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Meet the founder of Boards & Waves Expo, Dave Seehafer



Industry Updates

Event showcases shapers and connects them with the public

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 May, 2017 - The Boards and Waves Expo in Melbourne Florida is one of the few hardcore surf shows in the USA. It's all about surfboards and hardgoods and next to Surf Expo, is the East Coast's main surf industry exhibit. The man behind this show is Dave Seehafer, an industry veteran and entrepreneur who started the show because he wanted to honor the shapers and people who build our surfboards and to connect them with the general public.

We’ve known you for awhile now and you’re super passionate about putting this event on. Why?
I've been fortunate enough to have worked in the surf industry for over 30 years.  I love surfing and surfboards; without surfboards, the rest is just add-ons!  The Expo has two elements in its creation.  The first is to showcase the amazing surfboard shapers, board builders and craftsmen in this industry who work under less-than-ideal conditions, making less-than-average pay to create the boards that give us so much joy!  From the earliest board builders (Velzy, Weber, Hobie, etc.) to today's grom shaping his first board in the garage or shop class, surfboards are the focus!!  Here in Brevard County, we have one of the largest concentrations of shapers on the entire East Coast so the Expo is created to put them in the spotlight and give them some support! The second goal is to create a unique setting where consumers and shapers can chat face-to-face, discussing all of the unique elements that go into board performance--type of blank, fin template, bottom contour, two/three/four/five fins, channel bottoms, longboards, short boards, fun shapes and so much more.  Since the closure of Clark Foam, there have been lots of changes, improvements and new technologies incorporated into board building--the consumer needs the right information to ensure that he or she is getting the perfect board for their ability, weight, wave height and more.  The consumer can buy a board right there at the Expo after talking directly to the shaper or order a custom just in time for the summer hurricane swells!  An additional focus for this year's Expo is to honor and recognize two icons of East Coast surfing and board building--Pete Dooley of Natural Art Surfboards and Dick Catri of Catri Surfboards (Dick unfortunately passed away earlier this week but his memory lives on).

What are some of the challenges of putting together an event like this?  
The biggest challenge is to get the shapers to build boards to display at the Expo--so many are struggling, just shaping enough to buy supplies for the next batch of orders.  Many don't have the resources to build boards which would display their true abilities & craftsmanship.  The second challenge is the cost of producing an Expo of this magnitude.  It's self-financed and I try to make it as cost-effective as possible so that as many shapers as possible can be a part of it.

What can people expect from the Boards & Waves Expo? 
It's the only Expo of its kind on the entire East Coast, where surfers & paddlers can talk directly to the shapers who build the boards, to the fin companies who design the fins, to the foam companies who manufacture the blanks.  They can gather a huge amount of information in a short period of time to ensure that they have the most knowledge when ordering or buying their next board.  Boards aren't cheap these days so you want to be stoked, not disappointed, with your purchase!

In a perfect world, how big would this event be?
With the Boardroom Show in California as my yardstick, I'd love to have 150+ shapers and craftsmen from the entire East Coast and thousands of consumers celebrating the magic & passion of surfboards over a two day period!!

Anything else you want people to know about Boards & Waves Expo?
Come to Melbourne, FL June 3 & 4--see surfboards being shaped, watch surfboards being painted, meet top shapers from the East Coast, discuss fins & foam directly with the manufacturers, win some awesome raffle prizes, honor Pete & Dick, and hopefully walk out with a new board....or at least leave with the information to ensure that your next board performs exactly the way you want!   Mahalo!

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