At Firestone Walker, we don’t just appreciate a well-crafted beer, but all things artisan and handcrafted. We appreciate the things that come from the heart — the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into the work of all artists, carpenters, musicians, builders and shapers alike.
We built our brewery from that same passion and dedication, so we tip our hats and raise our glasses to all those who are makers.
A few particular makers who caught our eye is Ventura native, Josiah Morris, surfboard shaper and his wife Crista, owners of Morin Surfboards. We recognized their commitment to their craft and wanted to honor their work in a special way.
To show our admiration of craftsmen like Josiah, we asked him to shape a special Firestone Walker X Morin surfboard, which we gave away in October 2020.
ABOUT JOSIAH MORRIS
Over the years Josiah has taken the time to learn about every aspect of the board building process from his 10-year career in mainstream surf, working in different factories from Jeff Hull Fiberglass, Channel Islands Surfboards and Varial Surf Technologies.
It was in those factories where he discovered his passion for marrying deep-seated tradition and modern innovation. Out of that passion grew a desire within Josiah and Crista to step away from corporate surf and step out on their own, putting all their experience and joy into building surfboards their own way.
One may ask why a custom-crafted board may be better than a stock board from their local surf shop. A shaper like Josiah will take into account the client’s local surf breaks, their experience, ability, body type and size, and their personal goals when it comes to surfing.
A stock board will be from a mainstream brand that has been designed for high performance waves, modeled and tested by professional surfers, and are very often not compatible with the everyday surfer who surfs average waves.
Learning from the legends is how we continue to honor the art and culture of surfboard building.
For the future shapers out there, he suggests starting from the ground up. If you have an opportunity to work under a local legend, do it, get in there and learn.
There’s something to be said about pursuing a craft with a “low and slow” mentality.
Anyone can become “Insta-famous” but in order to have longevity in this industry, we have to be willing to take the time to learn the old ways of building and pass that craft onto the next generation. Josiah would not be who he is as a board builder, nor would he have had the confidence to venture out on his own if it hadn’t been for those who’ve gone before him and be willing to take the time to allow me to shadow them. His board building heritage traces back to Phil Edwards and Bing Copeland. Shapers who apprenticed under them have trained him; therefore, pieces of those men, come through in the way Josiah make boards today.
He isn’t one to shy away for innovation and progression but believes there has to be a balance between taking what has always been done and combining it with the advances of new technology.
Even after over 10 years in this industry, he is still constantly connecting with other shapers he looks up to.
— Josiah Morris, surfboard shaper
Stay humble and teachable, and find ways to continue to be passionate about what you create.