Saturday, April 30, 2011
Here at Bing & Jacobs Surfboards, we often get asked the question “Are the boards 100% hand-shaped by Matt Calvani?” The simple answer is “Yes” and “No”.
As part of our move to the “Hill” and into the old Channin Surfboards factory, we also acquired Tony Channin’s CNC shaping machine which resided in the factory. But even prior to the move, we’ve always utilized the machine-shaping technology. All of the models cut on the machine were all originally hand-shaped by Matt until he was able to fine tune them to how he wanted them to look and ride. Once he felt the model was dialed-in, the best of the best are scanned on the machine. The machine does the labor intensive rough-shaping so that Matt can work on the fine details of each board. In a nutshell, that’s our use for the machine, it’s like a Skil planer on steroids so to speak. It limits the labor and time it requires to rough a board out, and that allows Matt to not only build more boards (and reduce cost) but also to spend his time and energy on the finer details of each shape as well as to develop new models and designs. It also helps to limit the variances in each shaped board which inevitably happens when hand-shaping.
Unfortunately, there appears to be some negative stigma associated with using shaping machines, but I can assure you that the machines are not so sophisticated that once the board is milled, any average Joe can just finish them off. Matt hand-shaped something like 15,000 boards in his career before he started utilizing the CNC technology. At age 40, he has had to consider self-preservation and the longevity of his shaping career and if he continues to “dig holes” (as he’s jokingly described hand-shaping), then his shoulders and back would be done by the time he’s 50 and he’d be forced to give up building surfboards. Matt still loves to hand-shape, but he reserves this process for new designs and special custom orders. The turnaround is a lot slower but the end result the same.
Shaping machines have always produced a good amount of controversy over the past decade, perhaps less prevalent now then before. At the beginning, the controversy was rooted more in the protection and preservation of someone’s shape and design, and the ability for someone with a shaping machine to “copy” another shaper’s design. But with integrity and because the machines lacked the sophistication to outright “copy” a shape, the fears diminished. Nowadays, most shapers who have enough volume demand to justify it, use the shaping machine as an extension of their tool set (“Skil Planer on steroids”) to facilitate turnaround time, production flow as well as minimizing cost and labor. Right, wrong or indifferent the shaping machine has become a valuable part of Matt’s design process as well as our business model. Every individual who works in our factory whether it’s the shaper, the laminator, the polisher, down to the board packer loves surfboards and we believe in building them in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable price so that others can enjoy them too.
in, Bing Surfboards
Miguel Barreira is a professional sports photographer, a stoked surfer and real surfboard addict with a unique passion for alternative surf crafts. Last summer he added another piece of history to his collection by ordering to Ryan Lovelace a Flexspoon, true to George Greenough legacy. For all of us involved it was a very special moment seeing that board come alive. (see post Special One here)
Miguel was at the factory shooting Ryan and his Flexspoon and the result couldn’t be better.
This last photo, probably the most impressive one, was featured at SurfPortugal mag, on a article about Greenough legacy, so I will post it like that, respect for all involved!
photography: Miguel Barreira
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Walker is a surfer and was born in Sydney and now divides his time between Adelaide and working as Associate Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design in New York. Always fascinated by hand skills and fine craftsmanship, Walker’s awareness of the complexity of surfboard performance and design led him to start making his own wooden surfboards – embellished with the work of leading Australian contemporary artists.
His boards will be at The Gold Coast Arts Centre 28th of May to 10th of June.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
To our friends in Japan:
Our hearts are filled with sorrow over the loss and devastation of so many lives. We are sending prayers and thoughts for peace and courage among all survivors of this tragic event. Our deepest sympathy, support and condolences are with the people of Japan.
In support of the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, Bing Surfboards has donated the following 9’2 Bing Gold Standard to the Glycogen Charity Auction. This board is part of Group H, which is set to auction May 17 -24. Please remember to submit your bids and support Japan!!
To submit bids for the following item from May 17-24, please sign-up at through the J-Grab website. Search for the item in AUCTIONS > JAPANESE EARTHQUAKE RELIEF .
in, Bing Surfboards
MINDS in the Water. Premier @ Byron Bay Community Centre 30th of April 2011. Dave Rastovich & Chris Del Moro.
Minds In The Water is a feature-length documentary following the quest of professional surfer Dave Rastovich and his friends including Bing team rider Chris Del Moro to protect dolphins, whales and the oceans they all share. Through Dave's journey - a five-year adventure spanning the globe from Australia to the Galapagos, Chile, California, Alaska and Japan - we see one surfer’s transformation from observer to activist in his desire to defend the ocean and its inhabitants.