We're pleased to introduce you today to Gastão and Duarte of Stray Dog Surfcrafts in Viana do Castelo, Portugal. These guys have just started out in the shaping world after many years in the surf industry, and it's a pleasure to have our fins accompanying their handmade boards right from the start of their shaping journey - we look forward to things to come!
We sent Gastão & Duarte 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 are Gastão and Duarte, from Viana do Castelo, in the North of Portugal.
What inspired your logo/brand name?
The inspiration for our brand name came way before we even thought about shaping boards. On one of those heavy nights out, we were trying to find a “name” for our group of friends, and Duarte said Stray Dogs. No one liked it but us, and from then on we started to use the name to mock our friends. When Duarte shaped the first board by himself, he signed it with some rough Stray Dogs letters. A few months later, when we started shaping, we decided to keep the name with a different layout. The logo now has 70s style lettering, as we wanted to build boards with that retro groove.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
Gastão has been surfing and teaching surfing for a long time. Back when he still owned a surf school, Duarte showed up as a student. Our friendship grew from there, and we kept surfing and hanging out together. Since we both like to build and create stuff, we always dreamed about building our own boards.
During the summer of 2020, Duarte shaped and glassed a surfboard in an old house of his sister with pretty much no installations, but with enough space to move the blank around.
By the end of the year, we found a cheap spot where we could start shaping. We ordered everything we needed, built the shaping room and shaped five surfboards for ourselves. Then all our friends went crazy and started asking for boards!
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
We’ve been shaping mostly twin fins and longboards.
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
Our preferred fin set up to shape and surf is definitely the twin fin. Can’t get enough of those round curves and butt cracks. Also, we like boards that go fast!
Best tip for the budding shaper?
Since we started shaping recently, the best tip we can give is to not be afraid to just go for it. The feeling of surfing with a board that you made by yourself, or seeing others surfing with a board that you made and having a blast, it's just priceless.
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
So far, the most memorable boards we've shaped have been the first boards. There's something special about building something for the first time, when you still don't know if it's going to work or not. And when it does, it's just incredible!
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
We love to build boards the traditional way. Apart from being a perfect fit for the type of boards we shape, Macho Fins are also handcrafted. Having the opportunity to use them in our boards, feels like the cherry on the cake.
Thanks Gastão & Duarte! And you can check out Stray Dogs Surfcrafts on their Instagram.
Photo Credits: João Peixoto