During the Quiksilver Pro, we built the Corona Extra Shaping Bay at Snapper Rocks and invited three of Australia’s most prolific shapers, Neal Purchase Jr, Eden Saul from Dead Kooks and Joel Fitzgerald, to come hand shape boards onsite at the event. The structure itself took two months to build on Joel’s Byron Bay property before being flat-packed and shipped to the sunshine state and re-built at the Quiksilver Pro event site, where it lived for the duration of the comp.

Each day a crowd of people gathered on the deck of the shaping bay and watched as the boys mowed through some foam and happily shared insights on shaping. For those who previously had no idea of how surfboards are hand-shaped, it was a rich and rewarding experience. Sure, some people may know the basic foundations of shaping a board, but watching three of the most passionate shapers in Australia mark out their templates, hack through the blank with a handsaw then take to it with surgeon-like precision with the planer truly was something else. Even a few of the competitors jumped into the shaping bay to say hi and watch the boys work their magic.

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Amongst all of the flying foam dust and the buzz of the planer; we managed to give away eleven hand-shaped custom surfboards, one drawn each afternoon. The winner of each surfboard draw would make their way down to the shaping bay the following day to kick it with the boys and get expert advice on board dimensions. The result was a custom sled tailored to each winner’s ability.

The Corona Extra Shaping Bay soon became the hang spot and the perfect place to hide from the evident Queensland sun between heats. Those who visited were also rewarded with a copy of the Corona Extra, our free print magazine which features an exclusive interview with Dane Reynolds, a Kassia Meador photo essay, Jeff Canham and more.

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A big thank you to Eden, Neal, and Joel! The guys happily spent the week covered in foam dust, let many people pick their brains on shaping and churned out a few brand new sleds in between Coronas. Keep your eyes peeled for more from the Corona Extra Shaping Bay.

Photos: Jam Hassan & Lincoln Jubb