Tri-County Shapers’ Spotlight
Shaper Spotlight: Todd Proctor
By Erynn Im
The evolution of Todd Proctor begins as the story of a skinny young boy who tagged along with his older friends to the beach. He was the grom who wasn’t so hot on the waves, and the older boys weren’t afraid to tease his lack of skill. Then one day, his neighbor let Todd try one of his boards, and all of a sudden he was surfing, surfing well. That’s when he realized that there’s something about surfboards that really affects how one surfs. At the age of 33, Todd now leads a life dedicated to helping others find their magic boards as a successful shaper with his own label, who’s laughing now?
Todd first learned how to shape from a book he checked out from the public library, titled How to Build a Surfboard. It was an old green book from the ‘70s that outlined the most elementary basics. Todd had been watching shapers for years and asking them questions, but most were always hesitant to share all their knowledge with him. He laughs now at his first steps in becoming the shaper he is today.
He took his first four shapes that he ever made to McCrystals in Oxnard to get them glassed. Though he was a little embarrassed, he was surprised by how impressed Casey McCrystal himself was. He was immediately offered a job and a couple years later, he was working alongside one of the shapers for the company Lost in San Clemente, handshaping boards for pro’s in his own shaping room. “I got feedback from the best surfers in the world…that kind of thing is priceless,” said Todd. He was gaining experience shaping a lot of different types and styles of boards. But in the back of his mind, the Central Coast was calling him, and soon enough, he realized that he had enough of a reputation to start his own line. His move to begin his own label was carefully calculated, and with the experience he gained from the industry thus far in his career, he began Proctor Surfboards in Ventura.
Customization is the key to Proctor’s success in the business. Every board that Proctor makes is as unique as the surfer riding it; the board has its own living, thriving soul. This is because Proctor takes the time to talk to each of his customers to assess and achieve each of their personal needs, whether they be professional surfers or retired businessmen who want a new hobby; there is no discrimination. Just like his neighbor who equipped him with the right board years ago, Proctor wants each of his customers to have the best board possible for the kind of surfing that they want to achieve. “It’s not like basketball where you just use any basketball,” Proctor said about surfing. “Boards are such an individual thing, it can make a huge difference what type you use.”
Proctor’s commitment to the
most advanced technology and his state of the art factory allows him to produce his dream of individually specialized boards.
When he first started his own label, he had ideas for some kind of computer system that could take any aspect of a board design and accurately customize it. Coincidentally, at this same time, Brazilian shaper Luciano Leao was in the throes of designing a system and machine that would revolutionize the world of shaping forever. Proctor went to Hawaii himself to check out the machine and even gave input as to how to improve the system.
He was one of the first to own and use this program that allows for customized accuracy.
The system records and adjusts the different design features that the board will have, and then sends the information to a machine that mills out the exact measurements. Proctor keeps a huge database of all the boards he’s ever handshaped, and this program can adjust each to the unique needs of his customer. After recording all of the customer’s information, Proctor handpicks the different design aspects from the database to create one, accurate, customized board. All of the customer’s information and their customized designs are then saved onto a disc. The customer can then come back to Proctor and say, “Hey, I really liked this one board, but I’ve gained 20 pounds,” and Proctor can accurately readjust the design but maintain its original functions.
“It’s a new frontier in precision and design,” said Proctor. “People know what they’re getting every time.”
The production of his boards is also completely in-house, meaning that everything from the start to finish in making the boards is done within his factory. This insures the very best quality, best technology, and best customer service every step along the way. And unlike many shaping rooms, Proctor’s factory is impeccably clean, from the showroom all the way back to the airbrush room. The factory boasts a special filtering system that filters all the harmful vapors and brings in fresh air into the workplace. He’s just as meticulous with the business aspect of his shaping career as he is with the design.
Honesty and true love for the art of shaping is what keeps Proctor’s factory running and flourishing.
With the loving support of his wife, Charissa, the two have created a business built on principles that is sure to stand the test of time. For more information on Proctor and his boards, visit