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Maurice Cole x Cord

surfboard shapers maurice cole and markie lascelles

Cord Surfboards has always had an ethos of progression; of building on what has come before and taking it another step along the road. Where we’re at now is the result of almost six decades of experience and wisdom that has been developed and then passed on. Current head-shaper and day-to-day custodian of the Cord Surfboards brand Markie Lascelles takes everything that he has learned from his dad, uncle and godfather and combines it with his own experience as a shaper and a surfer, his knowledge of where surfing is at today and where it’s headed, and developments in design and materials to keep pushing things forwards. It is less of a circular process and more of an upwards spiral, or a waveform. Part of that continual development involves learning from the elder statesmen of our craft.

surfboard shaper maurice cole marking out fin placements

Staying at the cutting edge of surfboard design and the top of your game takes work. It’s not something that many surfboard shapers achieve.

surfboard shaper maurice cole fine tuning the rails of a surfboard

In mid-June, surf royalty Maurice Cole returned to the UK for the first time in two decades for a short surfboard shaping stint at Cord Surfboards. Maurice is a great surfer/shaper who has kept at the leading edge of the game for the entirety of his fifty-year career. He’s responsible for creating the reverse vee bottom contour, shaped for top-flight professional surfers including Tom Curren (THAT iconic “cutback” photo by Tom Servais of Curren is him riding an MC reverse vee for the first time), Taj Burrow, Shane Dorian, Rob Machado, and Kelly Slater, and makes big-wave and tow boards for hell-men Ross Clarke-Jones and Mark Mathews. These days when he’s home at Torquay, Australia, he surfs and only shapes the occasional board for a mate; he does most of his design work and surfboard shaping overseas on trips like this. Boards carrying his bear logo are now also manufactured under license in California, Japan, France, Brazil, and now the UK through Cord. He’s interested less in passing on his knowledge and skills to a single protégé but rather wants to share the benefit of his accumulated wisdom.

maurice cole signing off another surfboard

Maurice spent four days with us here in St Agnes at the Cord Surfboards factory shaping a limited number of custom orders with Markie, sharing his insights and personal shaping specifics, and having a few beers and talking story with an enthusiastic crowd in our showroom on the Friday evening. He’s been around the block enough times, and is without doubt a good enough surfer, to have some really interesting opinions on surfing and surfboard design, and a whole lot of stories. We were joined by friends and UK shaping luminaries Ben Skinner and Nigel Semmens, and Nigel’s son Shaun in the shaping bay, and Maurice had a packed house out front for a bit of a Q&A with Luke Gartside.

surfboard shapers markie lascelles, nigel semmens (with son shaun) , ben skinner and maurice cole at the cord surfboards factory

For those who don’t spend their days considering the finer details of how a surfboard moves across a wave, Maurice’s depth of insight and willingness to share his thoughts was something else – explaining why he thinks a thruster outperforms a quad fin in big waves because of the sustained and smooth hold they provide whilst transitioning from rail to rail (so a quad is fine in large down the line waves, but as soon as you want to carve and draw out turns on such large canvases you are better off with a thruster, in his opinion), or his thoughts on his single concaves that are so deep they’re often referred to as catamarans, that go so fast because of the reduced surface area in contact with the wave. The man is on a mission to demystify surfboards and a huge proponent of surfers having a relationship with their shaper, particularly at the high performance end of the surfing population, in order to meet their surfing potential. It was a pleasure hosting him at Cord.

surfboard shapers markie lascelles and maurice cole shaping a surfboard at cord surfboards in cornwall
“It really hit home to meet a wonderful community where surfing is the common denominator for all of us. One of the stunning things with England is I haven’t been there for over twenty years. The food was excellent. The sense of family was inspiring. And, to be honest, I can’t wait to go back in October with Markie and get some of these new designs in the water.”

And we can’t wait to welcome you back, Maurice.

maurice cole surfboard shaper


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