Month of the Shaper: Todd Proctor
Editor’s Note: In conjunction with our annual Surfboards Issue (On newsstands Nov. 18), we will be posting one interview per day with a craftsman who contributed to the issue. Some are the biggest names in the bay; others are underground and want to keep it that way. But all of them share an equal passion for the crafts that move us forward. In these tough economic times, they all have a lot to say on where their craft is going. This time: Ventura’s Todd Proctor. – to read this interview on the Surfing Magazine website, click here
Name: Todd Proctor
Zone: Handmade in Ventura, CA – worldwide custom
Years Shaping: 17
Boards Per Week: 15-35
Specialty: Custom – anything and everything
IS YOUR BUSINESS BETTER OR WORSE SINCE THE CLARK FOAM SHUTDOWN?
DO YOU FEEL POLYURETHANE FOAM/POLYESTER RESIN WILL ALWAYS BE THE DOMINANT SURFBOARD CONSTRUCTION?
There are a lot of possibilities out there for materials with increased durability and performance, and which are far more environmentally friendly. I make it a priority to constantly be trying, experimenting and innovating with different materials.
DO YOU THINK THERE’S AN INCREASING OR DECREASING APPRECIATION FOR A CUSTOM SURFBOARD?
There’s an increasing demand for quality, custom boards that take each individual surfer to the places they dream of going on a wave. I think there will always be a demand for something unique and special like that.
ARE QUADS DECLINING OR INCREASING IN POPULARITY?
They’ve got there niche….and they do what they do well.
WHAT’S KEEPING YOU AFLOAT? CUSTOM CLIENTELE? SHOP ACCOUNTS? SURFTECH?
Attention to the individual surfer.
IF IT HASN’T ALREADY, WILL YOUR SURFBOARD PRODUCTION EVER HAVE TO GO OVERSEAS?
By the goodness and grace of God, I plan to continue to see my business grow right here in Ventura. Personally, I love shaping boards and I enjoy hard work. This is what I was created to do. I like the fact that something quality is made right here in this country, and that I am able to provide jobs right here to a crew that has the same level of care and desire to put out the best boards we are capable of.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO WHEN YOU SHAPE?
Usually I’ll listen to preachers all day on the radio, but sometimes I’ll move the dial around to classic rock, news, classical music, oldies…I like a lot of different sounds….my current favorite right now though is a new album by Dominic Balli called Public Announcement….that one makes my soul soar!
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND ON A SINGLE BOARD NOW?
Sometimes 30 minutes; sometimes two hours….whatever it takes for it to be right.
DO YOU SPEND MORE TIME ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN OR IN THE SHAPING BAY?
About 60% of the time shaping and 40% designing. I really enjoy designing boards, so sometimes I think I spend a little too much time doing that….but I really like the hands on of fine-tuning the boards too.
HOW IMPORTANT IS TEAMRIDER FEEDBACK TO YOU?
It’s really important….but I think of my team as everyone that I shape boards for; be it a ‘CT guy, a mom, a local ripper, a granddad longboarder. There are so many different surfers, each one needing different boards to cater to their unique style and the types of waves they ride….so I make it a point to listen to everybody and pay close attention to each persons requests and feedback. I find it makes for a solid surfer/ shaper relationship that way, too.
WHAT KIND OF BOARD DO YOU ENJOY SHAPING MOST RIGHT NOW?
I love them all. Rght now, I guess I would have to say the last board I just got done shaping.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET TO SURF?
When the waves are good….but sometimes when they are bad too. As much as I can.
ARE YOU ACTIVELY PURSUING “GREENER” AVENUES IN YOUR SURFBOARD PRODUCTION?
Yes….for over a decade now. Check out our website at proctorsurf.com. There is all kinds of stuff you can get stoked about there….more than I could summarize real quick for you in one sentence here.
To visit Todd in the shaping bay as he describes the “Proxy” Custom Flexible Epoxy Titanium Surfboard Series, click here