We've known Matia of Surfboards by Matia Zulberti in our native Cantabria, Spain, for many years, really since the beginning of Macho Fins - and he's supported us and had faith in our fins right from the start. We're so stoked to feature him in our Shaper Stories blogs and share his story with you.
We sent Matia 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.
Hey! I'm Matia Zulberti, I'm 37, and I'm Italian, originally from Sanremo, a small town on the northwest coast of Italy on the French border. I started surfing at 14, and at 21 I moved to Cantabria, Spain [where Macho Fins is based]. Today I live in Somo, Cantabria, with my wife and son.
What inspired your logo/brand name?
The first name I gave to my boards was MW Surfboards, where the MW stood for My Work and also My World - because shaping has always been my world. Nowadays, I simply use Surfboards by Matia Zulberti.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
When I moved to Spain, my dream was to work in the shaping world. Up until then, I'd only painted my boards, and done a few repairs, and I was really keen and curious to learn to make them from scratch. In July of 2004, on my second day of work as a waiter, I met Hugo Lopez [founder of Full & Cas] in the car park at Liencres beach, and out of the blue he asked me if I wanted to work at Full & Cas, and offered to put my foams through the CNC. I couldn't believe that my dreams were coming true so soon! Working there is where I've learnt the whole process, from the shape to the finish, and all my boards are made completely by my hands.
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
In 16 years, over 30,000 boards have passed through my hands, between those I've shaped, glassed, painted and sanded. I've made every type of board, and in the last few years, I've concentrated on longboards - they're now what I make, and surf too.
What's your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
My favourite fin in my 9.4" is the Macho Fins Bow 9.75, I love its manouverability and the flex sensation at the bottom of the wave. But then the Drifan came out, and I fell in love with its stability when noseriding, and the same manouverability as the Bow.
Best tip for the budding shaper?
A tip for starting out? Start with the easy stuff! And...a lot of practice, like with everything, experience is the best teacher to learn and improve. You don't learn without making mistakes.
What's been the most memorable board you've shaped and why?
That's a difficult question, there have been many boards I've loved. Every time I shape a new board there's something I like more than the last one, and sometimes also something I like less. One of my most recent longboards, a 9.4", 23", 3" has been one of the boards that's given me the best sensation in the water in the last few months.
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
I am lucky enough to have the pleasure to personally know the guys from Macho Fins, and to be able to talk and exchange opinions directly with them, and this is a huge advantage. Their friendly manner and openess that they've always shown attracted me from the beginning. Their fins are incredible, they're made with professionalism and a lot of passion, and those are the main ingredients in the recipe.
This interview has been translated from Spanish.