Featured Shaper: Garbutt Surfboards

We recently had a chance to sit down with local shaper Matt Garbutt of Garbutt Surfboards to discuss what he has been up too & what his boards are all about. Check out the interview below:


Liquid: When did you first get into surfing?

Matt: For as long as I can remember I have been enjoying the ocean. When I was younger I would hang out in the shorebreak on a boogie board. The ocean always fascinated me & we spent many summer days enjoying it. When I was around 8 years old my sister wanted to learn how to surf. My cousin was already into it & helped my sister get a board. It wasn’t long before I was amped up & wanting to try it myself. Caught my first wave on an old 70’s Caster Single fin & from then on out I was hooked!


Liquid: What inspired you to start shaping?

Matt: I come from a do-it-yourself family & my father who is a jack-of-all-trades taught me a lot of valuable skills. I grew up doing my own ding repair & fixing other friends boards. I first got exposed to shaping when I was around 16 & Jay Devine at East Of Maui let me check out his shaping room. The sight of blanks, roughed out boards, and tools was so attractive to me & I knew I needed to try it one day. It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that I picked up a planer & shaped my first board in the garage. It was a 5’8” diamond tail single fin & as you can imagine it wasn’t the prettiest board. But after shaping that first board I was fuelled to keep on building more & more.


Liquid: Your shapes have a lot of influence from the past tell us more about that.

Matt: Yeah, I have always been interested in boards of the past. When I was younger I would watch old Bruce Brown films not stop. So when I started to shape I gravitated towards shaping different boards like single fins, eggs, and logs. I am obsessed with surf history & use a lot of design influences from the past to shape my boards. Many of my templates are off boards from the late 60’s & early 70’s. My mantra is that the Past Shapes The Future and it couldn’t be truer in surfboard shaping. Each design, rail, bottom contour, etc. comes from influences of the boards that came before them. I would describe my boards as modern retro. They have a blend of classic outlines with modern ideology.


Liquid: What shapers have inspired you?

Matt: I look towards a lot of shapers for inspiration. The main ones though would have to be Chris Christenson, Jim Phillips, Terry Martin, & Gene Cooper. These guys have taken board building into a craft and art form. Each one specializes in something different & they have fuelled me into making the best boards I can.


Liquid: What boards are you currently riding?

Matt: I am on a huge stubbie & late 60’s longboard kick right now. I have probably 5 stubbies right now with different bottom contours, rails, and fin configurations. I find they suite my style of surfing perfectly. As far as longboards go, the late 60’s involvement period has been something I have become obsessed with in the past year. These boards are highly specialized and require a good bit of surfing/wave knowledge to master. I am currently on a 9’2” Magic Sam, which has been fun in these past swells.


Liquid: What’s Next For Garbutt Surfboards?

Matt: Right now I am continuing to expand my business and exploring more shapes & designs. Each day I am constantly thinking about the next board that I am going to shape. I am looking forward to designing, building, & testing a bunch of new boards. Also looking forward to the summer swap meet, I have a bunch of boards to bring this year & always enjoying hanging out with everyone!



For more information about Matt and Garbutt Surfboards stop on into the shop to check out his shapes or visit his website at www.garbuttsurfboards.com