(Photo: Laurent Chantegros)
I LOVE shaping surfboards and I'm kinda obsessed with this craft. Even though I am about to shape my 145th board I'm still considering myself as a novice but I hope to become a master one day... This blog is a virtual portfolio and a diary of my journey in the shaping world. Feel free to leave comments or contact me directly at valerie@meremadesurfboards.com.



Valerie Duprat
-Shaper of Mère-Made Surfboards

Sunday, November 13, 2016

board#121: egg for Arlin

Arlin with board#121

Dimensions:  7'8 x 21 1/2 x 2 7/8
[completed in January 2016]

The story: I met Arlin on Facebook when she ordered her first Mere-Made surfboard in 2015 (board#083). Arlin is a mermaid who lives with her son in Texas where she makes sure to fully live their salted dreams. Arlin drove 2 full days (from Austin) to pick-up her board im California...She is a one of a kind! A very inspiring woman.  I was so excited to make her another stoke vehicle!

The shape: after the noserider, Arlin was ready for a shorter, more manoeuvrable board. I recommended the Vim model which I tested personally.   I kept some volume for floatability. For  speed I added a single which ends-up with a slight Vee and a couple of channels.

The artwork: Arlin was very determined on the colors and design. I just followed her wishes!

we love you Arlin!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

board#120: longboard for the Camp Pendleton Surf Club

Colin (on the left) with nephew
welcoming the Marines' board

Dimensions: 8'0 x 22 1/4 x 2 3/4
[completed in January 2016]
Model Vim

The story: such a great story behind that surfboard and an example of why I am so passionate about making custom surfboards! One day I receive a message through FB Messenger from Colin Cooper who is an officer at the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton. He said the base's surf club (Camp Pendleton Surfclub) was looking for a "commemorative" surfboard which would be mainly on display for memorial events (at the main Marine Corps based in the US!!!) and surfed only in official paddle-outs. This board would display the logo/motto of the Marines... I was in shock by such an honor and I asked him "why me"? Colin said they considered a couple of shapers but my surfboards stood out for having the most soul. I was in deeper shock and, of course,  I accepted this very special order right away. 

The shape: I met Colin in person to discuss the details of the shape. Even though it was mainly a display board I told him I want to board to be fully ridable. We decided on a classic egg/longboard shape which coule be easy to paddle during memorial paddle outs. 

The artwork: it was not very long before Colin and I figured out the board would be all black with white Marines logo (printed by Boardlams). I painted the foam in black and asked Global Glassing to apply an opaque black resin tint on top  with a polish finish. The result was mind-blowing. One of my favorite board in terms of aesthetic and meaning.

Thank you Colin for the opportunity!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

board#119: longboard for Rico Leroy (at Arakawa factory!!!!!!!)


Dimensions: undisclosed
[completed in December 2015]

The story: this story is a true fairy tale for shaper. It all started in 2014 when I got to have a tour of the Eric Arakawa Designs factory by Eric himself. This already sounded like a fairy tales just to meet one of my favorite shapers (if not my favorite) and I am so grateful to my friend Rico Leroy for making this happen (click here to see that story). At the end of the tour, Eric offered me come back to see him shape... And then I almost cried because I was leaving the next day... BUT I came back a year after, and sure enough I had not forgotten his offer! I didn't see him shape but he lend me his own shaping bay to shape a performance longboard for Rico. I got to use an original Arakawa template to trace the outline. I also used his tools. But the very best part was to have Eric commenting on my techniques and giving me precious tips. I was so honored to be there. I will never forget that experience.

The shape: Before I started the shape, Rico and I went in the showroom and deeply looked at a longboard he really liked. We studied it for 30 min and then Eric came with the corresponding US bank and template. I was totally immersed in Arakawa universe: I was like shaping under hypnosis. Of course, my shape was not "Arakawa-perfect. But Eric's advices while shaping it, made the board and the whole experience magical. 

The artwork: Rico had a print from his sponsor to put on the deck. However he insisted to have a spray of Buttons' famous triangle pattern on the tail (bottom) to remember his friend. We didn't have much time and not much tools (we were outside the factory in full sun) to make that artwork. But somehow we pulled it off. Not perfect but the laughs we got out of it is making up for the imperfections.

Testimonial: it is Rico's board of choice when he longboards on the North Shore !! That is all I need to say!

Collector picture with two legends, both named Eric

cute Hilo gets to ride it too !!