Meet Miguel of Whale Surfboards from Asturias, Spain. We've been supplying Miguel with fins for his handshaped boards for a good while now, and meet up with him regularly at festivals across the North Coast of Spain for a bit of #fintalk.
We sent Miguel 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.
My name is Miguel, I'm from Asturias and I live in Gijon, Asturias, Spain.
What inspired your logo/brand name?
The logo of the brand I designed myself - it comes from a fascination for whales. It's a feeling of a mix of fear of them because of their size, and the fabulous form in which they move in the water.
Tell us a bit about how, when and why you got into shaping.
I started out repairing boards, almost at the same time that I started surfing in 1994. Without really realising it, by focusing so much on the boards whilst repairing them, all the curves and volumes ingrained themselves in me. I shaped my first board in 2007, and in 2013 I opened a surf school. Then, I started shaping boards with the intention of being able to provide for those surf school clients who wanted to take the next step and have their own board, and make the transition from a surf school board to a fibreglass board. From there Whale Surfboards was born, with my colleague Rodri. I focus on the shaping side of things, and Rodri laminates and glasses the boards.
What kind of boards do you mostly shape?
I shape all types of boards. Most of my clients are looking to complete their quiver with a bit more floatability. I always try to adapt to the preferences of the client without compromising the image of the brand.
What’s your preferred fin set up to a) shape and b) surf?
To surf I don't have a preferred fin set up really. I feel that every board asks for its own type of combination which fits it best aesthetically and funcionally. The surf conditions of course also influence the decision. To shape, a 2+1 set up gives the most flexibility and is what I shape the most.
Best tip for the budding shaper?
What’s been the most memorable board you’ve ever shaped & why?
I don't have a favourite board, but what I do keep close to the heart are the comments from my clients. They would have to answer that question!
What's the bonus of using Macho Fins in your boards?
For me, using Macho Fins means connecting with the handmade. I think there's a special magic which stays with every object that's built with love and passion, and that makes it work.
Thanks Miguel! And you can check out Whale Surfboards on their Facebook and Instagram.
This interview has been translated from Spanish.