The Surfersvillage Interview
"I never stop designing and thinking outside normal parameters" - Maurice Cole
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 March, 2016 - Perhaps as much a part of the Rip Curl Pro as the long, roping walls of Bells Beach, Maurice Cole is also synonymous with France, Tom Curren, the EEV reverse vee design and building boards for world champions Barton Lynch, Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll, and Mark Occhilupo.
His business roots started in the mid 1970s shaping under the Watercooled Surfboards label until he moved to France in the 1980s to shape under his own label. But it was putting a board under the feet of Tom Curren as he took his third world title that placed Cole firmly into the spotlight as a shaper.
Despite making some of the best boards in the world, Maurice suffered as his business methods failed to keep things in the black. He says he’s learned heaps from the experience and that now things are going heaps better. His line of designs can be found globally.
Maurice Cole: Image via Down The Line Radio
“Maurice has a really high hit-rate on magic surfboards,” says Nick Carroll. “All shapers are capable of producing it from one time or another but Maurice seems to have a very high ratio of magic to non-magic.”
He’s also transitioned into modern social media quite well, with his surf-report Instagram posts of Bells Beach being much loved by the global digital community. One can also find online petitions by Cole to keep the carpark at Bells safe from a stampede of tour buses.
“Bella needs your support, please sign (the petition) and become part of the solution in keeping Bells as OUR pristine Iconic cultural home…….safe from the clutches of commercial exploitation…” he urged people online.
Tom Curren's 7'8 Maurice Cole © Servais
How would you describe what you do for work to a small, inattentive child?
I like making and sculpting beautiful shapes, not out of play dough...but out of big pieces of white foam....
What is that you do professionally that you are most proud of?
I never stop designing and thinking outside normal parameters....and testing them keeps ya gommet keen as mustard
Tell us what has been your biggest mistake?
Being too arrogant in business.....became debt ridden..and spent 6 mths away from home when my kids were growing up.
What did you learn from that mistake?
How much it hurts to come home and you have missed of your kids growing up.....that's why ya have grandkids!
Share with us your biggest Rocky Balboa moment (punching frozen meat and then running up the stairs of the Capitol, music blaring).
Watching my wife give birth to my daughter, cutting the umbilical cord....being adopted and realizing that this was one of my most fulfilling moments......blood family!
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? Selling shoes?
Probably a mountain man living is some wild remote area of Alaska, living off the land....
OK, you get to drop into any five moments in history – surf or otherwise. Please name them and why.
1. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ....to see for myself and experience first hand the most amazing moment in History...
2. To see Jimi Hendrix live in San Diego...as this was his finest show...and the most amazing concert I have heard....
3. To watch the rumble in the jungle , when Mohamed Ali beat George foreman...too smart too quick........he backed his mouth up with one of the finest displays of boxing the worlds ever seen
4. To have been with the Portuguese when they first discovered Japan
5. To have hung out with Leonardo Da Vinci......the world’s most advanced designer...too many moments to name one