Surftech Shaper Profile: Roger Hinds
Roger Hinds' shaping career has spawned four decades and encompassed the multi-faceted evolution of the short board. From his early days of stripped down long boards during the transition era, to refining his skills under the tutelage of the likes of Ed Angulo, Jeff Edwards and Kent Smith. 70’s North Shore soul with Country Surfboards and Lightning Bolt and team riders spanning the era’s and all disciplines from Jock Sutherland and Mike Armstrong to Long board World Champions Rusty Keaulana and Taylor Jensen. Production shaping for the likes of Blue Hawaii, Russ K, Harbour, Hobie and Weber, as well as head shaper for Bear USA. In your words, who is Roger Hinds? Roger Hinds is a guy who wanted to surf his whole life from a young age & as it turns out I’m doing it. My goal in life is to make the highest quality custom surfboard for every customer that they can paddle, ride & enjoy.
How did you get into board building? Out of necessity of not having the money to buy a new surfboard, but being intrigued with the craft of building one, I would strip down longboards, which were plentiful, on the side of my mom’s house during the 1968 transition era & shape them into shorter boards. They were very crude at best because everything was trial & error & I had to learn on my own.
How many boards have you shaped? I have shaped & glassed over 33,000 surfboards to date.
What type of people come to you asking to have a surfboard made? It’s kind of all over the place, I make everything from a 5’6” shortboard to a 12’ glider to a board to surf outer reefs on. The people who come to me want a custom surfboard made just for them & the waves they ride.
What keeps you motivated to keep designing and building surfboards? Tomorrow I am going to build a better surfboard than today. I’m never static, I’m always looking forward, looking to build a better constructed, riding surfboard.
"HE WON THE ICONS OF FOAM SHAPE-OFF BACK TO BACK IN 2014 & 2015 AT THE BOARDROOM SHOW FIRST HONORING BEN AIPA THEN RUSTY PREISENDORFER.”
- Randy Rarrick
Where do you mostly surf? Where is your favorite place to surf? I mostly surf in Huntington or San Clemente. My favorite place by far is Sunset Beach Hawaii.
What do you find appealing about working with Surftech? I can only build 100 boards per year by myself from start to finish. I’m a big fan of EPS/epoxy constructed surfboards. In my opinion, Surftech has the highest quality in that type of construction so it was easy to partner with them so more people could get my EPS surfboards worldwide with quality construction.
Where do you see board building going in the future? The entry level “fashion” surfers will continue to buy Soft Tops & maybe an upgrade to NSP but as this class matures, and those who stick with the sport, will move into the stage of wanting something that will actually improve their surfing. It will be this group and those in the know who will gravitate to better designs. This is what it will take to move to the next level in one’s surfing evolution.
Roger Hinds hand shapes the master files for his Nomad model.
Who are some of the board builders who inspired you or that you currently look up to? Don Koplien & Kent Smith, early Lighting Bolt guys, because they did everything from start to finish of the highest quality with no ego. I still rely on Kent Smith’s advice 50 years later. I look up to Matt & Margaret Calvani at Bing Surfboards because their quality stands alone & they run a very successful business in conjunction with Bing Copeland who I am a big fan of. Randy Rarick because he has been a great mentor of mine for a lifetime & has been in the surf industry since the beginning & always gives me sound advice.
Is it the surfer, the board, or the wave? All are equal in my eyes, also using my NVS fins is the 4th component. The fins come with my templates & in my opinion, they are the best fins on the market & come with every one of my Surftech models. All 4 of these flow together to become one.
Roger tests, another Surftech shaper partner, Gerry Lopez's board on a small day at San Onofre.