You know, I just can't walk past a mirror without taking a self portrait.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shaping with Mike Geib; Custom Made Surfboards

One of the best kept secrets in Southbay surfing, is shaper Mike Geib. Mike shaped his first board when he was 18 and some 10,000+ plus boards later, he is still going strong. Now on more or less part time basis. Once the shaper for Dewey Weber, he now shapes for Tyler Surfboards. Although primarily shaping long boards for Tyler, Mike does shape all sizes on a commission basis. 
I took the liberty of dropping in on Mike as he was shaping a "double step" long board for Tyler.
It usually take 3 - 4 hours to shape a board, then needs to be painted and glassed. Mike doesn't glass his own boards, he says it would be a disaster.
The shaping room in itself is unremarkable and austere. Fluorescent tubes hung in such a fashion as to illuminate just the board and accent the shape of the rails. Small and cramped, just enough space to move around the foam blank being carved.

The curse of a shaper, perpetually bandaged fingers.

A look at some of the finished product, a short board sporting Mike's logo.

Two different fin box constructions.

Another logo.

It is always good to put a face, and a wet suit on the subject. Here is Mike waxing his one of his personal favorite boards. Mike usually surfs in Manhattan Beach, south side of the pier.

He calls it 'the pilgrim', makes me think of John Wayne. 

See you out there Mike!

As always, all images are copyright Peter Politanoff ( and all International restrictions apply.