Family man, artist, surfer and shaping wizard Matty Raynor (@raynorsurf), brings smiles to every customer he delivers a board to. We caught up with the longtime IM Family Member to pick his brain.
QWhat got you into shaping?
A I really became obsessed with surfing around the time my dad died. I was 13, and my Mom was hustling- working full time and going back to school at night. It sorta felt like it was really up to me and my big sister (6 kids in the family) to hold everything together… Surfing was a huge escape, like it is for a lot of people. I was a really competitive kid, and started really trying to compete as much as I could. Finding boards for my 14 year old body, without the cash or the heart to ask my mom is really what got me going. I was never trying to “be a shaper” or anything like that- I was finding boards at the dump or broken/buckled boards that i’d strip the glass off of, put back together and shape down into something that would fit my 100 pound frame, and that was it. Eventually I got a job at a surfboard factory and kept on. I never meant for this to be a job- it was always just a hack so I could get the boards I was interested in riding.
Q For all our friends out there that don't surf, what's the process that goes into creating a surfboard?
A I have an enormous amount of Complexity Bias when it comes to surfboards, but in the simplest way to answer this would go something like this: Get a piece of foam, carve and cut and sculpt it into a shape that you think would work for certain person or a certain wave, and then drape fiberglass cloth over it. Wet out the cloth with resin to make it strong and waterproof and sand it smooth. You can add a fin or two or more if you’re into that, wax it up and take it out. For me, and most surfboard builders and even day to day surfers, we’re looking at MUCH more than the explanation i just gave. I just told you how to make yourself a kite, while we’re trying to build and improve fighter jets… lame analogy, I know.
Q Any clue on how many boards you have shaped in your career?
AI kept track until I hit 100. I was 19. I’m 38 now, and really would have a hard time figuring this out…
Q Got some tips for anyone out there that wants to get into shaping?
A I can’t even believe how many resources there are now. I started shaping before we had the internet. I’m constantly learning little tricks and tweaks based off of things i’ll see on people’s Instagram or Youtube channels. There’s SO MUCH info out there.