GearWater Sports

This Guy Handcrafts Incredible Surfboards for a Living

Meet Ryan Lovelace, designer at Trimcraft Surfboards

“I’ve always loved hand-­shaping—the doors it opened, the things it taught me in terms of focus and discipline.” (Photo: Bart Patitucci)
“I’ve always loved hand-­shaping—the doors it opened, the things it taught me in terms of focus and discipline.”

We spend a lot of time testing the newest gear every year, but often know very little about the people behind it. So, we sent a handful of our writers out to talk to them. Joe Carberry spoke with Ryan Lovelance, the designer behind our tester’s favorite surfboard of 2020: the Trimcraft Burner. Trimcraft is a collective. Four legendary shapers (Lovelace, Gerry Lopez, Rich Pavel, and Davey Smith) design the boards and a team of young shapers make them. Here’s what Lovelace had to say about his philosophy on business, design, and hand shaping. 

Just Do You

Most shapers of my generation have gone the route of using machines. I’ve always loved hand-­shaping—the doors it opened, the things it taught me in terms of focus and discipline.

Pick Your Posse

Trimcraft is basically four ­design­ers. Each of us have designs in the lineup. We’re friends. It’s a group of passionate hand-shapers. I call it a handshake brand.

Support Up-and-Comers

We’re a good venue for our younger shapers to get their names out. We hope to accelerate their careers. I ­wanted to make a brand that when I was 21, I would have been like, “Holy shit, I want to shape for them while I build my business.” They do the shaping, and Trimcraft takes care of the business side.

Know Your Audience

Outside California, the aver­age surfer is more about maxi­mizing enjoyment in the water. The surf conditions are more varied, there are fewer people form the contest scene. They weren’t raised to smash the lip every other second.

Make It Fun

In the past ten years, surfing has started to emphasize fun over performance. Brands that tailor to that seem to be doing well, and the larger companies are taking notice. It’s pretty hard for some of us to have fun on a chippy shortboard all the time.

Check out Trimcraft’s Burner surfboard.

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Filed To: Water ActivitiesWatersportsWater Sports GearSurfingSurfboardsDesign and Tech
Lead Photo: Bart Patitucci
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