Meet Leo of Leo Jauncey Designs from Cornwall, UK. We've been making interesting custom fins for Leo for many years now, and had the pleasure of meeting Leo in person on our Cornish road trip last year. You can find Leo's boards and quite often Leo himself at Open Surf in St Agnes.
We sent Leo 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 am from the UK and I am based in Falmouth in sunny Cornwall .
What inspired your logo/brand name?
I had a brand in the past (Fellow) that was a bit surfboards and a bit clothing and since I decided to stop doing the clothing I wanted to change the name, keep it simple and just use my name because the boards I focus on now are quite personal to me.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
I started shaping about 20 years ago when I could never find boards that I wanted and when I tried to get established shapers to understand the subtleties of what I wanted, the boards never came out as I wanted. Maybe I’m a perfectionist or maybe just a control freak, but I had to do it for myself. I’m a practical sort of guy, a bit of an engineer and a bit artistic so took to it pretty well.
The first boards I shaped were in my mate's garage. We met in Mexico earlier that year and both of us had the thought about making our own. We watched a VHS called John Carper 101 of Shaping, tried to memorise as much of it as possible and cracked on. We chucked all his dad's stuff on his drive under a tarp, built some trestles and started planing.
I still have my first board, it's a 7’0 single fin really skinny and thin (I got a bit carried away with the planer!).
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
Surfing mainly in the south west of England, the waves here are not so powerful, so I shape mainly small wave stubbies and mid length single fins.
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
I mostly surf single fins and twins and I mostly shape single fins and twins. I like to stay true to what I know best when I make boards. I love the power and predictability of a single fin. I surf quite even footed and was never a thrasher sort of surfer so the singles really suit my style.
Best tip for the budding shaper?
Always keep stopping to, look, feel, measure and move around the board as you shape it. Also ask advice from anyone you can. Feel free to ask me anything!
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
I’ll never forget riding my first wave on the first board I shaped. That moment when I realised that I could make my own boards and they were going to be alright was life changing in some ways. Other than that I love my Piccolos. They are a really short square twin fin with a deep channel down the middle.
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
I have had fins made by other people and they were ok. Now Macho make them for me and I have had the best experience with the guys. They make the fins for the Piccolos and now my super thin single fins too. The guys are super accommodating and they really get it, they listen and deliver exactly what I need. I have been working with them for years now and have nothing but good things to say about Nat & Gonzalo and the fins they send me!
Thanks Leo! And you can check out Leo Jauncey Designs on Instagram.