Two Filipino Board Shapers

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Two Filipino Board Shapers


James Gabriel, originaly from Makati but now I live in Alfonso, Cavite. Km 69 to be exact. I started surfing in 2005 or 2004 I’m not sure. My favorite spot right now is in Nasugbu, Batangas called San Diego because I rarely go on surftrips, walang budget hehehe.

Right now I’m on the down low mostly 5’6 to 5’0. Hey, I almost forgot my longboard! Simply can’t do with out it here in Batangas. I first started shaping I think 2 years ago. One of my shaper friends convinced me to try it and that’s how I basically started shaping – dahil sa isang buyo ng tropa hehehe (salamat syo master Bet!)


-5’2”x19 3/4×2 3/4 (aka the longboard killer) my favorite board for Batangas conditions and Magic Left sessions. Good for mushy knee high waves to rolling head high surf, although not good on steep and hollow surf… wipeout ang aabutin mo.

-5’4”x19x2 ¼: (aka the bulilit 2) inspired by Kelly Slaters wizard sleeve.  Super loose, good for tail slides and cutbacks. This is my all-rounder board with ideal conditions waist high to slightly overhead.

-5’4”x 19 3/4×2 3/16: (aka retaso) literally it came from a piece of foam that I was about to throw away, then I remembered Dane Reynolds’ board (the dumpster diver) that had a similar story that’s why I shaped it like Dane’s board my first glass on board.

-5’6”x20 x 2 ¼: (aka punkrock) another board inspired by Kelly Slater and Al Merrick. Basically I copied the pod. My demo board, and I let my friends try it out to convince them to ride shorter boards.

-5’4”x19 1/2x 2 3/16: (aka the maggot sapien) this one could be my favorite for head high Cemento or any fast reef break, but unfortunately I don’t go on surf trips that often that’s why its at the bottom of the list.


Step 1: copy or make a template for ply wood and lawanit

Step 2: make your blank. use a hotwire jig and your foil template, just simply bolt on the template on the side of the eps foam and use the hotwire to cut it.

Step 3: cut out your outline, using your lawanit template (use lawanit, it bends and follows the rocker curve) use a saw and just cut the blank, common sense lang.

Step 4: shape and blend all the curves and sand the board until it looks like a real surfboard. you can go watch it on YouTube.

Step 5: glassing and hot coat – use a laminating epoxy resin to glass the board and a cheap paint brush for the hotcoat. nasa YouTube din lahat to hehe tamad ako mag explain.


The best thing about shaping is you appreciate your board more because you know how it is made. It’s like seeing a baby become a man. I think for some people this is a sense of achievement, but for me, it is the knowledge I get from shaping that makes me want to shape more boards. Shaping is about learning, and you learn new things every time you shape a board.

My plans for the future? Maybe some day make a bussiness out of it and to make boards for the really good Filipino surfers. Ngayun, hindi ko pa kayang mag sponsor. Hehehe. Philippine surfing I think has a big potential, just look at all the locals shredding out there in the line up. So basically the talent is already out there. They just need more support because most of them don’t have a good financial background. So two thumbs up to all the sponsors!

*contact details:

Facebook: James Gabriel

Email: yipes_ph

*photo/s by Gab Sarmiento.



Jacquez Alain. Good day! Stayed here in Cebu for almost five years now. I’m from Tandag City, Surigao del Sur. I started surfing at the age of 19. Bayabas reef break is my favorite which is a secret spot for the Tandag Boys. In fact, some of the points were named from every tandag surfer who played first. And our place is blessed with points and spots that we share to visitors. Me and my surfer brah is here and can guide visiting brahs to those spots. I’m enjoying having two boards right now, the sharp pointed nose which is 6.2x19x2.1/3 and fan board which is 6.6x20x2 1/2. Actually being shaper was never in my dream, what I really wanted was to have fun with the waves, surf everyday, hang with my brah at night, practice and if given a chance I want to win in a competition. But as my surfing went far I started fixing my own boards. I went into a chemical process, exploring and experimenting, trial and error and eventually those things push me into shaping surfboard on some month of 2005.


First is shaping the foam into a desire shape. Then comes the glassing, putting the fibercloth, pouring the risen on it from deck to bottom. Then the sanding means cleaning up those parts that are sharp until its finished. Next is applying the design that you want. I use my bare hands in shaping and I often use power tools only on the very hard surface that needs to be removed.



All boards that I made are stable,  rider friendly and also good for the beginers. But in some circumstances meron  talagang di maiiwasan na masira, I fix the boards for free. It’s the warranty part.
My boards were made for big or small waves. It can be used in waves up to 10ft depending on the rider and I been proven it myself in different spot.

The best thing about shaping boards is the the chance to help the local surfing community. The happiness na gumagawa ka ng produksyon na pweding makatulong sa Filipino brah’s lalo na yung mga kakasimula palang coz sa totoo lang my boards are really more cheaper than those boards from other country and whats good is that it’s the same quality or even more. This way magkakachance yong mga di masyadong malaki ang budget lalaong lalo na dun sa amin. Other good thing in my part is the realization of how the board run. I mean every part of the board is important, halimbawa kapag hindi tama ang rocker sa shape sa nose hindi maganda ang takbo ng board. Sa shaping na-oopen yung isipan kung saan maghihit ang every parts sa board sa alon pag nag ride, at saka maiintindihan mo kung anong bagay na board sa ganito o ganyang alon.
My plans is to travel, to “wave test” my boards in many spot as I can and to have more friends while surfing. But my dream is to have my own small surfboard company so i can help my co-surfer at Tandag as my crew. Philippine surfing is very cool, accommodating and open to all surf enthusiasts, its big and even bigger now. Talagang may cultura. It’s ‘Pinas surfing style dude .Respect and don’t abuse.

*contact details:

Facebook: Jacquez Alain

Phone: 09301614215/09269668501

+++ END+++


  1. RC says:

    sir,may i ask a question? saan po ba nakakabili d2 ng styrofoam board blank para sa skim board? thanks

  2. lokalsoul says:

    ay RC. I have NO idea. hahaha sorry. pero you could ask the shapers!

  3. steven wilkinson says:

    hey there i live cam sur bicol i am looking for a shaper to make me 6 paddle boards mainly for flat water
    with a length of 11 foot by 32 i have specifics on rocker and thickness just checking if you would be able to help
    me out and if not could you recommend any one who could help me

    regards steven wilkinson

  4. lokalsoul says:

    hi steven. hmm im not sure about paddle boards. try ask the surfers around Bagasbas, Cam Norte about shapers!

  5. Michele Ramos says:

    San Diego is a town in Nasugbu or a barangay? Does it already a surf school na pwede mahiraman or makarent ng boards?

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