Daniel Jones doing some R&D

Here is Daniel Jones at rocky point doing a little R&D on the launch model!
Check this board out on the boards page

 

 

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Regarding me and my surfboard business

Regarding surfboard companies that produce their product overseas and their business tactics…

When you go to Asia and produce thousands and thousands of units…. you get them really, really cheep. the trouble is, you still have to sell them. When you find it hard to sell your 60 thousand units in the time you expected to, you do whatever you can to sell them, right? …Like offering surf shops 12 month terms and giving them 20-30 boards to fill their racks…

If i owned a shop, i’d do it too. how could you not? So they’re trying to take over the marketplace by flooding it with their product.

Regarding me and my surfboard business-

I do it the old fashioned way, person to person with my customers, no middle man. Tore surfboards are 100% hand made in Hawaii by Kent Senatore. They’re always produced with first quality materials, attention to detail, and the kind of love and personal service you’ll never get from the big brands.

Thanks to all my past and future customers for your support,

Aloha!!!

 

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Flow Skateboard Magazine Interview

I’m not the type to froth over me, myself, and I, or any of the things I’ve accomplished. In some cases I actually talk shit about myself… but as a Thank You to my friends at Flow Skateboard Magazine for all their hard work, and for my friends who are not living here in the islands, I’m posting my recent interview so you all have a chance to give it a read! Not that I think it, or I, are all that important or anything… at the end of the day, we all know that notoriety is only good for the ego, and god knows my ego’s had enough excitement for one lifetime.

Please give it a read anyway, not for my ego, but because I want you to want me to make you a surfboard, I hope you enjoy!

Click image for full interview!

flow magazine with kent senatore

 

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Caution, egos ahead

She’s alive! I’m sitting here at my computer, its 4:32 am and I’m hearing that low rumble, you know, the kind that tells you there’s some swell moving on the ocean. It seems like we didn’t even have a summer out here this year. We had so many tiny swells, my friend Robert and I surfed right through June and into July, but what we were riding, fun as it was, was not what people expect from the north shore… winter is obviously a different story.

If you’ve been here during the surf season, or if you live here, you know what I’m talking about. Things change and this place takes on a different mood. People get angry and fired up, and the visitors, oh the visitors, they come in droves looking for that white stallion, the one that’ll make them famous… or kill them. All that posturing is a bit much for a person like me, but I still love the spectacle and the drama.

I’ll never forget a funny but true graffiti tag someone put up on one of those concrete jersey barriers that line Kam hwy as you round the corner heading into Waimea… it read, “CAUTION, EGOS AHEAD.” A truer statement could not be made. Yes it’s the waves that make this place light up, but it’s the egos and the fame seekers that make this place what it is, the meca.

So hold on to your hats folks we’re in for a wild ride. It’s that time again… and I’m ready to make some guns and wage a war of my own. It’ll be a war on fear and the warriors will be armed with sleek and long weapons foiled to perfection, their edges will be sharpened and fins honed. Some will win and some will be pummeled and rolled like a discarded towel on the side of the road. Here’s to the glory of the battle, and may the best man prevail!

 

big pipeline

 

 

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For my Japanese friends

The idea of the internet being an all encompassing world wide web that reaches out and connects us all is easy to grasp at this point… we’ve become accustomed to it, but it still amazes me when I get an order or inquire from some far off land via my website.

Thanks to the internet, I’ve had the pleasure of making surfboards for people from all around the world, some were friends, yet others I’ve never met and may not ever have the chance to, but I’m truly grateful for each and every single one of them. When you place an order for a custom surfboard with me, you give me the opportunity to not only please you, but to please myself and continue to live my dream, I thank you for that!

tore surfboards for japan

These 4 boards will be going to my good friend Osamu in Tokyo, and then he’ll be taking them to his friends, Hajime, Masao, Yoshio, and Shinichiro… soon, they’ll be put to use. I believe it makes us all happy! Thanks to all my Japanese friends for letting me make your surfboards!

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Here’s a quick tease

These are three of the next four additions to our boards’ page.

The orange one is called the “Happy Smile” it’s a hybrid design that’s evolved quite a bit since I first introduced it as the ‘Mr. Eggo’ model three or four years ago, in fact, it’s so different from the original design I decided to rename it!

The one with the black tail is called the “Slinger” it’s a contemporary high performance short board featuring a winged swallow tail and a deep double barrel concave that flows off the tail.

 

new surfboards from toresurfboards

 

The third one, with the green tail is called the “TV Melt” it’s a retro design loosely modeled after the Haden Kenny version of George Greenough’s 60′s single fin flex tail knee boards. It will be available as a 2+1, or single fin with a custom “high aspect ratio” Greenough style fin, it’s also available as a twin keel as shown in this photo. You’ll notice the keel template is a bit different than what you’re used to seeing, that’s because It’s my personal template.

Stay tuned for more additions, or go to the contact page and subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates and special offers!

Thanks for reading!

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Two retro designs, a hybrid and another short board

It’s been busy lately here @ tore surfboards, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. We’ll be adding a few more models to the boards’ page in the very near future… including two retro designs, a hybrid design, and another contemporary performance short board design as well!

Also, we’re already looking forward to the upcoming winter season, so, I’ve begun working on my new step up and gun designs for addition to the boards’ page hopefully in time for you to see them, and plan on placing your order before those early winter bombs start detonating.

I’m happy to say that we now have PayPal as an option for your deposits, payments or merchandise purchases! We’re currently in planning, and will launch an “in stock” or “boards for sale” page soon, with the addition of accessories, t-shirts, hats, and stickers in the future!

I’m excited with all this change, the newness is refreshing… I’m loving my new logo, and really, really enjoying making surfboards for my customers! Thanks for reading!

New tore surfboards
New boards in the works

Adjusting

Buying a new board is the thing a surfer lives for, and better yet, ordering a custom surfboard! We’re a curious group us surfers… we’re always looking for new ways to skin a cat. When we see the latest design, we feel lost until we’ve ridden one. Sometimes we’re patient enough to borrow a board from a friend, something similar to what we’re thinking we want, sometimes we’re not. Either way, the first session on a new design or a board of a different length, width or thickness, can be trying. I’ve seen surfer’s right off a board they thought was going to be the next great thing in their life after only one or two uncomfortable sessions?

Here’s my take on the relationship between you and your surfboard.

Regardless of your skill set or experience, when you ride a surfboard you’re making adjustments each time you ride it, you’re growing accustomed to that particular board and as this happens you build a confidence in it, it becomes your default setting, your norm… Once you reach this point with a particular board, anything else you attempt to ride is going to feel different, possibly even unsettling.

Yes, these are “feelings” I’m talking about, surfing is a feel activity. What I mean by this is, your senses take over while you’re surfing. You have to feel the board under your feet, you have to feel where the speed in the wave is, you have to feel the timing of a maneuver, placing the right turn in the right spot at the right time… and if you’re out of time you feel it. When things are clicking, these feelings are second to none, but when they’re not, it can be frustrating to say the least. So, we look for that familiar feeling in a new board, sometimes it’s there from the first ride, usually this happens when you ride the same design in the same dimensions shaped by the same shaper for a period of time, but sometimes, it doesn’t. So what if you’re the adventurous or experimental type of surfer?

relationship with a new surfboard

These are a few things I do when I’m riding a new design or even just a new board in a familiar design for the first time. I always find them helpful.

1. I make sure my first surf on a new board is at an uncrowded spot, I know, that can be a hard thing to find these days, but bear with me… the idea is to minimize the distractions or obstacles, depending on how you view other surfers.

2. I don’t try to bust an air on the first wave, instead, I catch a few waves and just do turns, nothing fancy, just turning the board and feeling it under my feet.

3. I don’t put too many expectations on myself or the board until I’ve ridden it a few more times. If you’re riding something new this can take some work, but be patient, this is part of learning to feel what your board can and will do.

Never right off any board, even if it doesn’t feel the way you want it to… “They all work.” The trick is finding, or figuring out what feels good to you, and that’s where I come in! The most helpful ally you have in this process is your shaper. The relationship we build will make us both better, as I learn more about you, I begin to understand what you like to feel in your surfboard, and as you begin to understand me and my ideas about surfboards hopefully you become a better surfer!

 

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Changes

We’ve all had to change hats in our lifetimes, and by that I mean change what we do to make our money… but at a certain point we usually settle into a spot that fits, our own little niche if you will. I went through my changes just like the rest of us, pro skateboarder, punk rock musician, and sous chef… but by 1993 I had found my place and it was in the surfboard industry here on the north shore of Oahu.

It was an incredible fit, and I found myself in the right place at the right time…

Before I knew it, I was working for the premier shapers in the world, touching boards that unbeknownst to them, would end up under the feet of the top pros of that era.

I spent three years working for John Carper or JC as most people know him. It was at the height of his popularity as a shaper and he was BUSY! We were on a strict 16 board a day schedule, every day, for weeks during our peak season. When it was time to move on, I’d finished over 3000 boards for JC.

After parting ways with John, I took a few weeks to think about what I’d just done, leaving a solid position with the busiest shaper in the industry at the time? What was I thinking? I suddenly panicked and called everyone in the book leaving the message that I was looking for a work. To my surprise, the next day, the phone started to ring and by the end of the week, I was employed by Local Motion, doing Wade Tokoro boards, HIC, doing Kerry Tokoro boards, and T&C doing boards for Jeff Johnston, and Cino. Then Eric Arwakawa called with some work, and Jeff Bushman… before I knew it, I had boards from most of the top shapers in Hawaii leaning against the walls of my shaping room. I soon realized I must be doing something right, and having been making my own boards on the side all along… in 1995, I decided it was time to focus on building my own business.

So why haven’t you ever heard of me then? Well, I’m a shy kind of person, not the type to puff out my chest then walk up to someone telling them how they need to order a board from me, or how my boards are better than so and so’s… and in a place that’s like the Hollywood of shaping, where you have to be able to separate yourself from the crowd, you either play that role, or receded into the shadowy underground with the rest of the unknown shapers here on the north shore.

 

kent senatore portrait

 

Was it a mistake to stay out of the limelight, hiding in the wings as they say? That’s a hard question for me to answer, but I honestly believe things happen in their own time, and so that must mean that I’m right where I belong, right?

Wrong. I’m ready to come out from behind the curtains and I may not quite puffing my chest out, I doubt I’ll ever be like that… but I am ready to tell my story to anyone willing to listen, I’m ready to share what I’ve learned in all these 30+ years of making surfboards, and I’m ready to finish this marathon mission out of the shadows and into the light to cross the finish line.

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How and why

So I was recently asked how I got into shaping, my answer? Well, before I started shaping, just about every time I ordered a custom board I’d end up with something other than what I’d expected. It always left a sour taste in my mouth, so I’d always wanted to try making myself a board. I figured if they couldn’t make me what I’d envisioned, then maybe I should do it myself.

As a young kid I was always doodling and drawing, or building models… before I discovered skateboarding and surfing I was kind of a little nerd. I wasn’t very athletic and I wasn’t into team sports, I was kind of an introverted little dude. Years later, after I’d been surfing for a while and had ordered a few custom surfboards, I’d almost never gotten what I wanted… I was complaining to a friend about a recent disappointment and he said “why don’t you just shape one yourself? I’m sure you could do it.”

That was all the encouragement it took, I was tired of being let down so I just went for it. I bought a planer, some hand tools, and 3 blanks. Then I set up some racks and lights in my dad’s garage and started mowing foam. Back then no shaper would show you or teach you anything they knew. It was the age of the “guru shaper” they wouldn’t ask you what you wanted, it was more like they’d tell you what you were going to get, and I’m sure there might have been a legit reason in some cases… like maybe they were only shaping one style of board, and they knew it was the best thing they could give you, knowing it would work. I too found myself in that position when I first started shaping, so I can relate and understand and that’s how I would get into that situation of not getting what I want or needed.

I’ve never forgotten that let down feeling to this day and it still motivates me to make the board my customer’s looking for and nothing less.

 

kent senatore shaping a minisimmions
kent senatore shaping a minisimmions

 

There are a lot of guys that are 100% self-taught. I was self-taught too and after shaping about 6 boards I took one to get glassed at the Natural Progression factory in Santa Monica, the dude at the door asked if I shaped the board, I said yes, he said, “you know just enough to work here, you want a job?” and I was like, “Yes!” and that’s when I really started to learn. When I saw the guys in there I just kind of watched and you sort of get an idea of what they’re doing and you pick up a little from each guy, but no one ever really “taught me” until I started doing the ghost shaping, and it wasn’t really teaching at that point anyway… it was more like correction. I worked as a ghost shaper for all the big name shapers, at one point I was getting paychecks from Town & country, Local Motion, and HIC all at the same time, I don’t think there’s anyone else out there that can say that. In that period of my career I learned more about what NOT to do, than what TO do.

Nowadays, I make it a point to ask a lot of questions when people are getting a board, sometimes I see their eyes rolling back in their heads, LOL, so maybe I ask too many once in a while? No, that’s impossible, you can never ask too many questions. I also try to explain what I’m doing, and give them the run down on the basics of shaping, the terminology if you will. We work through it together and while I’m learning about them they learn about their board.

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