Dick Van Straalen is an Iconic Australian Surfboard Manufacture, who started shaping boards in 1956 and still in 2010 hand shapes every single board! Dick is dying breed of an elite group of hand shapers.
Below are a few questions we where able to get out of Dick between the surf and his shaping bay:
How did you get into shaping?
Because I bought a custom made board that had someone else name on it!
Describe the first board you shaped?
A victory (haha)
Who where your influences early in your career?
I was a natural.
Who have you shaped boards for over the years?
Lots of mates
Has there been any board that has stood out over the years?
The one I shaped yesterday! Every board I shape stands out, as every board is hand crafted and has its own personality. If each board doesn’t stand out in some sort of a way, then I wouldn't be shaping today.
What designs have you been working on lately?
Quads Fishes, Micros Wieners and Longer Boards.
What makes your boards better then the rest?
Don’t know, they just work!
Where do you see the future of shaping (e.g. board design, materials)?
At the moment carbon used in the right application.
What words of wisdom would you pass down for inspiring shapers?
Do what you think (Try and Experiment).
Tell us why you love your job?
I make something that creates joy.
Anything you want to get off your chest?
In the 60’s they where known as pop-out’s and today it known as new technology...
Favourite shaping tools?
Hand Plane (it’s what shaping is all about).
Why do you use Shapers Fins?
Because they came to the party
What are the benefits of Shapers Fins?
What is you favourite Shapers Fin Set(s)?
My new little keels (D.V.S Keel Quad)
Dick Van Straalen “Classic Waterman
“Custom Handcrafted Surfboards and Paddleboards”
Unit 7/3 Ramly Drive, Burleigh Heads, QLD, 4220
Ph: 0409 262 729
Shaping hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday