We've announced this week a new rider to the Macho Fins family - Jon Garmendia.  And today we're going to introduce you to Jon as a shaper as Jon Garmendia Surfboards from Zarautz, Spain.  We've met up with Jon and his lovely yogi partner Esther several times over the last few months - and their health food restaurant Tidore in Zarautz has become our go-to stop on the way back from our French road trips for great eats and #fintalk with Jon.

Garmendia Surfboards Logo
We sent Jon 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.

Aupa, I'm Jon Garmendia and I live and usually surf in Zarautz in the Basque Country, but my workshop is 10-15 minutes away up in the mountains.  The shape room is an old abandoned chicken coop on our family farmstead which we cleaned, painted and converted into a shape room.

What inspired your logo/brand name?

My logo was made for me by a friend as a surprise!  I really wasn't expecting it.  It's a simple linedrawn logo, the lines of which I think define well the functionality of the boards I build.  And with respect to the name - I don't think that needs much explanation, haha!

Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.

Everything started about 4 years ago when I made a wooden Alaia from Paulonia wood.  It was a challenge to make it as I had pretty much no tools so it took ages, but I finished it and it more or less worked, so I thought I'd try a surfboard.

But this wasn't to be as at that point we had to restore all the chairs and tables of my partner's restaurant, Tidore.  Sanding, reworking broken bits, varnishing etc....it was the complete process, and I could see many similarities to when I was making the Alaia, so I ended up with and even bigger urge to make a board!

After a few months, a friend and I decided to have a go at making a board to experiment a bit, but when I went to buy the material at Viral Surf [surf material suppliers and shape rooms in Biarritz, France] I ended up talking to them for ages, and booking myself onto a basic shapers course with them.

And since then I haven't stopped!

What kind of boards do you mostly shape?

Those that know me know I'm a lover of classic surf, so you won't find me shaping a 3 fin Thruster set up.  I love shaping classic line longboards, midlengths, fishes, twins...everything which allows the drawing of different lines and are fun in the waves.

What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?

I like surfing single or twin fins, which is what I mostly shape as a result, although the odd midlength has been a 2+1.

Best tip for the budding shaper?

Trial - Error - Trial - Error.  That's the path.  If you don't try, you won't make mistakes, and if you don't make mistakes, you won't learn from them.  I did a course a while back, which served to get the basics, but from that point on it's been an adventure.  Being a shaper requires spending a lot of time in a small room trying to make what you have in your head in the best way possible.  It's good if you've got someone who can explain things to you and help you, but you don't really learn it until you do it yourself, and you see the mistakes you've made and worked out how to correct them. 

And above all, you've got to put passion into what you do.

What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?

I think my favourite board is actually the one I made during lockdown, a 9'7 longboard with 2 tone wooden stringer - wooden sides and clear central.  It's got a glass on Dfin made with Okume plywood.  Transparent glassing and polished.  I love it.

What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?

As soon as I saw their fins I was amazed by the colours and finishes, they're beautiful in any board.  And I think they're perfect for the line of boards I make, and my philosophy.  The potential to personalise fins with my logo is also an advantage.  And in terms of their performance - they go like hell!  

Thanks Jon!  And you can check out Jon Garmendia Surfboards on their Instagram and website.

Photo Credit: Txagatarra

This interview has been translated from Spanish.

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