The world of shapers is very weird ! I think you have to get under the bonnet and get a bit dirty or have been born near a Shaping bay in order to truly understand this art! It’s kinda like photography; if you spend hours in a dark room working with photo paper and sniffing chemicals until your head starts to spin, you won’t be able to spend much time afterwards talking about technical shit! All that just to say that when you interview a guy who’s as passionate about shaping as Eden Saul is, founder of the brand Dead Kooks,you gotta know your facts. And when you don’t….Let’s pretend!
-The name of your brand sound like a Band !
I guess it does, It wasn’t something i really thought much about, but a few people have said that .
-Why Dead Kooks & what is the Dead Kooks ?
Dead kooks was just something I sprayed on the bottom of a board when I was back in school, with a picture of a skeleton in reference to a Cancer Bats song « Death Bros ». I didn’t think much of it, but it all stemmed from there. Dead Kooks is something I’ve been doing for about 6 years. I was wanting to surf anything and everything and from that sprouted a desire to start making the boards I wanted to ride. Riding your standard shortboard got stale and i was looking for a different way of approaching my surfing. It’s all evolved from there.
-A lot of Punk & Dark Influence , can you explain that ?
I grew up listening to a lot of punk and hardcore and I guess that scene rubbed off on me. Most of the bands I was listening to had gnarly names like Most Precious Blood, Every Time I Die, Bleeding Through and Cancer Bats, the music wasn’t all dark but a lot of the imagery around it was. If I had to pin it on something that would be it.
Shit I hope not. I’m no atheist, I have an image of the virgin Mary tattooed across heart. As for the state of Aloha, it will live on as long as people continue to connect with that aloha spirit. It’s far from dead.
-So tell us more about you and the people who inspired you ?
When I was younger Dan Thompson was a big influence he really opened my eyes and he continues to push boundaries, Dick Van Straalen also. These days it’s Bob McTavish and his son Ben. Ben is such a talented craftsman and was always generous with his knowledge. Sam Yoon of Flying Soul Surfboards taught me alot of my skills, Stuart D’Arcy, Dan MacDonald. And on an international scale guys like Greg Noll, Gene Cooper and Rich Pavel. That’s a really eclectic mix of shapers but I guess that sums up the boards we make, traditional and transitional shapes with modern flair and performance orientation.
- What’s the Future for you ?
The future is to keep learning this craft, continue exploring different shapes both new and old. I’ve had alot of fun taking concepts like the Tracker from the transitional era of surfboard design and reworking those outlines with more modern rockers and bottom contours, that is really exciting me
at the moment.
I do approach design in that way a bit for sure. For the last year we haven’t had a TV or Internet at home, so at night I just draw and listen to records. Alot of ideas come from those shitty sketches.
-Each board you shape & design is « Unique » in a way ?
I wouldn’t go that far . Living on the Gold Coast we’re blessed with these amazing righthand points so I find myself making boards to suit those long, down the line waves.
“Surfboards To Open Minds, Push Boundaries And Broaden Horizons“
-Every artist has a « Damned » piece, like a board somewhere that you kept cause it seems unfinished to you , and you wait for the right day to work on it again ? do you ?
I used to get frustrated when things didn’t come together as I wanted, Stuart D’Arcy who was somewhat a mentor to me told me to just put them aside for another day. Recently some of those mis-shapes have taken a new life, coming back to those boards with a fresh set of eyes , alot of the time they turn out to be some special.
-what do you like the most in your line of work ?
What I like most is that I enjoy what I do and that it brings some happiness to others. I like working with my hands and making something function and putting that to use is super rewarding.
-And what do you like the most in Life ?
I’m pretty content with simpler things. I’ve always been around the water, warm water, warm weather and good waves is hard to beat. I spend alot of time riding bikes , that’s my other passion for sure, being able getting out away from everything on a bike is always good. Family and close friends. You don’t need much more than that.
Thanks Eden .