di Erika Scafuro
Daniel Bartoli – native of São Paulo, Brazil – is a longboarder and lives in Ericeira, one of those places where every day you are grateful for the generosity of a nature that seems created specifically for a surfer. A reality so rewarding that Daniel faces daily also with his work as a shaper, a process that leads him to never stop learning.
When and how did you become a shaper?
«In 1994 I started fixing my friends’ surfboards, I was 15 years old at the time, then three years later in 1997 I started shaping surfboards. I met a friend, Rildo Dias, in Guaruja on the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was there in a small factory where he taught me everything and it was where I shaped my first longboard. At the start it was hard like all new jobs at the beginning. But it’s about the fight and strong dedication of time to learn, even now I am still learning».
What is your first surfing memory?
«I remember going to school and designing surfboards without ever even seeing a surfboard. One day a cousin of mine showed up with a surfboard and because we lived in a big city, we could only go to the beach on the weekends, the closest of which was 50km away».
Did you shape your first surfboard yourself?
«No, actually my first board was a longboard 9″ TWIN made by the Argento brothers, icons and an indicator of the surf scene at the time in Sao Paulo. The surfboard was yellow with black spots and I used to call it ‘Maizena’, a type of biscuit from Brazil because it looked exactly like that. It’s from having this surfboard that sparked my love for longboarding up until this day».
What is the process that leads to a surfboard?
«I will try to be fast and keep it simple! First of all, there are two types of surfboards made, surfboards made in large quantities and surfboards that are hand made, they have different ways to be made. First we design the surfboard trying to understand what the client needs and what they want. After that we start producing, using a cutting machine (CNC) to cut the foam, from here the shape starts and after we finish by hand. Later it’s time to fix the plugs for the fins and leash, these days 99% have removable fins. Once the plugs are in the surfboard we start laminating, this is basically resin and fiberglass. After, the surfboard gets a hot coat, and when this is done the surfboard goes to the end station of sand papering. Finally, after being left to dry for 10-15 days it’s ready to go to the water».
What is your favorite Bear surfboard?
«Well, I am a longboarder, I love longboards, especially the ATOMIC and COSMIC, they are both versatile boards and work in many types of waves».
Tell us about a typical day as a shaper
«A day in the life of a shaper hehe… it can be chilled out, but it can also get complicated. I say that because we work with the dreams and wishes of people and that can be psychologically demanding, bringing together what the client has in mind and building that into a reality. Many times we know that what the person wants doesn’t fit the skill level that they have, but when we make this happen they are super grateful».
If it’s a perfect wave day, but at the same time you have surfboards to deliver…what do you choose between surfing and shaping?
«I don’t have anything to complain about, it’s the opposite. I am very grateful and lucky to do what I love, and I’m thankful to God to be able to do something that I like and love that it’s what I do. Today I live in Ericeira, the world surfing reserve, and I can safely say that two hours of my day will not impact any orders and will leave you much happier and energized to finish the job. You can always combine the two things in a good way, I can still do it this way and I intend to continue in this way!».