By Cass Hurrell


girl shaper

I was warmly greeted by dust-covered Hannah. Even behind the dust mask her smile was contagious. On Nov 9th, we sat down for a yarn at Local Motion Glassing Factory in Ballina, NSW. On the day of the Presidential Election, chatting to a local rad chick and sipping some of the finest local brew was the dreamiest place to be.

girl shaper

girl shaper

Hannah is a local gurf who humbly is tinkering away on some beautiful hand-shaped surfboards.  Her crafts, mostly logs and mid-lengths, are filled with creativity, playfulness and an explorative style.  Over lots of laughs and banter, she showed me around the factory and her glassing bay playground. Here’s a bit of insight into a local legend:

Hannah is originally from Sydney, but moved to Byron twelve years ago when she started studying law and environmental science.  She’s been playing around with shapes in her backyard for few years, but since finishing her studies last year her focus has full-time shifted to shaping.

girl shaper

girl shaper

 Q What made you start shaping after your degree?

 A I don’t really feel any pressure to use my degree straight away, I’m still passionate about it, but right now I’d just rather be shaping.  I love building things, and really just wanted to make my own surfboard. So it all kicked off from there.

 One year ago she upgraded from shaping in her backyard to Local Motion Glassing Factory; a large scale sanding and glassing factory for brands like JS and Webster’s - mostly high performance short boards. Hannah shapes in a bay upstairs and explains that it’s sort of like an apprenticeship.

 “I get to play around on my shapes but if they need a hand I’ll help the guys too.  But it’s so good having them around, they are geniuses”.

 Q Have you come across other female shapers?

 A “I haven’t really met any girls shaping, I know they are around, but unfortunately haven’t had the chance to meet them. The elders of shaping seem to be predominantly male, and the guys that I learn from are amazing and I’m really lucky for their generosity in sharing their skills and knowledge.  I don’t really know how to describe it… It’s a good time”

 Q “Do you find most of the people buying your shapes to be women?”

 A “I’d say it’s 50/50. Lots of guys are super interested in what’s going on and what I’m up to. They offer tones of ideas and feedback. I just take it all as it comes and keep learning”.

 Q “What do you do when you’re not salty?”

 A “ I read. I fish…sometimes. I like building things. I used to skate but things are starting to hurt more haha. I really just like learning and reading about things like hydrodynamics, boards and shapes, and generally just play around in the shaping bay most days.

 The guys came in and side tracked us with talks of Volvo’s, the Presidential Election and much the much-needed rain that was finally on its’ way.  The relaxed atmosphere made that Wednesday feel like Sunday Afternoon. The family-like vibe in the place was apparent, and a chick breaking up the usual predominantly male scene made it feel refreshing and inspiring.

 Q Where do you get your inspiration?

 A I get really inspired when people chase their passions…truthfully and boldly. The people who started from nothing and despite setbacks, kept going after what they want. That inspires me.  I really want to love what I do.

 Q What shaper do you look up to for inspiration?

 A “Probably Ryan Lovelace, a Californian who’s making heaps of cool logs and mid-lengths. He does lots of weird stuff that no one else is doing. The thing is not everything is going to work, but it’s worth playing around and giving it a go anyway.”

 Q Any scary stories from shaping?

 A One time I nearly caught my hair in the sander…haha…Those things will scalp you! The boys told me I had to start tucking my hair into my hat, it was pretty funny.

The guys came in and side tracked us with talks of Volvo’s, the Presidential Election and much needed rain that was on its’ way. The relaxed atmosphere made that Wednesday feel like Sunday Afternoon.

girls shaper

Q What’s your favourite animal?

A I really like dogs.

Q What’s your favourite snack?

A I eat a lot of toast… I probably shouldn’t. Maybe Chips? I’m also pretty into burgers.

Q What’s your Favourite Movie?

A Jurassic Park.

Q Any last words?

 A Thanks for the beer. Sorry about the dust haha.

girl shaper

 On the day trump was elected, I had the pleasure of hanging with Hannah, one of the few female shapers we’ve heard of, chatting about her range of shapes, Ways Away. She’s charming, lighthearted, humble and driven.  As always, it’s so refreshing seeing a chick charge after her passions!

Once Hannah upgrades her Nokia, we’ll be able to find her on Insty. But in the meantime you’ll find some of her boards showcasing at the Atmosea Launch Party, November 27th at Broken Head Hall, 2pm till 9pm.

Local art, music and beers!

Thanks Hannah x

More info on the event here:

atmosea launch

Written by Jess Flynn