Black Apache Surfboards
Jesse Watson from Black Apache Surfboards is all about taking the old and making it new! Jesse takes proven shapes and brings them up to speed for todays surfing styles. He make boards that give that retro feel but have modern performance.
Jesse has plenty of wisdom on his side as he throws down plenty of old skool tints and pigments, full gloss and polish, or lightweight performance glass jobs. Jesse aims to produce boards that are all about speed. As Jesse will tell you "with speed you can go anywhere".
Jesse is a down to earth cat, that doesn't take himself too seriously and believe surfing is about having fun… With Black Apache Surfboard, Jesse is bring fun back into surfing, as at the end of the day the best surfer is usually the one who’s having the most fun.
How did you get into shaping or decide to make a career from it?
I just love surfboards. I think about them at night before I go to bed, before I wake up, I dream about boards at night... it was a logical conclusion for me really.
Who were your mentors?
Richard Harvey, Peter White (Classic Malibu), Neil Randall (if6was9 surfboards) Peter Dron (tunnel vision glassing).
Describe the first board you shaped?
It was a dog, big fat wide asymmetrical fish. I had no idea what I was doing, no one to help me, and I shaped it in the back yard under my jacaranda tree, But it was the board that changed my life! I have the best memories of that board - including Tommy Carroll laughing hysterically at it at Palm Beach in Sydney one day (To be fair I used to burst into laughter too when I looked at it)
Who where your influences early in your career?
Anyone who thought outside the box, I always loved the crazy stuff, still do. there’s so much "urban cool" in surfing, I just don’t have time to worry about what the cool kids are doing. I always connected with the old school crew from the experimental era's of the late 60's early 70's those guys were outcasts but they didn’t care all they wanted to do was surf. I respect that, its become the motto for my life.
Who have you shaped boards for over the years?
Anyone who was gullible enough to let me at the start, I’ve got a lot of good guys riding them now. A lot of guys who are paid/sponsored to ride other shapes are paying to ride mine which is very rewarding to me as a craftsmen.
Has there been any board that has stood out over the years?
The mini simmons, every time I ride one, every single time... I’m still waiting for them to catch on and get the following they deserve
What designs have you been working on lately?
Mini simmons (non-stop!) lots of displacement hulls/stubbies, pigs and logs are popular for me too.
What makes your boards better then the rest?
I wouldnt say they were better but we're definitely different. All of our boards get the Cadillac treatment; we only make high end pieces of functional art!
Where do you see the future of shaping (e.g. board design, materials)?
I think eventually surfing will come full circle again. it always does. i think people are starting to appreciate a quality hand made product again, and i think the pop out mentality is wearing thin, and why wouldn’t it, Australian manufacturers make most some the best boards in the world.
What excites you with the future of shaping (e.g. board design, materials)?
Variety! - Surfing is becoming diverse again, the mass production cookie cutter pro surfing image is starting to crack and fade, and people are diversifying a lot. I love variety; people are starting to ride what they want to ride again, not just what everyone else is riding.
What words of wisdom would you pass down for inspiring shapers?
Stick with it. Pay attention to everyone who has something to say about board design, but develop your own theories that you can draw on. Ride as many boards as you can, and surf as often as you can.
Oh yeah and make sure you love it because you cant expect to make any real money!
Tell us why you love your job?
Because my life revolves around the ocean, the tide, design/creation and riding waves
Anything you want to get off your chest?
I hate SUP's - get a 10"+ longboard instead!
Favourite shaping tools?
The new shaping Microplanes - they are awesome
Why do you use Shapers Fins?
Good range. Good price. Good guys
What are the benefits of Shapers Fins?
A massive range which is always in stock, they're local, I can go straight in talk to the guys face to face and get exactly what I need. Easy!!!
Why should customers use Shapers Fins over all fin companies?
Shapers are cheaper (but don’t compromise on quality unlike other brands), plus they have all varieties in one shop-simple and easy! Plus they have a better range of colours than the big manufacturers as well!
What is you favourite Shapers Fin Set(s)?
I love the SPFK - performance keel fins. I have used them on my hybrid/performance fish, ands I love them (it doesn’t hurt that I gave Dan the template either!)
Contact: jesse watson
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