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1-DA celebrates anniversary, Upson speaks out



Industry Updates

Upson says there's pain from his loyalty to a brand 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 March, 2015 - Australia - Four years after Base/DHD's sudden closing, Australian shaper Gavin Upson celebrates his board brand, 1-DA's one-year anniversary. 

Upson spent ten years shaping for some of the top talent in the world—Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore, Silvana Lima, Adriano DeSouza, and others. After Base/DHD closed in 2011, Upson took the opportuntiy to step back and consider his next move. On the anniversary Upson released the following statement:

"The Good:

I am passionate about making surfboards. I really enjoy talking to surfers about what they like and don’t like in their current quiver and creating a board that they froth on. I thrive in designing them and feel in my element in the shaping bay.

Owning my own company has allowed me to reconnect with surfers of all experience on this level and have more family time. Who would have thought?!

Working closely with pro surfers is my ultimate passion and I’m thankful for the opportunities, if only small, that have been presented to me so far. I know it’s only a matter of time before this area takes off.

The Bad:

Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise that BASE/DHD closed down in 2011 as it gave me the opportunity to reassess my life ... where I’d come from, where I was now and where I wanted to go. I’ll admit, the pain of offering my loyalty to a brand for over a decade and expecting to retire with them, and for that company to behave in ways that led to their ultimate demise and then see them start up again within a few day, absolutely guttered me. I feel so proud to have chosen not to continue with them and to take my own path. It took me almost a year to come to terms with it but what a life revelation ... to take time out to discover (or in my case re-discover) what I wanted to achieve in my life.

And to be honest, it’s hard to continue putting myself out there to the pro surfers when many of them don’t know what I’ve done for them in the past and I wont tell them either out of respect for my former position. As much as I want to scream out at the top of my lungs to certain surfers about what I’ve done, I can’t mess with their headspace when they’re the best in the world in pursuit of more world titles.

And having never had a website, Facebook account, Instagram account or Twitter account previously, it’s been a huge technical and social media learning process" – Gavin Upson, 1-DA Shapes.


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