Tyler Jorgenson - Wax Surf Co

When and where did you start surfing?
We started surfing only about 4 or 5 years ago, so its safe to say that we are really new to the sport. But our progression in shaping and surfing has created this crazy feedback dialog which I feel has allowed us to progress at both much faster than normal. Since we are not being informed by the surfing industry and only our own progression as surfers, I feel like our shapes have evolved as we become better surfers and so has our intuitive understanding of all the fine details that go into a shape.

What is it that you love about surfing?
We love surfing in New York because it’s the only time we can really reflect on our work. There is so much hustle and bustle on the streets and people in and out of our shop all the time it’s hard to really pause and think about the consequences of a shape or certain new ideas. But that feeling of flying on a wave where it is just you and the surf, I can really feel the shape and every curve and how it’s working. Not only is it an amazing feeling but its awesome to have those experiences inform the process.

What are your go-to boards at the moment?
I love the pinche shape at around 5'8" with a fat double concave out the back. It is kind of like a fish with a little bit more responsiveness and performance. Its great for mush and holds its own in hollow faster breaking waves too. I just took a pinche to Puerto Rico and surfed 4-6' Marias and it felt amazing to paddle in with long boarders a little earlier in the wave but I could also get loose in the pocket. I have yet to get it deep in some hollow swell but I am looking forward to that feeling.

Do you have a favourite break / surf travel destination?
Puerto Rico is amazing and obviously all the stuff I have surfed in LA and San Diego are amazing, but having deep and hollow barrels right here in our backyard is so awesome. My most memorable surf moment was out at Ditch Plains in Montauk when there was a summer hurricane. It was pumping at about 8' and the waves were so perfect that day. That is my favorite spot because of that day. I'll never forget it for the rest of my life.

How did you get into shaping?
Board building came out of necessity for us. When we started surfing we had a shop space where we were building all sorts of furniture and working on different projects. Making a surfboard was just the natural answer to owning a surfboard. Neither Michael or I had any desire to buy a board. We had always borrowed boards and we were so much more fascinated with the feeling of surfing than the board itself. So originally we thought it would be easy to make a board with our backgrounds in fabrication. We were very very wrong about that but nothing held us back from making boards for ourselves. We failed so many times at making shapes and glassing them ourselves. But we strived for perfection and kept at it. And now, a few hundred boards later we are making something that people really desire and are intrigued by.

How did the idea for Wax Surf Co come about and what is the philosophy behind the brand?
It kind of developed organically as we progressed at surfing and making boards. From the beginning we loved talking to people and trying to figure out what geometry or shape would be best for what person or what wave. We love the idea of a board being designed for an individual. Enhancing that connection between the amazing feeling of surfing and the board itself is our goal for every board. We are trying to re-imagine that experience for everyone that walks through our doors whether it is a shape that we know is tried and true or making a shape for someone that we know nothing about.

NYC is not exactly a surf mecca, how does that affect the types of boards you make and the customers you cater to?
Fast hollow dumpy waves are our recipe for shapes but we also get a lot of orders for fun type shapes and long boards for the summer for both experienced and beginner surfers. It is not a surf mecca but the people who surf here are die hard. All through the dead of winter we are getting people trying to find themselves in and out of hollow barrels. Since so many New York surfers travel people are always asking for shapes that they can take with them to Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. People will go to those places and come back to us with new ideas for shapes for themselves or even new abilities.

What is it that you love about your job?
We love that we have full control over the board at every stage in the process. We love to shape, we love to glass and we love putting our name on something that we have had our hands on every step of the process. It’s awesome to make something unique to a person based on a conversation we have with them. We think that offering that kind of experience is really special in an age where industry and technology dominate.

What can we expect to see from Wax Surf Co in the coming 12 months?
We are testing new shapes, new ideas, making fins, trying to progress our craft and grow our output. We are hoping to expand to the west coast and get more feedback from people who surf out there so we can grow our knowledge of shapes and test more ideas. We are going to the Board Room show in a little less than a month so hopefully there will be people in California who can relate with our vision for what surfboards can be for people.

What are some of the difficulties involved with the succeeding in the shaping industry?
It is difficult to compete with people who have been shaping for 30 years or maintain the same output of a CNC machine. But those people are predisposed to certain ideas and in some way confined by them. Since we don't come form a surfing background and are not so influenced by a super saturated industry I think we are not trying to grind out boards or shapes. We are more about having conversations with people and learning as much as we can. We are students of our customers, not the other way around. We are always trying to learn and inform our shapes with those conversations. It makes it difficult to compete but people find solace in those conversations where the end product is not just a board, but a story to tell.

Do you have any advice for up and coming / aspiring shapers out there?
The only limitations you experience are the ones you make for yourself. Trust your intuition and follow thought with every step.

Where can we find you online?

Web:  waxsurfco.com
Twitter: @waxsurfco
Instagram: @waxsurfco
Blog: blog.waxsurfco.com

Posted by: Troy Roennfeldt, on May 3, 2015
Categories: Interviews