We started working with Mathis & Marveen, the guys behind Gencives Surfboards in Seignosse, France last year in between their surf trips across the globe. We've just brought out our first set of collab fins with them, which have gone down really well, and we're looking forward to more creative projects with them in the future!
We sent Mathis & Marveen our Shaper Stories questions to find out a bit more about them and their boards...
Tell us where you’re from and where you’re based.
We both come from different places in France, and we met during our studies. We quickly found ourselves escaping as often as possible to enjoy the Landes beach break, before settling here in Seignosse.
What inspired your logo/brand name ?
In our group of friends, there are some of us who have a great big gengival smile, including us, Mathis and Marveen. So we had a lot of fun with that one summer and it came out when we started talking about making our boards. The Gencives logo comes straight from the inspiration of one of our friends, Adrien, thanks again to him!
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
We have always had great interest in handshaped boards, because they are such beautiful objects. We started to talk seriously about making our own during a trip to Indo. There was really nothing to do where we were, lost in the middle of nowhere with a lot of wind in the afternoons, so we started to talk about it quite frequently, before really starting to try it out on our return.
At the beginning we just wanted to make some boards for us, to understand a little more and to have fun. Then some friends began to be interested and to ask us for a board, then another one ... so we continued!
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
We really make all kinds of boards, except ultra performance boards because it's not the side of surfing that inspires us. We love to design and try new shapes, mostly for twin fins, but lately we have had a lot of demand for fishes and longboards.
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
I think we both agree on the twin fin, as it's what we love to surf, so we're really happy when we have to shape or surf one. Especially round twins, no matter the size!
Best tip for the budding shaper?
The best way to learn is to do it. So go for it, start with simple shapes, take your time with each step, then when it's over try your shape! You'll make many mistakes at the beginning, but you'll love surfing your work and you'll understand what’s not working correctly and why. Then start again! And again! It doesn't matter how long you've been shaping for, you’ll still be learning things with each board.
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
It was our 3rd board, a nice summer day at 34ºC, the glass job wasn’t on point at all, we didn't think that the heat would have such an important impact on the resin, especially as we glassed outside because we didn't have a workshop (now we have one, don't worry!). We started to glass, and after 2 minutes the resin started to harden, making it impossible to spread. We didn't know what to do, so in panic we pulled out all the fiberglass we could to get the shape back. You can't imagine the disaster, I think we almost shed a tear haha!
So, we decided to reshape a smaller board with this foam, with the constraints of thickness, length and width that we already had, to make up for the resin disaster we had created. We made a 6'8 round twin, much too narrow for the stroke and not very symmetrical but not too bad considering all the steps it went through! We surfed it all summer long, and we enjoyed it a lot!
It was still a good experience to work on a board with constraints, and it taught us a lot of things, especially not to glass under the sun and be careful with the temperature. What a great time! We really thought we were going to have to throw everything in the bin, but we were really happy to have gotten out of it what we did.
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
I think that both of us appreciate the interest and the passion you have in the making of your fins. It's important for us to work with craftsmen like us, near us and to avoid ordering material from massive companies on the other side of the world. Moreover, a surfboard is nothing without a fin that matches the shape, so it's a great advantage to be able to discuss and work with Macho to obtain that.
Thanks guys! And you can check out Gencives Surfboards on their Instagram and Facebook.