Today's Shaper Profile takes us to the shaping bay of Matt Calvani, shaper and owner of Bing Surfboards. Matt took over Bing surfboards in 2007 and continues to carry the craftsmen heritage of his predecessor Bing Copeland. Here are a few quick questions we threw at Matt.
RHYTHM & BLUES: How did you get your start in the building of surfboards?
MATT: I started in the surfboard industry as an airbrusher in 1986. I shaped my first board in “87.”
RHYTHM & BLUES: What board builders and craftsmen influenced your board building today?
MATT: My first mentor was a gentleman named Tom Stanton. A shaper/airbrusher that was extremely talented. Tom's boards were the only boards I rode till I started shaping my own boards. He also gave me the job as his airbrushing apprentice. Hap Jacobs got back into shaping in “91” after a 20-year hiatus. He was at Shoreline, the factory I was working with. By “93” I was rough shaping blanks for him. This was my first exposure to a craftsman from the “50’s.” Dennis Jarvis of Spyder surfboards was also at Shoreline and I learned a lot about high-level shortboarding with his vast team during the breakout of the momentum movement.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite surfboard to shape?
MATT: I don’t have a favorite particular board I like to shape. I’m more inspired by some idea that gets me excited to shape something new whatever it might be.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite surfboard to ride?
MATT: I would have to say it’s the same with the boards I surf. Whatever is inspiring at the time. Right now it’s midranges. There’s something special about riding your own shapes.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite tool?
MATT: Skil 100 planer.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Craziest/weirdest shaping request?
MATT: Maybe a shortboard for a 375-pound football player.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite food?
MATT: Anything Italian
RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite band?
MATT: Not at the moment.
RHYTHM & BLUES: Preferred foam to work with, EPS/Poly?
MATT: Plain old Poly. Easier to work with and looks amazing.
I want to thank Matt for his time today and if you are in the San Diego area check out the Bing Surfboards showroom in Leucadia. Check out our collection of Calvani gear here.