We're continuing our Shaper Stories with who we believe to be the shaper geographically closest to the Macho Fins workshop - Pablo of Dobra Surfboards in Torrelavega, Spain - about 30 minutes down the road from us here in Cantabria. We've known Pablo for a very long time, we've rocked out to his band and drunk in his bars, so we were stoked when he started shaping, and started using our fins in his boards.
We sent Pablo our Shaper Stories questions to find out a bit more about him and his boards...
Tell us where you’re from and where you’re based.
I'm from and am based in Torrelavega, Cantabria, and at the moment as there's no waves I'm spending my time in my workshop working.
What inspired your logo/brand name ?
Monte Dobra is the highest hill around Torrelavega. It's a pretty magical place with its archeaolgical finds, apparitions and mysteries. Its origin was volcanic, and through time it became full of aquifers, and that's where the name comes from. Dobra means "hill of water" and from it's peak you can see all the beaches where I used to go with my parents as a child.
My logo is simply a curly bracket turned sideways, which emulates the peak of the Dobra. The letters are just a font I liked and felt went with the bracket.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
I'd always been a bodyboarder all my life, and I had some of my best times in the sea with my bodyboard and fins, but I was always jealous of the element of craftmanship that surfing a fibreglass board entailed. It was this that drew me most to this type of surfing - more so than the idea of standing on the board, it was the idea of being able to shape my own toy - something unthinkable with a bodyboard. 12 years ago I had an accident and broke my leg in a thousand different places, and after that I couldn't deal with the bodyboard fins as my leg hurt so much, so I bit the bullet and bought a type of mini simmons by Jalaika (a local shaper). Soon, through the internet, I found out about Monster boards , which fascinated me and by chance I got to meet Edu. He's a great guy, and now a good friend, and the person responsible for my boards being rideable! When I have doubts, I give him a ring and he's always there to help out. I ordered my first Monster board, and then another every year after that, until one day I suggested that we should shape a board together so I could learn something about board shaping. Edu agreed, we did it, and here we are today! Everything I've learnt has come from him, and I'm eternally grateful.
[You can read Edu from Monster's Shaper Story here.]
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
To tell the truth, I don't turn anything down. What I will say is that I've never like trifin boards - and something you don't like, you can't do with the same love and passion as the rest. I don't shaper Thrusters. I shape Twins, Bonzers, Single Fins and Quads.
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
Lately I'm loving shaping midlength, round tailed channelled Twin Fins.
To surf, I also prefer a midlength channelled Twin. I call a 7'6 a "gosadera" [joy maker], as you always get out of the water on a high, it's fantastic.
Best tip for the budding shaper?
I think in the shaping world, you are always a beginner. Each board you shape, and every step you take, you're learning. As such I think it's a job in which you never stop learning. Giving a tip to a beginner when you still are a beginner is pretty radical! Haha. I'd say that I learn a lot by watching the work of my shaper friends and sharing ideas. And sharing doubts and questions, you always find an answer to your strangest problems!
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
The most memorable board I've shaped up to now, hmmmm, I think it's always the last one I've done. I put 100% of my effort into every board.
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
The fins of a board are always the icing on the cake. Macho make every fin with the same love and passion as I do my boards - I think it's the perfect combination. Pure craftmanship from both sides.
Thanks Pablo! And you can check out Dobra Surfboards on their Instagram.
This interview has been translated from Spanish.