Newport Beach’s Andrew Doheny has an approach to surfing and shaping unlike anyone else. Known for mowing short, low-rocker planks build for high speeds and radical turns (which you’ll find no shortage of in his section of our film “Handmade” above), Doheny makes boards specifically suited for his brand of white-knuckle surfing. The good news for fans of his approach is that now you can order up one of these unique performance craft for yourself.
About a month ago, Doheny launched Slob Craft, a new surfboard label for his handmade boards. We rang the Newport ripper to talk about why he decided to start shaping for the masses, and to get the backstory on one of the more bizarre surfcraft he’s ever made.
When did you decide you wanted to start a board label?
I've always really enjoyed shaping and thought that at some point I'd want to start a brand. I really like making boards for friends and figured it would be fun to focus on that more, plus it's a good way to make a little extra money on the side. At the beginning of the year I finally decided to do it and it's been super fun.
Where are you shaping?
My friend James Vartanian is a shaper and he has an extra shaping bay that he lets me use. He glasses my boards, too, so it's a great setup working together.
Were you already making a good amount of boards for friends beforehand?
Yeah, I've been shaping since I was 16, so I've been at it for about 10 years and have made boards for friends the whole time, but lately I've been much more pedal to the metal, shaping a lot more boards. I've been really trying to shape better boards for myself and boards that customers would be psyched on. My goal is to get people who rip to ride my boards and to see them surfing well on them—that'd be the best thing.
Are you mostly shaping high-performance shortboards or are you open to making anything?
I've mostly shaped shortboards, but I'm happy to make whatever anyone asks for. I shape a lot of small, high-performance boards, but I've also been doing fish, twin fins, some bonzers—pretty much a little of everything. It's fun stepping outside of the boards I make just for myself and figure out how to make something different that works well.
Please tell me about the Charlie Brown Tombstone. What's going on with that thing?
I haven't ridden that thing yet because its still getting glassed, but I'm gonna be making a lot of bizarre boards and seeing if I can come up with something new that you can still have a lot of fun on. I want to go way outside the box with my shaping, and you never know, sometimes the weirdest boards end up being super fun to ride.
What kind of fin setup are you gonna go with?
I'm not totally sure yet, but I was thinking maybe a quad or putting some bonzer fins in the side. I might do neither and try to think of a new fin design. Might as well with that thing.
Is that the weirdest board you've ever made?
Yeah, probably. It’s kind of based off this board I made a few years ago called the Automatic Inflatable Blow-Up Mattress, which was a 4'10" x 20" x 2 ¾". It went so well and ended up being the funnest little board, so this new one is kind of a spin off of that. I got a really thick blank, chopped the nose off and gave it a sharp point and a Charlie Brown tail. I’m super excited to try it out.
So how has the whole experience of launching the brand been so far? Are you getting some orders?
Yeah, it's going good. I've been getting orders from people around here, but also people in Australia and all over the place, which is really cool. It's just the beginning and the whole thing is still super fresh—I've only been taking orders for about a month, so the first batch of boards hasn't even been ridden yet. But I'm excited to see people riding them and I hope people have a lot of fun on them. I'm gonna shape as much as I can when I'm in town and then still go on surf trips and film for movies and everything. It’s gonna be fun, for sure.
[To order a board from Doheny, you can send him a direct message on Slob Craft’s Instagram page.]