ED SINNOTT - ESP SURFBOARDS
In 1975 I was surfing and doing the art school thing and I was exhibiting my paintings and pretty much on my way but I starting painting boards and airbrushing for John Skipp. I swept the floor, did dings, sanded, polished and finish coated. It wasn’t long before I had a planer in my hands because it was an extension of my creativity. I was gone hook, line and sinker.
Who were your mentors?
My mentors were some of Australia’s finest surfer/ shapers Terry Richardson, Kevin Parkinson, Frank Latta and Michael Peterson. I worked with all these guys and listened to them and learned I’m so grateful to have known them.
Describe the first board you shaped?
It was a 6’8’’ single fin with a rounded pintail and a set fin. I painted it psychedelic purples and crimson with a paint brush and resin tints. It was insane especially when I polished it. Needless to say it’s all clouded by memory.
Who where your influences early in your career?
The glasser at Skippy’s was a guy named Carl Schaefer who was the best craftsman I’ve ever met. His pin lines, sprays and glass jobs clean as a whistle. The main thing though was his methodology because it’s so ordered. He should teach board making professionally.
Who have you shaped boards for over the years?
Mick Lowe, Beau Young, Jeremy Williams, Jake Spooner, Simon Law, Glen Kelly, Hans Hedeman, Ritchie Collins, Rob Page, Derek Ho, Kris Puckeridge , Steve Mills, Jono Salfeild, Josh Lewan, Evan Faulkes, Garry McNeil, Ralph Riddell, Torren Martín, Paul Brooks, Lee Miller, Chad Ryan, Chris Homer, Dylan Longbottom, Soli Bailey, Shane Powell, Chad Ryan and 25,000 others.
Has there been any board that has stood out over the years?
Yes, when I started doing dropped rails with double barrels in the late 80s. Everyone was doing flat vees with soft rails. We went to the State Tiles at Old Bar and Lowey won the cadets, Spooner and Ryan the juniors, Glen Kelly the open and Pucko the senior men’s. They all rode the same model thruster just in different lengths. The waves were pumping and I saw with my own eyes how their boards projected vertically, skated over dead spots and carved huge hunks out of the face. Plus I was hand foiling their fins to get the right flex. It was the first time it actually clicked with me that the designs I was doing could have such a tangible impact.
What designs have you been working on lately?
The Vortex!! It’s a smaller early 80s outline with a contemporary bottom contour, rocker and rails. I’ve also been developing a series of high performance longboards, new short boards and a bunch of hybrids. I’ve also been shaping channels again on my own boards called the Ventura. I’ve been painting my boards again in an abstract expressionist style. No taping and no pin lines.
What makes your boards better than the rest?
The fact you can talk to me because I’m not some klutz middle man trying to flog a surfboard to you. I’m the one creating it! Also the fins, glass, resin and plugs I’m using are world class. I can ring up Shapers anytime and get exactly what I want. If your just starting out stick with shapers because I endorse and use all of their products exclusively. The shaping tools and raw materials they supply are of a world standard. I’ve known Len Holloway since the beginning and guarantee you won’t be disappointed with their products.
Where do you see the future of shaping (e.g. board design, materials)?
Well with me personally its’ probably about creating new Avant-garde designs, taking chances on my own intuition and disregarding market trends. As far as materials go you cant shape anything better than a traditional poly blank. The others don’t come close.
What are the benefits of Shapers Fins?
RANGE . QUALITY . PERFORMANCE! Shapers Fins know what it takes.
Company: ESP Surfboards (2/81 Centennial Circut, Byron Industrial Estate, Byron Bay 2481)