We're pleased to present Jeroen of Gliding Dutchman Surf Crafts from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Jeroen has recently started using our fins in his handshaped boards, and we can't wait to meet him in person on his next trip to our region, Cantabria, as we've heard he's a bit of a fan of our local breaks!
We sent Jeroen 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.
Hi! My name is Jeroen and I'm an Amsterdam-based surfboard builder. Together with a Dutch shaping/surfbuddy, PeppyJohnson&co, we completely transformed an old office building into a beautiful workshop. This workshop is located in Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands.
What inspired your logo/brand name?
For the name Gliding Dutchman, I added a bit of surf to an old sea legend. The logo is based on another sea myth/legend: a mermaid. This logo was made in collaboration with a graphic designer from Sri Lanka.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
I started shaping when I was still a student of Marine Biology. During my studies I got interested in how different body shapes of fish species have a large influence on their swimming performance. Why do some species swim so efficiently across oceans? Why can some fish accelerate so fast?
This growing interest combined with my limited financial resources as a student meant I started producing my own surfboards with EPS isolation material from local construction stores. After starting with building supply materials as blanks, I started using real blanks I brought home with me after surf trips in the south.
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
I mainly shape classic types of boards like eggs, fishes and logs. These shapes just work well for surfing the North Sea. As we mainly surf rather weak, windy swell here, the extra bit of volume is a welcome factor!
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
As a fin set up I prefer singles and twinnies. I’d like to see the classic vibe back in the boards I build and surf.
Best tip for the budding shaper?
Try to collaborate as much as possible with others. Each person, whether it is a shaper or surfer, has their own point of view on surfboard design. Let the feedback of others help you in your board design. I've made some custom boards in close collaboration with clients where in the beginning their ideas didn’t sound that appealing to me, but when the board is finished I'm sometimes jealous of those same customers because their custom board is not part of my own quiver!
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
That would most definitely be my 9’4’’-ish longboard. I made this board out of several separate EPS-isolation plates from my local building supply store. The length is based on the maximum diagonal length that fits in my Volkswagen station wagon if I put the nose under the dashboard: 285 cm. It's survived 40ºC southern European summers and subzero Dutch winters. The many pressure dings make it look like a golfball, but it still surfs great! Although this board is a contradiction when I'm trying to market the boards I build now to potential clients during surf sessions, I still love to surf this old yellow board made from construction store materials.
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
Besides the high quality of Macho Fins, I am excited about this brand because I know the area where they are produced. It works well for my mind if I can recognize the origin of products, and because I surf several spots in Cantabria yearly, I feel somehow connected to the fins from the Macho brothers.
Thanks Jeroen! And you can check out Gliding Dutchman Surf Crafts on their Instagram, Facebook and website.