Tim “The hardest working surfboard shaper” Stamps is a fun guy to talk with, I got know him when I ordered a bonzer from him a few months ago. Since then I stop by his shop and talk surfboards and surfing now and then. And living up to his “title” evertime I show up, Tim is covered in foam dust, with mask and glasses on, in the shaping room. He says “I’m the type of guy that doesn’t feel right if I don’t have a large stack of boards waiting to be shaped and if I don’t put a full day of work in to get them out”.
Stamps grew up in Seal beach where he started sweeping the shop for Rich Harbour. Seeing a talented surfer, Harbour trained Stamps in the traditional way of working your way up from sweeping the floor, to sanding boards, to learning the craft of shaping. Tim started his journey 25 years ago when he was 15 years old and desinged his first shape at 19. At the time of this interview Stamps says he has shaped over 14,000 surfboards and sanded a few thousand on top of that. So to call him a master craftsman at shaping surfboards is a safe bet.
Over the 20 years that Tim has been shaping he has helped develop many of the Harbour Surfboard line with Rich. He was also a contributor to the Harbour Performance fin. If you have ever tried one of these HP fins, you look at it wondering what its going to do, but once its on the board, your glad you put it there. It has a lot of performance in creating drive off the bottom of the wave with a wide base for stablilty for making your way to the nose.
Tim graduated from CSULB with a BA in Geography and completed a certificate in Computer Cartography/GIS. So as computer designing made its way into surfboard shaping, it was an easy transition for Tim to ride the wave of technology into his shaping. Today Tim uses a C.A.D surfboard design program where he puts all the dimensions of a surfboard into a computer that cuts the surfboard to exact measurements everytime. And once he finds the magic dimensions he can recreate that board over and over. The C.A.D. machine takes a surf board blank and cuts the shape the outline, the rocker and roughs out the deck and rails. It basically took the place of the saw and the planer. Once out of the machine getting the rails, concaves and suttle nuances of the board perfect is done by hand. Tim makes it look easy but knowing all the different all the steps and pressures of using a sander, 4-5 different grains of screens and sand paper and how to use them take years of learning.
Currently, Tim is the full time shaper for Harbour Surfboards. Rich Harbour a legendary shaper from Seal Beach is also a big believer in the C.A.D. machine to shape his surfboards. Using the C.A.D. machine Rich and Tim can shape surfboards consistantly and quickly to get them into the hands of his all the Harbour “Die Hard Fans”. Tim gets loads of Harbour surfboards and puts all the final touches on the boards before going to the glasser then to the shop finally findng their way into the waves.
Stamps is a big supporter of the newest types of boards and materials. In his line up of Stamps Surfboards he has short boards with no stringers and carbon fiber rails. He choose carbon because it is more consistnent then wood and it gives the board a better parabolic rail. Tim also makes the ancient wooden surfboards called Alaia boards that guys are now riding to challenge their surfing abilities. In his array of surf boards you will find fish’s, single fins, short boards, displacement hulls, bonzers, long boards, performance long boards, eggs, 70′s style boards and few other jems he has created.
Tim is also a big fan of paddle boarding. He offers several different models of a S.U.P. and he enjoys this style of surfing himself. Recently he went out to Lake Havasu to support a 26 mile paddle board race and ended up winning his division.
When asked what do you think the perfect quiver is? Here is his response.
Stamps: A fish, something not so fishy, short board, a step up short board for bigger surf, mid size board (if your into that), long board, paddle board, swim fins, boogie board and a raft.
Tim has a great amount of knowledge he is willing to share with his clients and his easy going personality makes him fun to work with. He often refers to his shop as “Happy Land, the place where surfboards dreams come to life”.
You can see his full line at: www.surfboardsbystamps.com or call Tim at (562) 715-6547