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Shaper Profile with Rich Pavel

Today's Shaper Profile takes into The Greenroom with surfboard shaper and spiritual philanthropist, Rich Pavel. Pavel has had an integral role in the history of board building with his interaction at a young age with fellow San Diego local, Steve Lis. Pavel's boards today are a rich mix of traditional outlines with modern touches. You will find his boards under two labels, either Pavel or Choice Surfboards, sold all over the world. Here are a few questions we delivered to Rich.

RHYTHM & BLUES: Rich, how did you get your start in the building of surfboards?

PAVEL: It all started not un-like most young rats of that period. Any rat worth his salt was expected to begin around Middle school (board building). My time was coming off the late 1960s, the flower power era. Early, my paper route earnings and time were spent in "The Greenroom" on board building blanks and supplies. The Greenroom was founded in September of 1970 and I had pulled off ways to get in there not long after it had opened. That year for me was 1973 where I was 13 going on 14.

RHYTHM & BLUES: What board builders and craftsmen influenced your board building today?

PAVEL: Early on unbeknownst to me while doing my paper route, I would see Steve Lis doing his dawn patrol surf checks. I did not see him every day, however, I recognized if the surf was happening and he was stoked and on it early. This was well before having any context as to how important and deeply involved Lis is. While my paper route heydays of the early seventies proceeded, there was a budding friendship that would bloom by the mid~seventies between us.

RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite surfboard to shape?

PAVEL: Based on what elements? Wonderful boards for remarkable waves is at the top to list. Certain individuals have a way of bringing out the best artistry in any given moment. That's the honorable mention. 

Rich Pavel pointing out his Choice label logo on a red surfboard 

RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite surfboard to ride?

PAVEL: Based on what elements? I'd have to say the same: Wonderful boards for remarkable waves is at the top to list.

RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite tool?

PAVEL: I like precision and versatility. A sharp plane is a beautiful thing. 

Rich Pavel surfboard hand drawn logo

RHYTHM & BLUES: Craziest/weirdest shaping request?

PAVEL: I like precision... 

RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite food?

PAVEL: Especially fresh farm food is right up there. Most anything from the biodynamic farmers is clean and most nourishing not to mention sustainable. When in Japan a Macrobiotic diet is readily available so I am very much on board for that.

RHYTHM & BLUES: Favorite band?

PAVEL: May we and do we want to refer to "The Greenroom Crew" as a Band? We keep it pretty homegrown. Band of Gypsies comes to mind. To be fair I really enjoy a good symphony.

RHYTHM & BLUES: Preferred foam to work with, EPS/Poly?

PAVEL: There is a lot of wonderful foam world wide. In Australia its Burford and down in Brazil its Texcel. The now available US Blanks Solar Powered  2.0 is earning more than a nod. Kudos to them for building soup to nuts with the greatest oversight for the environment and labour of anyone we can identify in North America.

Rich Pavel measuring a hand shaped surfboard

I want to thank Rich for his time in allowing us to throw him a few questions and enlighten us. Follow him on Instagram @pavelsurfboards and to inquire about custom surfboards visit Pavelsurfboards.com. Shop all available Pavel products here

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