Shaper Q & A - Eden Saul - Dead Kooks
The first in a series of Shaper Q & A's we will be posting over the coming months. I checked in with Eden whilst he was finishing up a shaping tour of Europe.
''Growing up and living on the East Coast of Australia has provided a bevy of right hand points to test, play with and refine what Eden has been riding and shaping and has greatly influenced what a Dead Kooks board is all about. Dead Kooks Surfboards has evolved over the past 11 years from a backyard hobby making boards for himself and friends, to a full-time job working with world champions and a string of worlds top surfers. Drawing inspiration from shapes of old, the boards Eden shapes are anything but retro. Everything is designed, shaped and futher refiend with perfromance in mind, tackling everything from 12ft gliders, paddle guns for Jaws to refined modern logs, fish, singles and shorties. ''
Whats your name and what do you do?
Eden saul. I own, run and shape surfboards for DeadKooks
How long have you been shaping for?
Been shaping about 11 years now
What got you into shaping surfboards?
I guess I was just really interested in the design and build aspect of boards. I played around for a little in friends sheds and eventually more in a proper factory and things just progressed from there.
What was the first board you shaped? Did your ideas translate into something that worked how you thought it would?
I just made a really simple twin fin. It went ok but was pretty shitty to be honest. But it was cool to make something and surf it and get feedback and go make another.
How has shaping changed over the years you've been involved in the industry?
It's much more machine oriented now. Which is cool in ways and sucky in others. It's a great tool and can save breaking your body but you've got to know how to shape. And it's nice to be on the tools and working things out that way.
Who is your favourite surfer to shape boards for?
Probably Kassia. She's one of my best friends, still one of the best surfers I've ever seen and one of the most incredible people I've met. She surfed for Donald for so long and that's shoes no one will ever fill but it's nice to be working with her.
What waves would you say are best suited to your designs?
Decent waves. I don't surf a lot of junk and I prefer building boards for proper waves. Whether that's small Malibu or noosa or pumping Kirra or cloudbreak. That's what gets me jazzed.
What do you think has been the biggest step forward in surfboard design in the last 20 years?
I'm not sure we have gone that far really, I think the best thing is the general public has become more open to more design and that's been a massive bonus for everyone. Was kinda nice surfing logs at smaller waves for years though with no crowds but those days are gone.
Who are your biggest influences shaping or otherwise?
That's such a big list I don't even want to start.
What do you think is the next evolution in terms of board design?
Construction maybe.. the whole computer thing is pretty crazy how far that's coming. 3D printing.. who knows.
The funny thing is the way I'm making boards is still pretty much what guys were doing 40 years ago.
Whats your favourite thing to do when not surfing or shaping?
Mountain biking or camping or travelling about. I'm on the road a lot as it is so kind of just enjoying wherever it is I am.
Favourite board you've ever ridden?
Couldn't tell you. I've had some pretty amazing experiences on a lot of different stuff
Do you experiment with non conventional materials?
Not so much.. Silmar resin, Burford blanks can't really go wrong.
Are there any shapes or designs that haven't been fully explored yet?
For sure. But I also think there's a lot of stuff goin on at the moment that's different just for the sake of different not really pushing things forward.
If you could take one board on a surf trip around the world, what would it be?
Probably one of my riches twins. Can surf some smaller stuff or double overhead tubes and be covered.