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Oregon surfboard pioneer on the art of sculpting smart boards

Lanny Shuler learned to shape a surfboard at age 7 out of necessity. Over a decade later he was doing it professionally when he left the surf culture of Southern California for the isolated Oregon coast. Here he became one of the first surfboard shapers north of Santa Cruz, California.

For four decades Lanny has been sculpting boards from his small shop right on Highway 101 in Seaside, Oregon. Nike’s Innovation Kitchen has paid him a visit, though he contends his primary goal isn’t commercial, but the continual pursuit of smarter design.

“The intelligence of the surfboard is what has been so fascinating to me. The combination of every surfer’s physical size, their experience level, and the uniqueness of the waves that they pursue. There are so many variations in that relationship that custom surfboards have a pretty highly useful function, even in this modern age.”

Lanny admits that digitization is a “wild card” in the industry right now, but his obsession with customization may likely be what keeps him relevant.