Jeff “Doc” Lausch is a shaper like no other. His creative flare and style, combined with his open minded approach to new ideas, materials and designs has had him at the forefront of surfboard innovation for years. His latest endeavor with Varial Foam and helping bringing it to the masses, is having a huge impact on the materials revolution. We recently picked his brain about his brand, where he came from and the future of materials.
Enjoy the show!
How did you get start getting into shaping, How old were you?
Around 1969, my brother was working at Plastic Fantasic, cleaning the floors, etc. He made some deal with one of the shapers and got his hands on an original Skill Planer. About the same time I had a girlfriend who’s dad gave me this longboard, a Dewey Webber with a beautiful cloth inlay…It was around the same time that boards were going through the transition, getting cut down into shortboards, etc. My brother still preferred the longboards and somehow we came to a trade, my longboard for his Skill Planer. Once I got the planer, I just bought a blank and went to town. It was one at a time at first and people started asking me to make them boards, which shocked me, and that is really how it all started.
Where did the nickname “Doc” come from?
Well, it was back in about the late 70’s, early 80’s…I was shaping out of my parents garage in Fountain Valley. One day I came running out of the garage with my mask on, my brother had this friend that just yelled “hey, it’s the Mad Doctor”…I told them not to call me that, which was a mistake. The name stuck.
How did Surf Prescriptions get started?
When I got my first industrial building, it was a different time. The music was changing, people had embraced the punk rock scene. My brand at the time was Freedom Surfboards but with the change of times, it seemed a little dated, too hippy…I already had the “Doctor Mad” name placed on me, so I just ran with it and Surf Prescriptions was born.
You have a really artistic approach to your boards and artwork, where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. I love Instagram, it’s an awesome platform to show and see creative works of art. But I always have my eyes open for shape, color and form.
The V12 Flying Turtle, a personal favorite of Doc…fun, functional and looking good.
You have a lot of different models and more eclectic boards in your range. Do you prefer to work on alternative boards, high performance, guns, etc?
I love doing all shapes and sizes of boards and keeping things fresh.
What boards are in your personal quiver at the moment?
5’6″V 12 Flying Turtle
5’9″ New Toy
6’0″ Wide Tail Thang
6′ 1/2″ RXFNC15
6’3 1/2″ RXP
6’8″ Hippster Jell Thang
Who do you have surfing on your team these days?
I have CJ Kanuha from the big island of Hawaii. Vince Boulanger, an amazing surfer originally from Maryland who travels around a lot. Tyler Gunter who is amazing…he is @instagrom on Instagram and is becoming quite famous. At fourteen he is charging Wedge when it’s like triple overhead. Ian Battrick from the UK, he is an amazing surfer who does a lot for the brand internationally. And then Timmy Turner our team rider forever, he has an amazing story. And there are a bunch of other guys in general degrees of sponsorship who all play a vital role in the brand.
What were you doing when you were 14? Team rider Tyler Guntar likes to charge big Wedge!
What should customers be thinking about when ordering a new board?
What type of surf you want the board to work best in. Once you have determined that, the volume number that you might need…The designer can give length width and thickness that will work for you.
What are you thinking about when customers order a board?
What model and what volume is going to be the best possible combination for a life changing Surf Prescription. I want their board to give them what they need to surf their very best, and even more importantly give them the most stoke they have ever had surfing.
The Doc filling a much need prescription.
You have always been open to experimentation, Varial Foam for instance is becoming quite big, what was your role in getting that off the ground
I have been working with those guys for about ten years now. The they started off with a aluminum honeycomb molded board with high density foam on the rails. Super innovated and extremely strong. I told them they need a core that you can hand shape original one off shapes. Something special that would fit into where they wanted to go in the technical field but something that every surfer could benefit from, not just the few that fit the molded boards.
This is exactly what Varial Foam is today.
Varial Foam is the latest revolution in materials, Doc has been the test surgeon to get it to where it is today.
We went though a few different formulas to get to this one, and now it’s insane. More and more people are ordering it and loving it for the feel and durability. It’s really GOOD!
Where do you see the future of materials heading?
A lot of people are really starting to take environmentally sound materials more seriously these days. They are starting to really come into performance, so I see that coming around a lot more.
Could carboard be the future? Doc with his cardboard V12 Flying Turtle.
Where do you see the future of design heading? It’s funny, there is a whole movement coming full circle at the moment. There are guys making boards just like how we used to in the past. The same boards I was making in the 70’s are now making a huge hipster comeback, so it is funny to see things come back around.
There is just so much experimentation too. Whatever you can think of is fair game, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of all of this.
Always some experiments going down in the Mad Lab.
What new and exciting things can we expect to see from Surf Prescriptions in the near future? My motto is “Reinvent everyday”. Always progressing, always changing things up, new materials, mixing things up. Like a Chef…mixing ingredients that don’t seem like they would be good together but with a couple a tweaks here and there, BOOM its the next sensation!
For more information and the full range of surfboards ready to be customized and order online, check out Surf Prescriptions. Use the Board Engine to help find your volume.