Monday, September 19, 2016


 Photo Credit: Andre' Beriau
   It is a played out stereotype that all surf adventures involve exotic locales and tropical waters. Adventure, by most definitions, is an experience that must involve some degree of unusual and uncommon elements. To go truly off of the beaten path, one must do more than merely step off of a paved road and onto some tropical beach. Sometimes it involves finding a new way of doing things entirely, finding a new type of beach. 
       For 32 year old New England shaper Jacques Beriau of Sea Love Surfboardsthis has involved leaving the perennially sunny shores of San Diego for the biting chill of the East Coast. Since 2010, Jacques has been shaping up boards for a different cut of surfer. With snowy lineups and heavy winds taking the place of palm trees and crowded beaches, Jacques has been able to carve out his own path along the often overlooked breaks of Maine's coast. The result has been his own unique design and aesthetic, that is evident in his boards, that are the result of a different kind of surfing community and environment. They have a quality that you wouldn't find in some typically tropical or suburban surf town. There is an element of ruggedness to the designs, a sense of the hours spent in less than hospitable conditions developing the craft. There is a sense of true adventure and wildness to them. 
-Joey Estrada

First things first, can you tell us a little bit about when you first got into shaping, and how?

I first started shaping surfboards while I was living in San Diego. I’m about 5’4” and 130lbs soaking wet, so it was hard for me to find off-the-rack boards that were exactly what I was looking for.  I had a few customs made, but it was hard for me to explain the feeling that I was searching for, and then have someone translate that into a shape for me.  I felt that I needed to take care of that aspect of my surfing.  I was surprised with the first few shapes that I made for myself, and a few years later decided to offer some of the shapes I was creating to the public.    

What made you decide to move to the East Coast?

My family is here, and my roots.  I grew up here in New England, and after chasing California for a while I felt more settled and even keeled coming back.  Sometimes you have to leave a place to see the beauty in it.  I moved back to New England in 2010 for an opportunity to finish a teaching degree.  I teach 7th grade science, and at that time, there weren't a great deal of teaching positions open in Southern California.   Some of my best friends in the world still live between San Diego and HB, so I get out west a few times a year, get a burrito, see the homies.

Sea Love Surfboards 
Photo Credit; Andre' Beriau
 Were there any shapers you considered to be mentors of yours?

I have never actually had the opportunity to learn from another shaper inside the shaping bay.  When I started, I just figured that I’d learn what I could teach myself because the boards were only for me anyways.  I read everything I could get my hands on that involved surfboard design or the craft of shaping.  I’ve always been plugged into the historical aspect of surfboard design.  I just wanted to understand why these boards were created, what actual waves they were made for.  So I did all the research I could, and tried to get my hands to create what I was reading about.       

What are some of your most popular kinds of shapes like?

I’ve been riding a twin keel fish pretty much full time for a while now.  They work so well for they type of surfing I like to do.  I’ve always been a skate rat, and that shape is about a close as I’ve come to deep-end bowl carving.  I also ride a mid-length single fin, a piggy log too.  I dig the feeling you get out of shapes like that.  Just like riding waves.  I’m not crazy about fighting them. 

How are the waves around you and how have they affected/changed your shaping style?

Here in Southern Maine we have a pretty wide variety of surf.  Some great beach breaks, a few critical points too.  I’ve always shaped surfboards with particular waves in mind, and for the surf here, I’ve been into mid-lengths a bit more lately.  We get some heavy off-shore winds, so I’ve been adding a bit of belly to the front of my personal boards, seems to cut that off-shore texture pretty well.  

What's the surfing/shaper culture like on the east coast, what makes it unique?

Photo Cred; Andre' Beriau 
There are some great surfy people in my area, really good folks.  We have Grain Surfboards here in town, their crew puts on some great community events throughout the year and they are exceptional craftspeople.  As a whole, East Coast surfing has always been in the shadow of its California counterpart, but that’s ok I guess.  Its cold here for a big part of the year, and we definitely don’t have the surfboard design history that Southern California has.  It can also be difficult as a surfboard shaper to find materials, but you folks at Foam E-Z have made that piece so easy for me.  Cold empty waves, vs crowds though?  Snowflakes falling straight down on glassy chest to head?  A handful of your homies sharing it?  Those are the parts that keep me here.       

Who are some of the surfers you enjoy shaping for and working with?

Shaping boards for homies is always the best.  Especially homies that I get to surf with regularly, my brother Andre’ is probably my all time favorite person to shape boards for.  I know exactly how he rides, so I while I’m in the shaping bay I can translate that into his surfboard, he’s pretty good at letting me tell him what he wants haha.  Plus, he’s my brother, so even if I shape him a turd, it's a turd shaped with love.

Alright rapid fire question time;

Favorite tool?

My new racks, welded by my good homie Stu Gingras.

Favorite blank to shape?

US Blanks 7’3”A Red Density.  1/16” Redwood Stringer. 

-Favorite place to surf?

York County Maine

Biggest overall influence?


What're your go-to board dimensions/set up?

5’2” x 19” x 2 3/8” Fish, wide point 4 ½” forward.  Glass-on Fiberglass “Beatty” Twin Keels from True Ames.    

If you're interested in ordering a board from Jacques, you can contact him here:

Instagram:  @jacquesberiau

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