Forty-six years ago I endeavoured to try and shape my first surfboard out of an old one I had peeled the glass off. This was a common practice in those days. I didn't realise then that all these years later I would still be doing what I fell in love with way back then. To shape a board, then actually ride it in the surf to me was, and still is, a fantastic feeling. I'm glad to say I still enjoy it now as much as I did then. I didn't really know what I was doing when I first started, I just tried. And I learnt...or basically felt my way through it. It was a time of trial and error and thinking 'I wonder if this would work', 'I wonder if that will work' and it was exciting, thinking and waiting and then feeling those new sensations as you finally got your craft into the water. For me, shaping is all about sharing. "You received free...give free..." I love sharing my knowledge and if I can inspire the love of kneeboarding I'm stoked. For this first blog post I couldn't say it better than an email I received today from a friend, Denis...
Story by Denis Finn
I remember the chance meeting well ; I was surfing Troubridge Point on Yorke Peninsula when this dude showed me his new Neil Luke FREAK. It was the most beautiful board I had ever seen. The concaves, chine rails & beveled edges were the most complex shaping I had seen. It was like something from another dimension.
As soon as I got back to Adelaide I phoned Neil and he had second-hand 6’3″ Freak which I bought, which I bought. It was christened at 4ft G-Bowl on Yorkes and it instantly improved my surfing – the only board to do this. I was hooked.
Since then I think I have had 7 freaks and I love them all. They perform in all conditions. Also have a barrel hogging pintail and NL 90’s rounded square.
Neil & I have had MANY discussions over the years and he has ALWAYS been friendly, encouraging and helpful. I have always heard surfers talk about having a “relationship” with their board maker and now, I know what they mean.
I have begun shaping some boards for myself and Neil has been most forthcoming with advice and guidance. I know I have annoyed the hell out of him but he is always happy to help with guidance & advice. True surf spirit! I cannot thank him enough for this.
Recently I felt the urge for a new board . I had my FREAKS, so Neil & I discussed “something different”. We bounced ideas off each other and settled on a “Flying Fresh Fish, with exaggerated concaves and a diamond tail”…………just for something different. Putting it simply, it was the best board yet! It easily handled anything up to 8 foot surf , even sloppy chopped 2ft crud. Its awesome.
In conclusion (I hope Neil doesnt mind me saying this) , talk to Neil, listen and I know he will shape you something extraordinary.
People ask me what brand board I surf , and for over 15 years , my answer has been the same…………..LUKE kneeboards.