Ryan lovelace is a 206 born surfer & shaper…currently mastering his craft in Santa Barbara, Ca. He was the man behind Point Concept Surf Boards…and is presently shaping under his own name, with Ryan Lovelace Surfcraft. Get to know him more, in our interview below.
When did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was young, thought I don’t know the year; my family would go visit my grandparents in hawaii every summer; my only though there was the ocean and how I could get my dad to paddle me and my brother back out for some more waves. We went every year for a while until my grandparents moved to Arizona (what a contrast………!). At that point I started surfing in Oregon and Washington whenever I could, though living a few hours away from the ocean and being a full-time ski-bum made that a pretty rare endeavor, though my board stayed in the middle of my room year round and I could never pull my face out of whatever surf-rags I had.
You grew up in Seattle…Any memorable sessions in the Pacific Northwest, you wouldn’t mind sharing?
The first time I experienced REAL offshore wind…stinging sand blowing all the way into the lineup. It was small but in a beautiful little cove in oregon, set in a national park. The water was so clear that whole week, like a crystal. I love cold water for that clarity it has when the conditions come together just right.
When did you start shaping?
I started shaping in 2005, on my 19th birthday. I had been saving for a new board until a friend told me he had built his own and it had only (HAHAHA) taken him 6 months or so to do it in his garage. I figured that wasn’t too bad so I got into researching the subject as much as I could, though getting my hands on the materials was the real education. I got finished with my first board (even hand-foiled the fins out of plywood with a surform…try it sometime…) in just under a week. It was all I could see…I was possessed.
Out of the Lovelace quiver, what would you say your favorite board is?
I have a number of loves within the quiver of what I build, i find different obsessions with all different types of craft though if I had to single one out…Her name is v.Bowls. The design has flipped my thought process on it’s head and truly opened my eyes to the unlimited potential that shaping offers as a total mind-f*ck. Once you thought you knew something it can instantly be flipped on its face and you’ve got a whole new beast…that beast is v.Bowls for me. Coming into the design has reshaped my entire quiver.
Favorite surfer and/or shaper?
I have a hard time finding favorites of any type in almost anything…I dare you to ask me what my favorite pizza is. I’m pretty well removed from the mainstream of surfing, I don’t pay much attention and theres so much out there that I just could care less about…I stay pretty well holed up in my own little world, so my influences and favorite surfers are all local guys and people I’ve meet through my travels. Travers Adler comes to mind very quickly. Trevor Gordon, Dan Malloy, Ari Browne in Byron Bay Australia…he rides a finless board better than anyone else I’ve seen. He’s got a pretty sweet Zebra costume also, I really like that about him.
In the shaping world, it’s still hard for me to single anyone out; I find my influences there mostly in the way that people carry themselves as humans within the profession and in that its becoming difficult these days to find people that I have deep and true respect for. Rich Pavel comes to mind as a very unique and special influence of mine, as does Ryan Burch and Cyrus Sutton. Gregg Tally is a hero for hand shapers and anyone who walks the walk.
When I was cruising through the shop on your website, Vol. 1 caught my eye. Can you tell us about it?
I suppose since day one I’ve always wanted to incorporate art and other people in my work; not really aiming for it I started attracting a lot of amazing people and artists into and around my shop. Most of it came in the form of photography and as time compounded over the past number of years I’ve collected enough photos and material to crash my computer and fill a few hard drives; things people shoot around my shop, in the water, anywhere. I put it all together for fun one day and made a book out of a pile of my favorite photos as well as the sketches that I do for my board designs…basically a hand-bound surfboard porno. I started Vol.1 when I ended Point Concept, my old label. My work and path within the surf world moves and changes with my whims so I thought it was a good time to start making a definitive collection every year of whats gone on; the best sessions, the most striking images, my influences. As I collect stuff through the seasons I’ll keep compiling it and making new books to keep track of my progress.
What’s on the menu for 2012?
Hopefully some nice tubes and lots of bottom turns…
I’m heading to australia for my second time this year in a month or so, then going to Bali to shape at Deus Ex Machina. I’m bringing a pile of friends along with me so it ought to be an unreal adventure…then I’m back home for the surf season and around Santa Barbara we try to stay put when there are waves, so my plan is to keep up with my whims through the season and come up with some new stuff; particularly refining the Rabbits Foot and a few big wave boards for my friends to travel with and carry into some precarious situations. I can only image what v.Bowls will continue to teach me through the coming season. Once the swells die down though I’m headed back to Australia to shape, then to Europe again for my yearly ‘tour’ over there; its usually a few weeks of really heavy duty shaping, I come back pretty ripped…my girlfriend likes it.
If you’re in the SF Bay area tonight (9.6.2012), stop by the RVCA gallery on Haight. Ryan recently collaborated with artist Blake Marquis, and will have some boards on display.