Introducing Whitney Lang aka. Windy. She shapes boards. We think rad.
Scroll down to check out what inspires this wahine to get all dusty in a shaping bay…
Hey Whitney, can you tell us how you got into shaping boards? I began surfing only a few months before starting to shape my own boards. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of extra money and couldn’t afford to buy a quiver. I met a friend in Newport Beach, California, where I lived at the time. He educated me on the art of shaping and surfboards and instantly I was hooked. We toured a local surf shop where he told me to feel the rails on all of the boards. I had no idea what I was feeling. But I continued to do it. After, he directed me to a design website, Swaylocks, and from there I read countless hours of techniques and design. Soon, I met a board builder who lived near me who agreed to teach me how to build a board. After 10 boards, I knew he wanted me to work on my own.
Is it a self-sustaining business yet? Unfortunately no, but that is my dream.
What have been some challenges and how have you overcome these? Some challenges I face include: getting boards the perfect thickness, adding rocker to flat blanks, catalysing resin too hot, and sanding is tough because the sander is really powerful and difficult to control. In order to overcome these, I have reached out to many friends over the years to help me do them correctly. I still don’t enjoy sanding my boards.
Can you describe your favorite board? My favourite board is 5’8″ x 19 1/2″ x 2 3/8″. It has an 80’s style outline with modern high-performance rocker and rails along with a quad fin set up. It performs great in 4-8 foot waves.
Where are you living and how is the female surf community there? I currently live in Carlsbad, California, and I surf mostly in Oceanside or down in Encinitas like at Swami’s. I also enjoy surfing Lower Trestles and up in Newport Beach. The female surf community is small but growing by the year. Females tend to like warmer water (who wouldn’t) but I am happy that wetsuit makers have improved female wetsuits so we can be comfortable, warm, and stylish in the winter. I know a lot of local girls who rip! We are taking over!
If we came to visit, where would you take us for a hot coffee before hitting the surf? And a cold beer afterward? Coffee would definitely be from Cafe Ipe also known as “Coffee Coffee” in Encinitas. This is actually where I work full-time. Here we roast all of our coffee in-house and it’s the best tasting around. As for a beer after surf, I enjoy going to Pizza Port in Solana Beach.
Any words of advice for someone wanting to have a go at shaping?
Be open minded. Don’t try and copy a mainstream board. Find someone to help you learn the steps and how to use the tools. It’s fun but really challenging.