CARLOS REYES - Final Chapter of Dedicated

When Carlos realised his passion for surfing, he decided that being a master of the waves was no longer enough and something more needed to come from his passion. This passion has been transformed in C-shape surfboards, a brand renowned in southern Florida.

Carlos has vigorously pursued his dedication in crafting surfboards. For him, the process of shaping, testing, re-shaping etc. is the only way Carlos feels the edge when riding the waves with his board. He is therefore the perfect entrepreneur for this venture, as he loves everything to do with the surfer lifestyle.

 

 GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA JEANS AND BUY IT HERE

 

How did this adventure start?

Originally, I am an artist and also an athlete - I really like sports. I tried skateboarding in junior high and I really liked it, but I got hurt a lot, so I quit it. I also took art classes in school and enjoyed it a lot. In my last year of high school, I became friends with some surfers and they told me about surfing, I tried it, and liked it. I felt very attracted to the island and laid-back lifestyle and decided to go for it. After six months, I learned to surf and decided to focus one hundred percent on my surfing and how to make surfboards.

After making my first surfboard, my friends said “hey, that’s a pretty cool surfboard - you should make more”, so I decided to do so, and the second turned out even better than the first and the third turned out better than the second. My friends and my first customers were very supportive, so I decided to stick with it and today, I have been doing it for 23 years.

 

 

“IF SOMETHING WORKS, IT STAYS.
IF IT DOESN’T WORK, I GET RID OF IT”

 

 GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA SHIRTS  AND BUY IT HERE

 

What do you enjoy most about shaping surfboards?

It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see the customers react and the expression on their face when they see their board for the first time. There is something transcendental about the art of creating something from a block of foam, which you can surf on and evoke emotions, feelings and adventure as a surfer. All of my boards are custom-made. I only make two or three identical boards. I always change my board designs and try to think out of the box. In the design process where dynamics, function and control play a crucial role together with the need to create a new surfing experience, I always try to deliver something new to my customers. I take feedback from the customers where if I find something that works, it stays and if it does not work, I get rid of it. The feeling of creating an exceptional new board and my passion for experimenting gives fuel for my designs and allows me to shape boards that are functional while also having a unique aesthetic quality. Last but not least, making surfboards makes me and my customers happy.

 

 

How does it feel to catch the perfect wave?

It feels really fast and fluid; you feel like a part of nature, just sliding in the water like you belong in the ocean. It feels really good - it is just like sex. It feels super smooth and gives you an adrenalin rush, and you get naturally high on nature. It is a pretty unique experience. When I am in the water, I feel very happy and almost like a fish. I also enjoy seeing nature when I am out surfing. I see stingrays, jelly fish and several other species. I know that there are sharks out there, but I have never really met one.

 

 GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA SHIRTS  AND BUY IT HERE
 

Wow, are you not afraid of meeting sharks?

Yeah, sometimes I am. I haven‘t seen many. Once, I saw a shark fin, swimming parallel to the beach and it kept going. A friend of mine was actually atacked by a shark. A bull shark attacked him and bit his hand. He was badly injured, but managed to push the shark away and made it to shore. He went to the hospital and got stitched.

 

 

“I AM STILL IN LOVE WITH THE
LIFESTYLE, THE PEOPLE,
THE BEACH, THE BOARDS
AND THE WAVES”
      
 GET INSPBY MORE GABBA JEANS AND BUY IT HERE 
 
“MY BOARDS ARE LIKE ARTWORK
-THEY ARE ALL ORIGINALS
AND DIFFERENT”
         
 GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA SHIRTS  AND BUY IT HERE
 

What is your surfboard trademark?

The letter C. When a shaper knows what he is doing and makes a good board, he becomes famous for he good shape and that is the fame you want to achieve. You want to be famous for making the ultimate hape. Also personalising the board, the colour, the name, the shape, your own customised and personal ook of the board. There is a lot you can do to make the boards look different. I have never understood why omeone wants to ride exactly the same board as anyone else. My boards are like artwork - they are all riginals and different. I never make the same board over and over again. I might make identical boards two r three times and that’s it. Then, I will change the colour, the style or something else. I think that this keeps e ahead of the surf-shaping game. All shapers get inspired by each other and make their own boards, and that‘s okay, as long as you do not make the same.

 

 GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA SHIRTS  AND BUY IT HERE

 

What is important to you in life?

To me, doing something that gives my life meaning. Doing things that improve my life, for example shapingboards, being with my family, surfing or being at the beach with my friends. Being in the water and riding waves makes me feel alive and I feel like a better me. My thoughts are positive and I get that adrenaline wave through my body. I love the simplicity in surfing and the only things you need are: you, the board and the water. I like it - it is so easy to surf compared to kite surfing, which is much more complicated, requiring a lot of stuff. When you are surfing, you are living for the moment, not the past or the future - there is only here and now. When I am surfing, there is nothing else on my mind but surfing and catching the perfect wave.

 

 

How is business?

There is not a lot of money in this business. I am actually just getting by. To make money in this business, you have to make a lot of boards and you need to charge a lot. But the customers here in Miami live in expensive apartments, drive nice, new cars, pay for all of their insurances, expensive clothes, kids and so on and they always want me to give them a discount, so they can pay for their lives. I am a nice guy, so I always have to negotiate with my customers,  but this is a business and I also have to earn money to survive. If you want a quality board, you will simply have to pay for it - otherwise you can go to Kmart and buy a board, but the quality will not be the same at all. In Miami, you have to be smart in order to survive and get by, but at the same time, you have to be a nice guy. I wish I had more money to play around with, so I could give people more discounts, but I cannot afford to play around with money. I think that the landlords around here should give discounts. You have to pay 1,600 dollars for a one-room apartment - it is “freaking” expensive in Miami

 

  GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA T-SHIRTS  AND BUY IT HERE

 

When was the last time you went surfing?

Yesterday, I went with my friends and we tried some new tricks. It was perfect - a lot of waves and it was really fun. There is nothing like surfing with your friends on a hot summer day.

 

 

What is “Miami surf” known for?

South Florida is home to the most publicised coast in Florida. However, it is not known for its consistent waves, but rather for its beautiful beaches, exotic locals, warm weather and party scene. Although I have to say that when the waves are pumping, Miami is simply an amazing place to be.

You can ride your surf dreams out here and the energy out there is incomparable. From May to August, Miami can drive us surfers wild, whereas flatness and weeks can pass without one single wave, worth fetching your board for. By the end of September, the best places to surf are Stuart Rocks, Reef Road in Palm Beach and Juno Pier. Surfing here can be very aggressive, especially at the top spots and during hurricane season, but at the same time, it is the best season - you just have to know what you are doing.

 

 

  GET INSPIRED BY MORE GABBA T-SHIRTS  AND BUY IT HERE

 

“GOD CREATED WATER, THE WAVES
AND THE POSSIBILITY TO SURF”

 

You have a saying, you add to your boards, could you tell us about that?

All my boards say “God bless”. God created life, humans and nature; he created water and the possibility to surf. I want to tell people that God blesses us all and that he wants us to be happy.

 

 

“THIS IS YOUR WORLD.
SHAPE IT OR
SOMEONE ELSE WILL”
   
(All photo credits, goes to their respective owners GABBA)
June 06, 2018 by Jonas Nikolajsen

Leave a comment

USD