Coastal Craft: Where did you get your start and why?
Ryan LeBoss: I got started shaping because I had some ideas that I needed to try putting to foam. Not necessarily new ideas but they were mine and I didn’t have access to a lot of boards. That and, I think without knowing it I needed to deepen my relationship to surfing and the wave and the community. It has deepened further since I met my beautiful partner Julia, who often does Custom art on the foam before glassing; sometimes acrylic but often geometric prints from etchings. She’s a unicorn and I don’t always know what makes her tick as an artist, but the boards we make together are more than just surfboards and the colab is special. The first few boards I shaped were from salvaged foam from longboards id broken. A square mini Simmons type and a narrow flat single fin. I’d been hanging around Tom Mcnemara’s glassing bay a lot too, who I now share glassing space with. I learned everything I know about glassing a board from him, aside from the thing he generally thinks I’m a nerd for enjoying: glass on fins and resin colors and cut laps.. he makes skinny jeans jokes; hipster stuff.
CC: Where are your board shaped and sold?
RL: I shape my boards at home in a shaping bay I built in our garage.. we’re up in the woods about 5 miles off the beach. Sort of Morning of the Earth, I like to think. Julia and I, our 3 year old son Tenzin, and an ancient husky. I glass my own boards in a glassing studio I share with Tom Mcnemara of Ocean Pulse Surfboards in Southbeach, near Newport. All my board sales have been custom orders either through word of mouth out in the water or social media.
CC: What’s your go to board to shape and surf in the PNW?
RL: For me my go to boards in our local surf are a 5’6 and just under 21” bonzer, or a channel bottom twin fin of a similar template. Kind of a round board with a round pin tail. You want to make the most of sections and bowling close outs here.. fast and loose. Otherwise my great love is noseriders. Flat rocker logs that require some footwork and feel wrong with a leash.
CC: What draws you to this event?
RL: I’m happy to participate in PC because it’s a thriving surf location and long standing contest, and it’s a good chance to bridge the gap here in Oregon between sometimes very disconnected surfing communities.
CC: What do you want visitors to take away from this event?
RL: I would like the general stoked surf population to know that locally handshaped boards, the art of shaping, and shapers are alive and well, and, it’s fun! Time to get out of the box.
Ryan will be shaping a Traditional Twin Fish for this years Coastal Craft Event!