Shaper: Steve Darch
I started making Surfboards in the early 80s with my dad in our Garage. We used to hot wire rocker into 8 foot long by 4-foot-wide high density insulation foam, the blue stuff Salomon used in later years for S core boards and glassed with epoxy sp115 boat resin. This then carried on to me buying blanks off Bill Bailey in Goonhavern, they were stringerless Polyurethane blanks, he used to make them himself on his farm, they were £8 each and they were the first blanks I could get hold of that could be glassed with conventional polyester resin. For the next 10 years I made boards back yard for mates in this country and a couple of years in Australia and South Africa.
On returning from a Canary island trip in the mid-90s I decided to try and make a living out of Custom boards, my Sister had been working in the Clothing industry for years so between us we came up with a brand, that’s when FILF Clothing and Surfboards started and went on for about 15 years, we ran a Surf shop in Rottingdean a small village just east of Brighton with a history of good surfers living there and also a few good reef setups. We also had the surfboard factory just up the road in another coastal town Saltdean. I used to get all my blanks which were Clark foam at the time from Seabase, where I make boards now. FILF Surf company eventually changed hands as we had other family business commitments. I still carried on making a few backyard boards until about 6 years ago I started building boards at Seabase and shaping for Quiver. I now shape all my own Custom orders under my brand Darchy Shapes and work out of the new Colab Surf Studios with a team of highly Skilled board builders. A lot of my old customers from the FILF days came back to me as well as building boards for some great people all over the country. I use the CNC machine a fair bit to save my shoulders now I’m in my Late 50s but still love to hand shape quite a few special orders.