The Shaper Interview
Talented surfer-turned-shaper has uncanny knack for developing new technologies
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 April, 2017 - What we know about Portugal’s Nuno Matta is that he's a ‘90s pro who turned to shaping his own boards in the pursuit of finding the perfect equipment. On the way he built a solid reputatioin as one of the best shapers in Europe, if not the world.
He's also not afraid to test new technologies like a carbon stringer eps construction called Smarttech or a front-patch option on boards (just like a tail patch but for the front foot).
Matta posseses that rare melange of personality, flair, confidence and marketing savvy that can lead shapers from the land of just getting by into the golden land of creating an actual, real-life, profitable surfboard company.
What are you working on right now that you're really excited about?
I’m working on a twin fin project called T20. It’s inspired by my first surfboard in 1984 shaped by Miguel Aragão. So I brought Miguel Aragão to my shaping room some days ago and we shaped together to make the first model of the T20. Of course this new twin fin inspired by my first twin fin needed some adjustments to better match modern surfing. This new edition, now with my signature, also comes with different art, in this case inspired by my first boardshorts. This year I’m celebrating 20 years of shaping, so this new twin fin is like a present to myself and to everybody who likes to ride twin fins. Justin Becret, Sam Piter, Didier Piter, Roberto D’Amico and Guilherme Ribeiro just tried this first model and they all ripped.
Share with us a shaping ‘moment’ that you are most proud of?
When Jadson Andre came to me because he needed a surfboard and needed it to be ready in eight hours for the Prime event in Cascais. We did it on time and he got into the contest with that surfboard - and he won the contest! It was an amazing feeling. I gave everything to have the best surfboard ready to go in such a short time. I did the best I could and probably that was Jadson’s way of thanking me.
What makes your company so damn special?
MATTA family, that includes not only all the staff in the factory but also team riders, partners, suppliers, clients and the damn ingredients: product quality, creativity, technology and innovation.
Do you believe in UFOs?
Yes, when I see someone riding a MATTA surfboard… LOL
What has been your biggest mistake business-wise?
There are no big mistakes. There are mistakes and we just need to learn from it, improve and move forward.
What advice would you give to someone when they are ordering a new board?
To be honest about their surfing so I can give them the best advise possible.
Share with us a shaping horror story- got any? If not, then tell us about one time you almost died.
All my first 10 days of shaping 20 years ago were horror stories LOL.
If you weren’t shaping boards, what would you be doing? Selling shoes? Slinging beers? Chasing UFOs?
Probably I would be interested in marketing or I would be doing furniture or probably I would be just surfing.