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Board talk with Ryan Engle

by Boardcave on July 30, 2015

nation surfboards shaper ryan engle

We wanted to get to know head shaper of Nation Surfboards, Ryan Engle a little more so we asked him a few questions about how he got his start, .

When and what got you into shaping?

I always had a close relationship with those who shaped for me as a kid. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the bay, and it grew from there.

What inspires you to shape?

Friends, Family, team-riders and customers STOKE

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Freedom and creativity.

los dos model put through its paces the cool story by nation surfboards with pink tail dip
The Los Dos being putting through it’s paces and a nice pink tail dip on the Cool Story model.

You have a pretty diverse range of boards, everything from performance shortboard, traditional logs… do you have a favorite type of board to shape?

My early days as a production shaper started with a wide range of models. I have always taken pride in being very versatile in my shapes and designs. I can’t say I like one over another… I would rather shape a handful of all uniquely different shapes every day. I’m all about keeping the creative juices flowing.

So you don’t have a favorite type of board to shape, but do you have a favorite type of board to surf?

I would lean towards the modern fish realm, but in the same way (as with my shaping), I love switching it up.

2015 nation board range
The 2015 Nation MFG Surfboards range left to right: The Chub, Stumpy, Los Dos, Sex Machine, Pink Champagne on Ice, Rick Kane Pro, Bro Deal, Cool Story, Steinrider and the Hot Doggin’ Loggin’.

What is your best selling model in the Nation line up and why?

Right now it is the Pink Champagne on Ice. It’s a modern inspired throwback that can go over-sized or stubby; single, tri, or quad. It’s a very versatile board and so it covers a lot of bases. Also, it looks sexy. Sex sells.

nation surfboards with some color courtesy of dave naylor
A few Nation boards with a little color courtesy of laminating wizard Dave Naylor.

You own your own machine, how has that impacted your job, and is it still vital to be a good “hand-shaper”?

I was really lucky to have worked as a production hand shaper before venturing into the world of CAD. I think everyone needs a solid base in knowing how to properly hand shape a board. That said, using the machine and software, I have gained compete control of my designs from the inside out.

nation surfboards using cad files shaper ryan engle
Ryan Engles working on the CAD files to easily refine and progress his board models.

You do really clean work, both shaping glassing and color, what is your quality control process like?

I am very hands on from start to finish. All of my boards are made under one roof and so I get to be there bugging the whole crew daily!

What is the link between Nation Surf and Nation Golf? How did that come about?

My grandpa ran a golf tournament for 30 years. We revamped it in his honor, and are now planning our 9th annual tournament. The golf division of Nation Mfg was born through the growing success and influence of our tournament. The Nation Scramble Classic.

glassing a nation model

What does the future hold for you and your brand?

I can’t wait to find out! I am very fortunate to have such solid people in my corner, and I am excited to keep enjoying the ride.

For more information and their full range of surfboards ready to be customized and order online, check out Nation Surfboards. Use the Board Engine to help find your volume.


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