Tyler Warren is an artist. His eyes are as imaginative as his hands are precise. His drawings and paintings have been printed on T-shirts, replicated on posters and admired in galleries. But lately, his paint-stained clothing has been covered in foam dust, as shaping has become his new favorite meal to satisfy that bottomless, creative appetite. And why wouldn’t it be? He gets to go in the ocean and surf his finished product. Like if da Vinci got to make out with the “Mona Lisa” once he was finished painting her. Perfection. —Brendan Buckley
TYLER: Shaping is a functional art form. I love to get an idea and bring it to life with my hands. Shaping, just like surfing, is constantly evolving. When I shape, I try to make boards that allow the surfers to have the most fun, because that’s what surfing is all about.
I look at all kinds of different board designs and take little bits and pieces of what I like from them. Then I mix it all up like a smoothie — just chuck everything in and see how it turns out. I call this board the Quadratic Egg. It’s a unique combination of old and new. It has a hull entry, but the middle of the board is fairly flat with forgiving rails. It flows into a bonzer-style bottom between the fins for lift, speed, and maneuverability. The goal for this board was to shape something that could flow through sections, but still hold and release at will.
For me, the most important design element is speed and I like to build boards that can generate speed on their own. I try to keep the rocker pretty low for this reason, but you have to make sure you don’t overdo it because you still want the board to turn well in the pocket. If I could only have one board on a trip, this would be the one because it feels good in anything from waist-high Salt Creek to double-overhead Mexico.