Self Surfboards - Interview with Joseba

We make it part of our mission here at the Surf Bunker to search out and expose real craftsmen who shape surfboards for the love of making functional wave gliding vehicles.

Joseba is a 30 year old Basque craftsman who makes jaw dropping surfboards 100% by hand. Joseba never wants to get bigger in business than he is, he started building surfboards to make something different, and it just so happens that is what we love.

A ‘wave well surfed’ is something very personal. For us it's about style and finesse, it's about thought, patience and timing, it’s about accepting the energy in a wave and following its lead. We are all very different, with individual physical make-ups and expectations of the ultimate wave slide, so why not have an individual surf board.

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Joseba has agreed to give us a little bit of time to discuss his boards, his surfing, his location and why everyone should have their own board.

SB: Hey Joseba, thanks a lot for the time, how have the waves been in Zarrutz recently?

Joseba: Pretty shit honestly! Summer wind is onshore most of the time and it's full of tourists and surf lessons, so I´m basically waiting for September to come!

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SB: Haha, so your surfboards look amazing. What inspired you to start shaping surfboards and what did you do before that?

Joseba: I studied graphic design and ended up working in a printing company, got so bored of it that in the meantime I started shaping in my garage to make something more creative and started to like it more than my job, so I quit it. I went travelling for a bit to clear my mind and when I came back I found a place and started shaping as much as I could. The beginning was hard but now I could say I´m lucky enough to live off what I love doing.

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SB: What part of board building do you enjoy the most?

Joseba: I guess it depends on the moment. Sometimes I love shaping and few months later I love glassing. Nobody likes sanding! Sometimes it's fine, but not polishing, I hate it! Saying that,  it is so rewarding to see your dusty face on it when you finish haha. Anyway, for now, shaping is my favourite part. You can see the lines and how they will work when water flows through them. It's just amazing how little changes can make a huge difference in a board.

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SB: Do you have any shapers of the past or present that you draw inspiration from?

Joseba: Inspiration comes from many places and shapers. I like everyone that is original and has sexy, organic lines. Ones that I like most could be McCallum, McTavish, Morning of the earth, Rich Pavel to mention some.

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SB: What is your most favourite surfboard you have ever shaped?

Joseba: That´s a hard one! I basically love every board that I´ve done, some more than others. There is always a little part of me in one of each so is hard to hate a board. Happens the same with my personal ones, I love it when I finish them and get them in the water but after a year I need to change. I think that´s the most fun part of shaping boards.

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SB: How are the waves around San Sebastian and surfing community? Do you surf in France often?

Joseba: I don´t surf in San Sebastian very often. There are so many people, tourists, surfing classes, swimmers... It is such a small beach to join that amount of people so I mostly surf in Zarautz and France. I love driving to Les Landes. Sometimes you can surf beautiful shoulder high rights with only two people more. It is such a special place to go off season.

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SB: What blanks and cloth and resin do you use to to build your boards?

Joseba: Most of the supplies that I use are from the great guys at Viral Surf in Biarritz. Artic Foam, Hexcell glass and Silmar resin. All my longboards and some mid-lenghts are glassed with Volan. That´s a must.

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SB: Your Asymetric boards look intruiging, how much would one cost with all the extras and how long would it take to make?

Joseba: The asymmetricals are a little bit of an experiment right now. Me and my friends are trying these and looking for different outlines and fin positions which I think is the key on these boards. For pricing and timing all interested should write to [email protected] and ask ;) Anyway, it usually takes me about a week to craft a board but when I have a list of boards to make I give like a month of period.

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SB: Do you have a favourite surfer? If so who?

Joseba: I saw “The Church of the open Sky” from Nathan Oldfield the other day and the part of Dave Rastovich left me breathless. I just love the style and how clean he surfs. Maybe it was the mix of everything, music and images, but that was such an epic moment in the theatre.

SB: As that is going to be one of the best surf movies of all time, we feel sure, if not then that section of Rasta's is just out of this world we have a clip of the flick right here, enjoy.

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Before you run off to purchase that surf movie, I would like to say thanks to Joseba for his time and to say that we wish to have one of his asymmetric surfboards, we have been hankering after one for a while and someone with Joseba's passion and skill and with the attention to the finish that you can see in his boards, we have found the builder I need.

As always there only so many boards one can have. You have to sell one to buy one right? Or is it buy one and then sell one, yep that sounds better. Oh Joseba...

A work of art right here.

A work of art right here.

Joseba demonstrating some of his skill with tints.

Stunning lines, clean, functional and look at the finish.

Stunning lines, clean, functional and look at the finish.

This asym looks pretty tasty.

This asym looks pretty tasty.

Awesome to see some different looking boards being experimented with.

The little understood bonzer setup.

The little understood bonzer setup.

These boards are very high in the 'to understand' list.

Round tail burnt orage beauty. A classic shape.

Round tail burnt orage beauty. A classic shape.

A brace of long and beautiful wave vehicles.

A brace of long and beautiful wave vehicles.

The only limit is the one you can imagine.

The only limit is the one you can imagine.

A touch of class from Joseba.

Anything is possible with the mandala deck.

Anything is possible with the mandala deck.

A timeless and ireplaceable tail shape that has stood the test of time. The Swallow.

A timeless and ireplaceable tail shape that has stood the test of time. The Swallow.

The channel hulls, providing lift, slide and grip.

The channel hulls, providing lift, slide and grip.

Joseba's take on the classic Lis fish.

Joseba's take on the classic Lis fish.

Noteworthy tints on this single log.

Noteworthy tints on this single log.

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