Infamy Surfboards Shaper: Glenn Minami
Year started shaping: 1970
Boards shaped: 35,000
What’s your shaping philosophy? Shape every board the best I can. Board design is most important, but aesthetics count too, it’s got to look good.
What led you to become a shaper? An addiction to surfing. I loved to surf and always liked working with my hands, so shaping was the natural thing to do, it was so much fun. After all these years I still love to shape.
What do others consider your expertise? To some of surfers who ride my boards I would say it would be step-up boards and guns, but to others it would be performance shortboards.
What is unique about the boards you shape? They’re easy to ride, with no hang-ups or glitches. The bottoms are clean and fast, the rails are forgiving, and the rockers are good. They’re basically smooth, easy boards that are easy to ride.
How is your shaping influenced by your location?
Living in Hawaii has a lot to do with my shaping. Surfing and being exposed to bigger waves is a definite advantage when shaping step-ups and guns, giving me the experience of being out on a bigger day and experiencing all the variables. The size of swells, the chops, the ledges, the big drops, big bottom turns—all of these and more come into play when designing a board for this kind of surf.
What trends in shaping are affecting your lineup this year? This last winter, guys were actually riding smaller boards in bigger surf than in previous years. They’re going as short as their paddling can handle. On the other extreme, guys are paddling in on huge days riding 11’ plus boards. We’re talking 22” wide, 4” thick beasts being paddled into 30-foot monsters. Crazy stuff!
What advice would you give to customers to help them get the best board possible? Work with a shaper that is reputable and has the experience and knowledge to shape you what you need. To get to the next level you want a good shaper who can give you solid recommendations.
What’s the biggest lesson learned in your shaping career? #1: You learn more from your failures than your successes. #2: Looks don’t count, sometimes the best looking boards are the worst.