We're so stoked to introduce you to Johan of JD Shapes from Skåne, Sweden...just in case you haven't met him travelling through Europe on one of his yearly van trips. This is how we met him and his wife Sofie several years ago - and every year since then as he's just a little bit of a fan of our local break! He's one of the nicest (and tallest) men you'll ever have the pleasure to meet, and also as of yet the only official visitor to the Macho Fins workshop before we had to shut to visitors a la Covid (he loved it!).
We sent Johan 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 the south of Sweden, based in a small coastal town just outside Malmö and shaping and glassing out of a small shed next to my house.
What inspired your logo/brand name?
My name is my initials (JD), and when I started making boards for people I didn’t personally know I felt like I had to come up with some kind of logo. I’ve made some changes to it over time, but I have 2 different logos that I'm using right now depending on what works with the board.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
I've always liked to create things and work with my hands. Surfing mass produced boards with absolutely no soul never attracted me, so I started to shape boards for myself and friends and then it just spread by word of mouth it seems. My mind seems to work best when I can focus on one thing, and ever since that first board I shaped it’s pretty much the only thing I think about!
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
I mostly shape longboards and a few mid lengths here and there. I shape what I mostly surf myself since that's what I can relate to the most.
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
Single fins, for sure.
Best tip for the budding shaper?
Start simple and go from there, try to perfect every step before moving on. Going back and trying to fix things later in the process generally ends badly. Find your own way of creating the board you've got in mind. There are no rights or wrongs.
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
I really can’t choose one! Every custom board has a story, the customer has something in their mind that I'm trying to create and deliver. I spend a lot of time on every board I make and nothing beats the feeling of handing over a board to a happy customer who later sends you a message raving about how well it worked and how much they love the board. Every board is memorable in some way.
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
I know what kind of fins work for the boards I shape, and I only surf Macho Fins. A handmade board deserves to be surfed with a proper handmade fin and I know that every Macho Fins fin is made with 100% passion and I want to support that in every way I can!
Thanks Johan! And you can check out JD Shapes on their Instagram.