Today's Shaper Profile takes us to Encinitas, California with surfboard craftsman, musician, and creator of all types of ocean planning crafts, Jon Wegener. We are stoked to work with Jon on this project of bringing some light to all those craftsmen that put a smile on our face and stoke to the surfing community. Here is a bit more insight into Jon.
RHYTHM & BLUES: What year did you start building surfboards?
JON: I glassed a couple of boards before I shaped one. The first boards I shaped were in 1986. They were twin fins, which I was riding at the time. A friend, Luis, and I shaped our boards in our friend's garage. I would then glass in my parent's garage. Sanding the glass jobs was by far the hardest part.
RHYTHM & BLUES: What board builders and craftsmen influenced your board building today?
JON: When I started shaping, my influences were Gerry Lopez, Dane Kealoha, and a few others. The surf movies I watched non-stop were Super Session, Bali High, Adventures in Paradise, and the footage from Peter Townsend’s cable show. My older brother, Tom, shaped and glassed already, so that was a lot of help.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite surfboard to shape?
JON: My favorite board to shape is my Bluegill design. It’s also maybe the hardest. I have been gluing in my own stringers (something I am comfortable with, due to time spent working at the Walker Foam factory.) Boards that do not have a middle stringer are tricky. I like it because it is a unique design that I have put a lot of research, trial, and error, into.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite surfboard to ride?
JON: My favorite board to ride has a lot to do with the waves I’m riding. I really ride everything. I probably ride mid-lengths the most. Small, clean day I love Bluegills, Longboards, and Alaias. Tube riding is my favorite, but don’t get too very often. I have a 7’2” that’s probably had the majority of my best rides. The last couple of years I’ve really had a lot of fun on my Paipos.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite tool?
JON: My favorite tool is a super sharp spokeshave. It makes finishing a breeze. It also is fun to use on the wood boards.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Craziest/weirdest shaping request?
JON: I’ve made a lot of weird boards. Some for myself, and every board that I've built for my long time friend Alex, which are as weird as he is. Tim has some interesting finless ideas. Yahagi orders some zingers. The weird boards are good, you learn what works and what doesn’t.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite food?
JON: Mexican style food probably wins with me. My wife’s tacos, I could eat every night! But, I’m known to eat pretty much anything. I’m constantly trying to eat with more discretion.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite band?
JON: My favorite band is the Grateful Dead. There is too much there; great songs, musicianship, innovation, history, etc. Radiohead, Alice In Chains, and so many bands. It is hard to say who is second.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Preferred foam to work with, EPS/Poly?
JON: I work with eps, poly, and wood. Besides the wood, poly is my favorite to ride, but shaping eps has really grown on me. I find it shaping easier, not as gummy. I ruined some great planers shaping eps. I recommend only the greeny on it, even with the contraption protections.
Big thanks to Jon for taking the time to sit with us and dive a bit deeper into his talent for creating many different types of surf crafts. Also for inspiring us to support those that bring these designs to fruition. Click here for some Wegener Surfboards goodies.