Board Talk with Al Emery
We had a chat with head-shaper Al Emery, of Emery Surfboards about what he likes about surfing, his brand, choosing surfboards and how he sees the industry developing in the next 10 years.
When and where did you get your shaping start?
My dad bought me a blank when I was about 18, I started shaping boards in my backyard around then.
Who were/are the shapers and surfers you looked up to?
I have always liked Al Merrick’s shapes because they are so extreme and I learnt a lot from local shapers in the area over the years.
I always loved Andy Irons surfing, Taj and pretty blown away this year by Felipe.
A couple of performers in the Emery range. On top, the deck and rocker of the Black Angel and below, the deck and rocker of the Stump Thumb.
What style of boards do you enjoy surfing?
I love surfing performance boards and fishes with speed and flow.
Have you had a change of direction in your own shaping at any point?
The core of my board designs has always been about high performance and fun and this is still my main focus.
Harry Bryant getting through this nice little barrel.
For custom orders, why should customers choose different constructions eg. PU, EPS, Futureflex ?
PU’s are cheaper for a custom and it the fastest turn around in production time, EPS are lighter and more buoyant and Futureflex is a different flex to your normal stringer with a more even outer parabolic flex.
Do you think the standard PU construction, which has been around the longest, is still the best option?
Yes, it’s very easy to shape, sand and glass for consistency in replicating designs.
One final check of the forward outline.
What aspects of a board are most important to you? Is volume helpful in determining the right board for someone?
I think the foil of the board from nose to tail is what I most look at when shaping, making sure it’s flows nicely.
Volume is key and definitely helpful when moving from your normal shortboard to other models, it gets you close to what you want straight away.
Some stringer attention on a nice looking Emery nose.
We hear your working on some new models, what’s your process for launching a new model? Can you shed some light on these new shapes and what we can look forward to?
We are always working on new projects and models with our team.
I’m constantly tweaking and designing new models with them when they return from comps and trips trying to improve performance on the normal shortboard and also creating super fun crafts.
Our aim is to release something fresh once a year. Yes we have two new models due to be released, ready for summer… stay tuned.
A new project in the works, coming soon for Emery Surfboards showing up on their instagram @emerysurfboards.
Where do you see surfing in the next 10 years? Will there be a push for new constructions, shapes, eco-friendly materials, etc?
EPS is fast growing with performance boards, a lot of surfers are riding them in contests and free surfing which see’s this type of construction growing and definitely moving forward with more eco-friendly materials.
At Emery we are always experimenting with new materials and glassing methods and it is one of my favorite things to do, my mind is always moving towards the next thing.
For more information and their full range of surfboards ready to be customized and order online, check out Emery Surfboards. Use the Board Engine to help find your volume.