about it.
Do you have a session that stands out as your most memorable?
There are just so many, your first barrel, your first surf trip away at a spot you have never surfed before, that solo session before school that no one believes was pumping because they all missed it, being in you early 30’s and scoring a wave you first surfed 18 years ago and still being stoked to score it un-crowded with one of your best mates.
How and why did you get into shaping?
I got into shaping 17 years ago, my old man was in the meat game sending some of Australia’s best lamb to Japan and Switzerland and he hooked me up with an aprentership as a butcher straight out of high school, I pretty much hated it. At around the same time my best mate at school said his parents are investing in a small bodyboard factory/company with one of the best shapers around, I was lucky enough to score a job as the first employee there. I just loved it! Surfing in the morning then going to work and learning how to shape boards during the day,
it was a dream job and from the very beginning I knew I wanted to be in this industry shaping boards.
Tell us a bit about QCD and how it got started?
is the result of all the hard work I put in when I was younger. I started QCD 10 years ago now and I have been working hard at it ever since. The opportunity came up to run and own my own company and I jumped at it, at the time I was head shaper and running production at one of Australia’s best factories/brands and decided after 7 years working for someone else it was time to go at it alone.
You're known around the world for your custom shapes, what led to the decision to produce a stock range?
I had always been involved with stock boards as a shaper in some way or form but I had never put my brand QCD to a stock board range. I wanted to have a stock range that reflected what I was doing with my customs and put all of my years experience into it, offering shapes and designs that I know work. I am stoked with how it is all going.
Are you still going to continue shaping customs in the future?
Yes I am still shaping custom’s out of my factory here in Manly its my core business, sure things are getting harder and harder
with so many brands in the market and factory overheads but its something I love to do and will strive to do it for as long as I can.
Can you tell us a little bit about the new Skintec model and what it's about?
The skintec model is sick! I am stoked to be using this technology in my boards, here is a little run down; SKINTEC features a new skin technology developed for high performance riding through pressure absorption and energy dispersion. Skintec is the most advanced energy transfer layer ever produced, designed to reduce impact compression by providing protection to the cores cell structure and integrity.
The Skintec layer is thermo-fused to the core, creating increased strength, drive, and recoil over the boards entire surface area while allowing the board to flex more evenly from nose to tail and rail to rail. The increased strength has also allowed me to design this model thinner than my standard stock line which provides edge control and off the bottom speed without losing stiffness and inner core balance.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is seeing guys surfing and having fun on something I have made, be it a world champ chasing scores in a comp or the local grom spinning and rolling his way to the beach. As long as they are happy with the boards I have shaped for them then that is what keeps me stoked. Sure its great being your own boss and working for yourself but those who run a small business/company know the pros and cons.
Ideally, what does the future hold for QCD?
I want to continue to grow the QCD stock board range world wide, It is already in a number of key countries and I am very happy with the guys who are looking after it in those countries. With each year there will be new models added to the range and I want to see it be a global force in the hight end market, which at this point its looking good. I will still be shaping customs boards and designing here in Australia offering the best boards I can make. Just this past weekend I had a factory open day and put on a few shaping demo’s and had a little Q and A I had a great turnout and was able to talk to guys about materials and design to educated them on boards so in turn they can better their surfing, so I will look to do a few more of those in the future.Where can we find you online?
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Posted by: Matthew Ryan, on February 11, 2014