Iconic Shaper Bob McTavish Coming to Del Mar
Foam will be flying October 12th & 13th when the Boardroom International Surfboard Show presented by US Blanks honors legendary shaper and Icon of Foam Bob McTavish. Eight shapers will honor McTavish in a friendly shape-off competition highlighting his legacy in the surfboard building industry.
McTavish and Nat Young, along with California-born kneeboarder-designer George Greenough, had formed the core of the “involvement” school of surfing by mid-1966, and were all looking to ride more actively in and around the curl. As the garrulous McTavish explained, the idea was to “use the power part of the wave, [and] to maneuver really fast without any loss of speed.” The average 9’6″, 25-pound board, McTavish knew, was far too bulky to allow this kind of riding. What Greenough was doing on his low-volume kneeboard—that was how McTavish wanted to ride, but standing up. In early 1967 McTavish began working on a new easy-turning bottom design, and in March he produced the first vee-bottom—a fat-tailed nine-footer with a deep vee-shaped keel through the back third of the board—that he nicknamed the Plastic Machine. He built a series of vee-bottoms over the next seven months, each getting progressively smaller and lighter, dropping all the way down to 7’6″ and 14 pounds — courtesy Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing.
“I am stoked to be the Boardroom’s 2024 Icon of Foam Honoree,” said McTavish. “It’ll be fun to be back in the States (if I can get back in after my 1963 Stowaway history), and I look forward to seeing everyone in October as we lift up the surfboard building industry and share some great yarns and concepts from my 62 years of loving the game—yehaww!”
The eight shapers will compete in man-on-man round robin heats and will replicate some of McTavish’s greatest designs. This years’ shapers include defending champion Michael Arenal and the East Coast Surf Expo Shape-Off champion Jordan Brazie. McTavish will select the remaining six shapers.
“These shape-offs can get competitive, no doubt,” said Bass. “At the end of the day this show is about highlighting the designers, shapers, laminators, sanders and artists who build our boards, our sacred crafts. Honoring iconic shapers like Bob McTavish through this competition is one way of doing that.”
The winning shaper will receive $2K and their name added to the Mike Marshall Perpetual Trophy. The second place shaper receives $500.
The Boardroom highlights the surfboard manufacturing industry with a gathering of like-minded enthusiasts who are drawn by an authentic love for riding waves and the crafts that move us along those waves. The show features a massive hall filled with the top surfboard brands including Rusty, Channel Islands, Lost, G&S and Hobie. The Boardroom features all the gear needed to get out and enjoy the ocean including fins, wetsuits, leashes, wax, travel bags and ancillary gear. In addition, there are exhibits, discussions, demonstrations, live music, art, surfboard giveaways, a surfboard collector meet-up and more.
“There is a demand by core surfers to meet with the shapers; the builders and designers of our sacred crafts,” explained the Boardroom’s executive Director Scott Bass. “The Boardroom highlights the utilitarian core of the surfing experience – surfboards and the people who build them. It is from this nexus that our culture flows.” Founded in 2007, Bob McTavish will be the Boardroom’s 23rd honoree.
Past honorees https://boardroomshow.com/icons-of-foam/