This week we sat down with San Diego native and certified Deadhead, the one and only Rob Dreher. Rob is the ultimate shop grom and keeps everyone at our Flagship store in Northpark entertained on a daily basis. We asked him about the 70's, chopping off fingers, and how he feels about wearing leashes. His answers are exactly as rad as you'd think.
Name – Rob Dreher
Age – 57
Occupation - Deadhead
Years surfing – 45
Home Break – Anywhere in San Diego
Number of boards shaped – 65 including the dozen boards I did in my parents backyard in the 70’s…
What first got you interested in shaping your own surfboards and how did you hear about SHAPER STUDIOS ?
I first got interested in shaping while hanging out at the back door of the old G&S shop on Gains St. when I was 14 in 1974 and watching some of the masters work. I actually came to Shaper Studios with a Groupon for the Group Shaping class.
Did you have any experience with the shaping process before coming to SHAPER STUDIOS ?
Yes. I used to get old longboards, tear the glass off, re-shape and glass them in my parents backyard yard in 74/75. They eventually made me stop because of the mess I was making and the headaches everyone in the neighborhood was getting from the poly resin fumes.
Name your three favorite surfboard shapers ?
My three favorite shapers would have to be Ben Aipa, Skip Frye, Danny Van Zaten
What is your favorite era of surfing in terms of design, style, and surfing personalities ?
Definitely the 70’s
What countries have you surfed in and where is your favorite wave in the world ?
I’ve been all over the USA, Mexico, Scotland, and Hawaii. My next wave is always my favorite.
What do you do when you aren’t surfing or shaping ?
Sleeping... and dreaming about surfing and shaping!
Tell us about how you chose the most recent board design you ended up shaping ?
I decided to shape a 6’4 fish because the 5’10 fish I just finished was a bit too small for me.
Did you have any concerns with learning how to shape?
Yes, mostly chopping off my fingers and building boards that don’t float.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of the shaping process ?
My favorite part of shaping has been all the excellent people I've met since coming to Shaper. We share ideas and compare notes on every type of board getting made. The “Self Shape Surf Festival” at Seaside Reef is always a blast. Watching resin dry is my least favorite part of the process.
What have you learned through the shaping process that might help your understanding of riding waves?
The fins go on the bottom and leashes are for wussies.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start shaping boards on their own?
I would tell them that it's a ton of work, but the feeling of riding your own boards takes the ecstasy of surfing to another level. Take good notes throughout the entire process and don't worry about making mistakes because sometimes they lead to innovation.
What's the next board you plan on shaping?
I've got a few mid length templates in mind that I might try. Or something big for surfing Sunset Cliffs this winter.