shaper // tim crozier
I began working with surfboards by accident, literally. In the early 90’s I lived in Ocean Beach, San Diego. I surfed the cliffs a lot, but walking distance put me at the pier on any given day. It was on one such day that I was paddling back out from a wave that my board was hit by another as it was being washed in the surf.
As the surfer swam in to retrieve his board, he saw the ding on my board and offered to “fix” it. I thanked him and told him that I would just take it in to the ding shop to have it repaired. He told me that he worked there and would wind up fixing it anyways!
A week or so later I got the call to come and pick the board up, but not at the ding shop. He gave me directions to his house instead. His wife answered my knock on the door and told me that he was out back working in the shed. As I walked up I could hear the high pitched distinguishable noise of a planer in use. He was shaping.
I opened the door and peered in as he walked the well worn path around a long-board shape in process. Immediately I was hooked. It was a sacred space there inside this old shed. Another world. Another time. Time stood still actually. I asked him if it was alright to watch him finish. An hour or so later he stood over a finished shape and we talked about shaping and board building. I fired questions off like a gun! I couldn’t get enough. I walked away with a repaired board and a new found passion. I wanted to learn how to make surfboards. Start to finish.
A year later after serving my 4 year enlistment in the United States Navy, I went to work for this guy at his newly founded surfboard company. For the next two years I learned everything from the ground up; beginning with laying tar paper to rough shaping.
I have worked at several glass-shops in Southern CA, mostly as a sander. I have been a production shaper for several companies, and through years working in both the glassing side and the shaping side, I have gleaned much. Thanks to all who have showed me so much!
One of the opportunities that I have benefited greatly from as a shaper and board builder is working with my friend Scott Bass as the shaping co-coordinator for the annual BOARDROOM SURFBOARD SHOW (formerly SACRED CRAFT). Since 2008 I’ve worked with each of the honored master shapers (Brewer, Yater, Haut, Anderson, Ekstrom, Richardson) and the 6 master shapers who take part in the honorary shaping competition. There are also, during each show demonstration shapers from all over the world busily at work in a second shaping bay at the show. I’ve been fortunate to work around and with shapers such as; Dick Brewer, Simon Anderson, Renny Yater, Doug Haut, Carl Ekstrom, Mark Richardson, Gerry Lopez, Reno Abelliro, Wayne Rich, Pat Rawson, Michele Junod, Robert August, Bob Pearson, Ward Coffey, Matt Biolas, Stretch, Tomo, Pyzel, Stamps, Rusty, Christensen, Larmo, Hayden, Todd Proctor, John Carper…and several others I’m sure that I’m forgetting at the moment!
Today, I shape everything from longboards, high-performance shortboards, alternative, mid-length, planning, fish, guns, etc…
My greatest joy in board building however, is building boards for my two sons, Micah and Caleb. I love being in the shaping room with them as we work on their new boards. We discuss a lot together and try always progress their designs and ultimately their surfing.
Caleb on his 4’3 at Lowers // photo: McDaniel
Micah on his 4’11 at Lowers // photo: McDaniel
Currently, I shape new designs as well as adaptions to older ones. I draw a lot of inspiration from the spots we surf together as a family (yes my wife surfs too!) as well as the friends that we surf with. I love to work with someone on a concept they may have and help to develop that.
My favorite shape/design currently (spring 2013) is theOwl.
Seen here on my 5’10 Owl trimming high on a section at Seaside reef.
Thanks for taking a look at the site. I hope I can put a shape under your feet soon!
All the best,
*PS – If you’re wondering where the name BLACKBIRD comes from, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the full story…