Ron House – stand up paddle surf board master shaper and personal shaper to Laird Hamilton – Video Part 2
Ron House gives a tour of his shaping factory in San Clemente, California, where he talks briefly about the beginnings of his career as a board shaper. This was at a time when short boards from Australia were of relatively new concept in the shores of California.
Ron also explains how he met Laird Hamilton and started shaping stand up paddle boards for him — all before the rise of stand up paddle surfing as a popular water sport.
Evan Leong: So what is the theory behind making it so much thicker in the middle and then even a thicker nose area?
Ron House: Well, you can nose ride better because there’s more stability and the tail’s for sensitivity for the turns. They surf pretty good. They’re big boards but they surf pretty good. We’re kind of in between having enough board to be able to stand on and have stability. But having it – the more refined we make it, the better it surfs, but the harder it is to stand on and paddle; stand up paddle when you’ve tried it, but it’s not as easy as it looks. When you get a little bit more board it’s easier to do it.
Evan Leong: Right. So now it seems like – when I’m looking at a lot of these different boards coming out, because I went on… I started with (____) 12-foot; couldn’t stand on that baby at all. It was totally embarrassing. And then I got on the (____), which was better but then I went in to your board, which was the Surftech Laird – which was really easy to ride. And then I went to Jimmy’s 11’ and then C4’s 10’6” and 10’, and that’s where I am at right now. It’s interesting because it is really diverging – you got the high-performance boards on one side and the cruisers on the other side and you got these things rigged up for other stuff. It’s a trip man.
Ron House: Well, you know, we’ve discovered what you could do with these things and starting it to become more use-specific. There’s another…
Evan Leong: Like a downwind looking thing, huh?
Ron House: That’s a downwind kind of a race board. This one is a coastal cruiser. And what I see happening down at races is, they’re dividing them between stock class and unlimited. Stock class is going to be 12 feet and less, single hulled and no steering. Unlimited is whatever you want. So I built a few catamarans that are really fast to paddle. But the trouble is they’re kind of expensive and they’re big and…
Evan Leong: Are they heavy?
Ron House: No, not really heavy. But being 16 and 18 feet long, they’re just kind of a pain to store – just to have them in your garage and this and that. I don’t really want to make too many of those because it is such a chore and nobody else does. But the problem is, it takes the unlimited class and makes it in to a – not very many people are going to be competitive because not too many people can make boards like that.
Evan Leong: Right.
Ron House: So I’m thinking, the most interesting way to do this is to have stock class where you got a mono hull board, 12 feet long, not too expensive to make…
Evan Leong: Everybody is on the same thing…
Ron House: Everybody is on, at least, kind of the same thing. You can toy around with the designs of it but at least lots of builders can shape these things and people can afford to have them. You can store it in your garage; it’s only 12 feet long. It can be in a much more competitive class – a lot more guys doing it – ultimately, it’s going to be a more competitive sport as more people can participate. You got an 18-foot catamaran (______).
Evan Leong: You got to see this floor man. This floor, which is sticking to my foot… check this thing.
Ron House: This is kind of cool. This is another Drew Art board.
Evan Leong: This is the short board you guys are still making. You got a lot of these still, that you guys are doing or not as many short boards and stuff?
Ron House: Well, I kind of like doing the stand up because it just got more (______). But I like these. These are kind of nice. This looks pretty cool. This is a new thing. Drew is putting them together. He takes his original art…
Evan Leong: It’s like old style kind of looking…you know.
Ron House: He gets his art…true that aren’t too thin fabricated he makes on boards and then you can see (_____) on the board for a lot cheaper than having Drew paint them for you.
Evan Leong: That’s cool.
Ron House: I like this one a lot.
Evan Leong: So we’re looking at…
Ron House: See there’s V in it. And then it goes back to a flat tail.
Ron House - stand up paddle surf board master shaper and personal shaper to Laird Hamilton - Part 2 [8:05m]: Download