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Shapers chosen to honor Santa Cruz Icon John Mel





Industry News

Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Ward Coffey, Ryan Lovelace, Kalu Coletta, Michel Junod, and Nick Palandrani will attempt to replicate a classic John Mel design 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 8 August, 2016 - Six shapers have been chosen to compete in the Icons of Foam Tribute to the Masters Shape-off competition presented by US Blanks and honoring Santa Cruz surf industry icon John Mel.

The six shapers who will attempt to replicate a classic John Mel design are: Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Ward Coffey, Ryan Lovelace, Kalu Coletta, Michel Junod, and Nick Palandrani. Each of the six will be allotted 1.5 hours in the shaping bay.

The Icons of Foam Shape-off is a pillar of The Boardroom International Surfboard Show presented by Santa Cruz Skateboards which will take place in Santa Cruz October 8 & 9 at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. 

Ashley Lloyd Thompson -  Ashley is influenced and mentored by many local Santa Cruz shapers including Steve Coletta, Michel Junod, and Travis Reynolds. Almar Surfworks and Santa Cruz Board Builders Guild glasses her boards using traditional polyester resin and boards are also glassed with Entropy, (an epoxy bio-resin). Lloyd Thompson often adds a touch of custom art to her boards being inspired by her father, Michael Lloyd, and his fine art background. Ashley’s husband, Alex Thompson, often collaborates with designs and boards demos. Ashley strives to create joy balancing her life’s work with shaping, surf instruction, and playing music with Alex in their band, The Shapes. Signing boards, “made with love”, Ashley Lloyd Thompson puts heart into all that she creates.
Kalu Coletta - Kalu is a second generation surfboard shaper from Santa Cruz, Ca. His Father Steve Coletta began shaping Natural Curves Surfboards with more than a little inspiration and help from legendary craftsman Mike Diffenderfer in the late 1960's and has developed a reputation as one of the finest craftsman of contemporary high performance surfboards from the shortboard revolution to today. Steve has passed on his love of the ocean and passion for crafstsmanship and design to his son Kalu, who now in his mid-thirties, has been shaping and designing surfboards for nearly two decades.

Michel Junod – Michel is in the business of client service. He   understands the importance of taking the time to talk to people, to gauge their wants and needs. It's a key ingredient to his business, especially since the bulk of his boards are custom jobs. A shaper since 1966, Junod co-founded West Cliff Surfboards in 1970 in Santa Cruz with Chuck Strelitz. But several years later, Hawaii beckoned and Junod made his way to the North Shore. While producing boards under his own label, Michel also shaped for the Lightning Bolt, Dick Brewer, and Surfline Hawaii retail shops in Honolulu. In 1978, he left for Kauai. After a two-and-a-half year stint in Chile in the late 1980's he returned to Santa Cruz in 1990 and has been building boards under the same label ever since.
Ward Coffey -
When he first started Ward Coffey Shapes, Ward had already put 10 years before the mast at Arrow Surfboards. He wore a lot of hats, learned about the surf industry, and most importantly found out that he really liked shaping surfboards. He’s just as keen and stoked as ever to grab a blank and start a new board. Seeing his customers riding their boards on a daily basis is both satisfying and rewarding. He’s thankful to family & friends for their support & inspiration. Ward championed the last shape-off in Santa Cruz honoring Doug Haut (2011) besting Santa Cruz shaping legends Bob Pearson, Steve Coletta, Mark Angell, & Goleta’s Wayne Rich.

Ryan Lovelace – Ryan is a 29-yr-old shaper based out of Santa Barbara, California. Self-taught and dedicated to the process of hand shaping, Lovelace has collected a worldwide audience of interested and enthusiastic surfers since his start in 2005. He has a deep fascination with surfboard design, and an obsession with the art of building by hand. Surfboards have become his life through necessity; they feed his creative desires, recreational obsessions and provide Ryan with the most supportive and enthusiastic friends and community he could ask for.

Nick Palandrani - Source Surfboards is and has always been about hand-shaped surfboards. Nick is a one- man operation with an insane work ethic and a great appreciation for all of his loyal customers. Quality is his top priority and he understand the importance of building a surfboard the right way. For this reason, Nick only trusts his glasswork to the Santa Cruz Board Builders Guild. Doug Fletcher and Dave Aronovici are the best in the business and their incredible work compliments my shapes. In 2012, Nick introduced a certificate of authenticity, which is now included with the sale of every board. This document certifies that each Source surfboard is 100% hand-shaped and built out of Santa Cruz, Calif. His passion is to continue the tradition of hand-shaped boards while keeping the artistic side of shaping alive.

The winning shaper will walk away with $1K prize and his name etched into the Mike Marshall Perpetual Trophy alongside past winners Ricky Carroll ('07,'08,'12), Marc Andreini, Wayne Rich ('10,'11), Pat Rawson, Matt Biolos, Ward Coffey, Stu Kenson, Matt Calvani, Roger Hinds ('14,'15), and Ryan Lovelace. All six shapers will showcase the sacred craft of surfboard building by honoring John Mel in the shape-off.

"I am very honored to be included as an Icon of Foam," said John Mel.  "The Mel family are fortunate to have had the support of the local surf community as our shop enters its 47th year in Santa Cruz, and with three generations involved in the business we are looking forward to gathering with everyone at the October Boardroom Surfboard Show."

The surf lifestyle celebration showcases the surfboard manufacturing industry and features exhibits, demos, seminars, a vintage surfboard swap, music and hundreds of state-of-the-art surfboards and hard-goods from the surfboard industry’s finest craftsman, designers and manufacturers.

Boardroom Show, Shapers, Honor, Santa Cruz, Icon, John Mel, Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Ward Coffey, Ryan Lovelace, Kalu Coletta, Michel Junod, and Nick Palandrani, October

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