Art of Shaping
Jeff Timpone still uses the basic techniques he learned from Mike O’Day in the early 1970’s. O’Day’s methods centered on efficiency. First of all, efficiency includes using the shaping tools in sequence. Jeff starts with a handsaw, continues on to the planer, then the sure form, the hand plane, different grits of sandpaper, and finally a drywall screen for a board’s most nuanced features.
Except for the shaping tools, templates are the most important tool of the shaping trade. A shaping template acts as a blueprint, setting the foundation for how each finished board will interact with the waves it will ride. By creating a “magic” template, a shaper potentially has a blueprint for thousands of boards. Jeff still uses one of his “magic” templates from the 70’s to shape now-retro single-fin boards for nostalgic riders. Working with multiple templates on one board can generate fresh, innovative outlines and enable the achievement of infinite curves. The outline of a board helps align the board’s function with the goals of its rider.
Learning to adapt his shapes to different styles of surfing has attuned Jeff with his tools and design concepts. Beginning in the 80’s, Jeff found himself getting bogged down doing 30 shortboards a week, the same styles on repeat. That boredom inspired Jeff to take jobs shaping kneeboards and longboards, further broadening his shaping expertise. Jeff embraces diversity and quirk when they enter his shop; the balance of familiar and exotic in Timpone shapes comes from Jeff’s open-mindedness. Feedback from one style of board impacts the approach Jeff takes to another style and sometimes the “weirdest” concepts become the most impactful and long-lasting (the first request for a surfboard fitted with straps sounded weird, but eventually led to the tow-surfing revolution).
These days, Jeff proudly shapes any idea that comes through the doors of his Pauwela Cannery shop. Adhering to tried-and-true shaping methods assures that each custom Timpone board is built with care and efficiency. Constant dialogue with customers and a willingness to try new things ensures that Timpone shapes marry quality and innovation.