Encinitas, Ca., (October 10, 2011) — Putting him in rarefied air with Florida’s Ricky Carroll, Santa Barbara’s Wayne Rich won his second Tribute to the Masters Shape-off Competition presented by US Blanks. This year’s competition was unique in that the six shapers were tasked with creating an asymmetrical design inspired by legend and honoree Carl Ekstrom.

“Wow! I’m over the moon. This is humbling, exciting, truly an honor, because the five other shapers really brought their A-games,” said Rich. “This year’s format created a design environment for all of us to get creative, and it that helped make this event the best one yet. These five craftsman, and all of the surfboard builders here today, proved to me one very important lesson; hand-shaped surfboards are in a really good place. We’re not going anywhere.”

Carl Ekstrom, Rusty Preisendorfer and Stanley Pleskunas judged the final shapes which included a five minute proof-of-concept Q and A with each shaper. The other five competing shapers included defending champion Matt Biolos of LOST surfboards in San Clemente, and San Diegan’s George Gall, Tim Bessell, Ryan Burch and Daniel Thomson . All six shapers were selected by Carl Ekstrom.

The team boards on display.

…Lost SurfSkates based off of Matt Biolos’ surfboard designs.

Matt Biolos shaping an asymmetrical surfboard during the ‘Tribute to the Masters Shape-off’ honoring Carl Ekstrom.

Matt Biolos to defend title at Sacred Craft this weekend.

Six shapers will design, shape and craft unique asymmetrical surfboards during the ‘Tribute to the Masters Shape-off’ honoring Carl Ekstrom and presented by US Blanks. The six shapers hand-picked by Ekstrom include defending champion Matt Biolos (San Clemente), Tim Bessell (La Jolla), Ryan Burch (Cardiff-By-The-Sea), George Gall (Point Loma), Wayne Rich (Santa Barbara) and Daniel Thomson (Australia). The Tribute to Carl Ekstrom takes place during the Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo October 8 & 9, 2011 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Oct 8th at 2pm : SHAPING LIVE: Matt Biolos (defending champion) – Tribute to the Masters Shaping Bay
presented by US BLANKS honoring Carl Ekstrom

Also, don’t miss our …Lost SurfSkate Grom Slolom Challenge


At Ekstrom’s suggestion this year’s shape-off will not be exact replications but rather new variations of the asymmetrical design. Anything goes! The only parameters are that 1) the finished blanks be asymmetrical and that 2) the fin placement be drawn onto the finished blank.

The finished blanks will be judged by a trio of design legends: Stanley Pleskunas, Rusty Preisendorfer, and honoree Carl Ekstrom. The trio anticipates having each shaper discuss with them the ‘proof of design concept’ during the judging process.

“With the asymmetric design it is very important for the judges to fully understand the shapers design concept, and just looking at them won’t do the shaper and his design justice,” said Ekstrom. “These boards are so unique that it’s important to discuss the boards design with the shaper.”

The winner will receive $1K and have their name etched onto the Mike Marshall Perpetual Trophy alongside past Tribute to the Masters winners Ricky Carroll (x2 Mike Diffenderfer, Bill Caster), Marc Andrieni (John Bradbury), Pat Rawson (Dick Brewer), Wayne Rich (Renny Yater), Matt Biolos (Simon Anderson), and Ward Coffey (Doug Haut).

Early bird registration is OPEN. The floor plan, booth space contracts, and general information are available online at:

Sacred Craft brings together surfboard lovers in what has become the surfboard industry gathering. Passion for surfboards and the authentic culture that flows forth never goes out of style.
WHO: Surfers, shapers, and surfboard manufacturers
WHAT: Two days of surfboard heaven
WHEN: October 8 & 9, 2011
WHERE: Del Mar Fairgrounds
WHY: Because surfers care about two things: waves and the equipment to ride them with
HOW: $10 at the door; kids 12 & under free
To exhibit/reserve booth space at Sacred Craft click here now to download the booth space contract.

Carl Ekstrom was born in 1941, raised in La Jolla, began surfing at age 11 and built his first board at 15. In the early ’60s Ekstrom shaped for Wardy, Ole, Jacobs, Bing, and Con among other surfboard companies. In ’63 he opened his own shop with Al Nelson. Ekstrom developed the first asymmetrical tail design in 1965, based on the idea that the board should better match the surfers own nonlinear stance. In 1988 Ekstrom and Windansea surfer Tom Lochtefeld began working on a stationary wave later dubbed the FlowRider, which made its public debut in a Texas waterpark in the summer of 1991. Ekstrom’s design influence can be found restaurants, military training helmets, Reebok shoes, and beyond. Ekstrom’s asymmetrical surfboard is enjoying a major resurgence with La Jolla surfer Richard Kenvin and the Hydrodynamica crew helping Ekstrom with R&D in and around San Diego environs.

The SACRED CRAFT Consumer Surfboard Expo is an opportunity for shapers, surfboard craftsman and surfboard manufacturers to come together under one roof and share their passion with the surfboard loving public. It operates with one objective, to unite passionate surfers with the surfboard industry.

Our comprehensive line-up of blanks is unmatched in both design and quality. Proven classic shapes, together with a larger and exciting new offering of cutting edge designs, puts US Blanks at the forefront of surfboard cores.