|Photo Credit: Andre’ Beriau|
It is a played out stereotype that all surf adventures involve exotic locales and tropical waters. Adventure, by most definitions, is an experience that must involve some degree of unusual and uncommon elements. To go truly off of the beaten path, one must do more than merely step off of a paved road and onto some tropical beach. Sometimes it involves finding a new way of doing things entirely, finding a new type of beach.
For 32 year old New England shaper Jacques Beriau of Sea Love Surfboards, this has involved leaving the perennially sunny shores of San Diego for the biting chill of the East Coast. Since 2010, Jacques has been shaping up boards for a different cut of surfer. With snowy lineups and heavy winds taking the place of palm trees and crowded beaches, Jacques has been able to carve out his own path along the often overlooked breaks of Maine’s coast. The result has been his own unique design and aesthetic, that is evident in his boards, that are the result of a different kind of surfing community and environment. They have a quality that you wouldn’t find in some typically tropical or suburban surf town. There is an element of ruggedness to the designs, a sense of the hours spent in less than hospitable conditions developing the craft. There is a sense of true adventure and wildness to them.
First things first, can you tell us a little
bit about when you first got into shaping, and how?
Diego. I’m about 5’4” and 130lbs soaking wet, so it was hard for me to find
off-the-rack boards that were exactly what I was looking for. I had a few customs made, but it was hard for
me to explain the feeling that I was searching for, and then have someone
translate that into a shape for me. I
felt that I needed to take care of that aspect of my surfing. I was surprised with the first few shapes
that I made for myself, and a few years later decided to offer some of the
shapes I was creating to the public.
|Sea Love Surfboards
Photo Credit; Andre’ Beriau
Were there any shapers
you considered to be mentors of yours?
shaper inside the shaping bay. When I
started, I just figured that I’d learn what I could teach myself because the
boards were only for me anyways. I read
everything I could get my hands on that involved surfboard design or the craft
of shaping. I’ve always been plugged
into the historical aspect of surfboard design. I just wanted to understand why these boards
were created, what actual waves they were made for. So I did all the research I could, and tried
to get my hands to create what I was reading about.
while now. They work so well for they
type of surfing I like to do. I’ve
always been a skate rat, and that shape is about a close as I’ve come to
deep-end bowl carving. I also ride a
mid-length single fin, a piggy log too.
I dig the feeling you get out of shapes like that. Just like riding waves. I’m not crazy about fighting them.
affected/changed your shaping style?
points too. I’ve always shaped
surfboards with particular waves in mind, and for the surf here, I’ve been into
mid-lengths a bit more lately. We get
some heavy off-shore winds, so I’ve been adding a bit of belly to the front of
my personal boards, seems to cut that off-shore texture pretty well.
east coast, what makes it unique?
|Photo Cred; Andre’ Beriau|
There are some great surfy people in my area, really good
folks. We have Grain Surfboards here in
town, their crew puts on some great community events throughout the year and
they are exceptional craftspeople. As a
whole, East Coast surfing has always been in the shadow of its California
counterpart, but that’s ok I guess. Its
cold here for a big part of the year, and we definitely don’t have the
surfboard design history that Southern California has. It can also be difficult as a surfboard
shaper to find materials, but you folks at Foam E-Z have made that piece so easy
for me. Cold empty waves, vs crowds
though? Snowflakes falling straight down
on glassy chest to head? A handful of
your homies sharing it? Those are the
parts that keep me here.
for and working with?
regularly, my brother Andre’ is probably my all time favorite person to shape
boards for. I know exactly how he rides,
so I while I’m in the shaping bay I can translate that into his surfboard, he’s
pretty good at letting me tell him what he wants haha. Plus, he’s my brother, so even if I shape him
a turd, it’s a turd shaped with love.
1/16” Redwood Stringer.