Dan Forte moved to Southern California at the age of 12 from Brooklyn NY. When he arrived Dan learned in a Southern San Diego neighborhood that in you where either a surfer or not a surfer. His choice to be a surfer at this early age has shaped his life and career. Dano grew up in Mission Viejo in OC and dedicated to surfing as a teen he would ride his bike down El Toro Blvd. all the way to the beach with the a 7′ Stewart pin tail on the back. He started shaping as a late teen. Dano describes his first board as being thick and awkward. After the first few rides he put it away and went back to his old board. After a while he picked it up again and learned how to ride it and figured how to improve it. So he built another board then another and another. Soon he was building short boards for all his buddies. Then as his name got out and people started talking about the boards, demand rose. For a time Dano said he was shaping over 20 boards per week. These are all hand shaped, designed and sanded by him. At this rate Dano was burning out and it lost its fun.
He needed a change. Developing his talent as a graphic artist over the years Dano decided to get a “job” behind a desk. He got a position at a dot com company doing graphics. In his free time he started shaping “retro” boards and classic long boards for himself while working. Once again his circle of surfing buddies began putting in orders for one of his “new” retro boards. Then the dot com collapse happened and Dano was back to shaping.
The timing could not have been better, the classic board and retro movement was just taking off and the orders started lining up and shapes are flying off the racks at surf shops.
He has been shaping boards for over two decades and he estimates that he has shaped well over 7,000 boards in that time.
Today Dano Surfboards has full selection of classic long boards including;
The Nose Glider – One of his most popular, traditional style with an 18” plus nose and 16” square tail, 50/50 rails, heavy glass and great looking resin design.
Pignar Bread Basket – Old school with modern tweaks. Traditional pig shape with a unique D shaped fin and wide point pushed back. This is board is great for stepping back in style, hanging 5, hot dogging, and trimming down the face of a hot wave.
Los Creeper Double Step Deck – Double step deck, dished out in the front and the tail, and a large raked paddle fin, this board could competes as the best nose rider in the group.
Pig – it’s big, heavy and traditional. This board is in line with the first pigs Like Bing, Takayama and the likes. This board has a very traditional feel with a narrower nose and wide point pushed back.
Old Pleasure a versatile log with a narrower nose and the wide point pushed slightly back (not as far back as a pig) which makes the board easier to swing the nose around and turn but with plenty of nose riding capability.
Double Ender – This board can be build on the short side of 7’ to up around 9’6” depending on what your looking for.
Ace – this is the modern board of the quiver. It has harder rails can come with side bites and is thinner and not glassed as heavy.
V-bottom – These are bringing back what Nat Young and McTavish challenged Pipe with. These boards are great addition to the quiver when you want something in the mid range with a classic outline and long glassed in fin with a wide v-bottom tail.
Displacement Hulls – Developed in Australia and up in Malibu with Gary Liddle. These boards have the wide section pushed forward hull type bottom and knifed rails. A great way to have a different experience at your local wave
The Dynamo is a short board with diamond tail with a long single fin glassed in
Fish’s, of all shapes with twins, quads concaves and retro outlines. These just look like fun.
Eggs – single fins, twin fins, bonzers, channel bottoms, you name it Dano has probably made it.
Standard Thrusters – You can still one of his quality short boards to rip it up!
Dano Kustom Boards is located in Costa Mesa Ca. www.danosurfboards.com