Shapes by Steveo Hollow
Words by Dave Swan
Regular readers of Smorgasboarder would be familiar with Stephen Halpin’s stunning recycled wood creations. He lovingly crafts hollow wooden surfboards from fish to funboards, guns and malibus under the name of Shapes by Steveo, all made with a combination of salvaged and sustainable plantation-grown timber. What readers might not know however is the penchant this man has for monster swells – the kinds of waves most normal surfers like myself would see us doing our best impersonation of a squid under duress. I’ve seen the photos of Steveo surfing Red Bluff in Western Australia, that he is too humble to share with the general public, and the waves are frightening.
This board he lovingly crafted to surf Pipe (Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii) but constant lockdowns amidst the pandemic put paid to those dreams.
It is 7’10” x 19 ½” x 3” with a 11 ½“ nose and a 11 ¾“ tail with 70/30 rails. It features an incredibly intricate cedar, paulownia and balsa parquetry nose and tail block. The deck and bottom are made from a combination of recycled cedar blinds with balsa decorative strips. The skill entailed in building a board like this is testament to the several decades Steveo’s spent plying his trade.
“Boards like this aren’t just made to surf a cyclone swell or two. I’ve made this to surf a lifetime of cyclone swells. To damage this board, you would have to be chasing something bigger than I’ve ever surfed (and believe me when I say that is seriously big and not something mere mortals like myself would consider).
“This is a board you can pass down from generation to generation. Now it’s over to you Dave to see what kind of history you can create with it. I hope you’re up to it.”
Nothing like a bit of pressure to deliver the goods. I have no fear the board will hold up, it is just my ageing body. Anyhow, challenge accepted, let’s see what happens.