If you were to walk into the shaping bay of pro-snowboarder-turned-shaper Colter Deupree and pick up one of his boards, you might, just for a split second, believe you're holding something made for carving down snow-covered mountains. That's because Deupree's shapes simulate the outline of a snowboard: they feature wide noses and tails, narrow centers, and inward sidecuts in the middle, all combined with the goal of creating a surfboard with easy glide and friction-free speed. Here, he breaks down recent updates he's made to his left-field designs.
How have you updated your models from last year?
I have added a little bit of concave on the bottom of the boards to create some more drive while
turning and keeping the board more in control. I've straightened the tail so it can go more vertically when hitting the lip and create tighter turns. I have also experimented with adding a hook in the tails, which really helps in keeping the board solid in the pocket. For the customers who have been unsure about the tails because they are used to a certain type of tail with their classic board, I have been customizing any type of tail shape to match what they normally get on their classic surfboards.
What types of conditions do you ride your boards in?
I try to test them in all different types of conditions—from mushy conditions to bigger, hollow surf. I try to surf them all around the world. I was actually just trying them in Indonesia.
Which model did you take to Indo?
I took the Colternator and the All-Around Colternator. They actually worked really well, especially in good conditions because the board doesn't create any drag or friction, so you can really control it in the barrel. You can slow it down or speed it up if you'd like. It's also easy to paddle.
So for the people who aren't familiar with your boards, how would you describe the way that they function?
With my boards, you can ride them a lot shorter. They paddle easier than a classic board and you can get into waves easier. They go fast and you have more control with the board. The shape of the board makes it go faster. It doesn't create any drag or friction. It's like comparing a sailboat to a trimaran. A sailboat has a lot of control but it's really slow because it has one hull, so you can only go as fast as the wind. Whereas on a trimaran you have a lot less drag and you can glide right through the water–so you can create a lot more speed from the same amount of wind as a sailboat. My boards don't slow you down—you don't need to keep pumping the board to create speed. If you go through a slow section, the board will still accelerate through it—you already have the speed to get through flat sections or to carve back through the white water.
Where do you get your inspiration from when you're experimenting with new things? Do you go back to studying snowboard designs or surfboard designs?
It's a little bit of both. I go back to my snowboarding roots, how to ride a snowboard and what works well with a snowboard and also what works well with a regular classic board. I think experimenting with new boards is the best thing to make surfboards better.