The world wide web is a big place these days, some might say it has outgrown our physical world, other might say stop talking shit. So I will, of course get on with it. My point is there are a lot of pictures and videos to choose from on the web. Surfboards are everywhere.
For someone like me with a surfboard fetish 9ft 6 inches long, it is very distracting and time consuming just looking at and salivating over surfboards. It is then, with some fanfare, that I would like to announce a board builder from the South West of the UK that snared my attention long enough to have me waiting for more pictures.
The first time I saw an Electrofish shaped surfboard was on some terrible website, there was a very limited amount of pics and I could only find very little out about the brand or see newer boards. This, as well as the boards looking astonishing, left me wanting more.
I have however, (for your enjoyment and ours) stuck with it, and now have won an audience with the chief everything at Electrofish Surfboards, Josh.
SB: Hey Josh, thanks for agreeing to talk to SB, how did you come into the shaping business?
Josh: I have always had a passion for longboarding which I got from my father, who used to surf a 60's 10ft Bilbo. One day I just decided to buy a blank and go for it! Took me about 20 hours just to shape it and another month to glass it. Was definitely worth it though, the buzz of surfing a board you shaped yourself!
SB: What do you think makes your boards stand out as they do?
Josh: I love experimenting with colour and with resin, you get so much depth and effect that could never be achieved with any other medium. This, accompanied with my traditional shapes, is what I think makes them stand out.
SB: Who are your main shaping influences if any?
Josh: Most of my inspiration comes from vintage craft, I love the old logs made by Bilbo and Bing, and whenever I see classic craft it makes me want to start shaping my own.
SB: What is you favourite board or model that you have ever shaped?
Josh: Probably the first ever board I made. A 9'2 super thick bright magenta singlefin log. The first time I took it out the surf was a fair size and I was amazed that it even floated, let alone surfed... and it did surprisingly well too! I will never forget the excitement!
SB: What makes you carry on shaping, what is most important and enjoyable part of the job for you?
Josh: I always think when I am making a new board about the life it will have. I find myself wondering about how many waves it will surf and how many people will enjoy it. I also like to think that there is a chance it will out live me, that's why I like to put so much detail and time into them so that people can look back at them one day and think wow.
SB: We have seen pics of this awesome looking Simmons-fish board by Electrofish. What inspired that and how does it surf?
Josh: I was actually asked by a customer if I could make one and was a little nervous at first, but ended up becoming an expert on mini-Simmons and mind surfed the shit out of the one I was shaping. So far have had only positive feedback and am onto making my 3rd.
SB: How much would one of those boards set me back, how long would I have to wait and would you post abroad?
Josh: Depending on how busy I am, around 3-4 weeks. The business is growing rapidly although still relatively small scale at the moment, so my prices are very competitive and an absolute steal for the quality of the boards. I would ship abroad, in fact I have just had a customer enquiry from Italy.
SB: What are your views on localism?
Josh: Makes surfing even more intense. Although very rarely come across it.
SB: Why the name Electrofish?
Josh: Before I started I had the idea of producing bright neon coloured boards in my head and the name fitted well. Also, it gives me an opportunity to branch into other branded products and make some sick logos.
SB: If you had to sum up the feeling of wave riding to a non surfer in one sentence what would it look like?
Josh: Like Rose when she was stood on the bow of the Titanic.
SB: That's probably the most interesting and direct answer that we have ever had from that question. I will think on that the next time I catch a wave. Thanks to Josh for his time.
As ever the lesson is if you want something done properly then go to the guy that lives and breathes it. The guy that makes it his business to know his stuff and produce quality every time. If you want a good steak, would you order home delivery from your not so local supermarket, or would you go to your local butcher and ask him for something a bit special? Why are surfboards any different.