Wayne (Webby) Webster, is not only recognised as a seasoned innovator in big wave gun design and shaping, his short board shaping game is also turning heads on all major continents.
And with a stellar quiver of team riders, a Webster sled is fast becoming the board-of-choice for more and more surfers.
Boardthought caught up with Webby in the shaping bay to get the latest…
BT: What board(s) are you riding most often at the moment?
Webby: A few of them! During the summer months, I’ll usually ride a 5’5″ Nitro. It glides and paddles well, and when ridden as a quad its super quick and responsive. My standard short-board is a 5’11 Sniper, and step-up is the Napalm.
BT: Who has been your biggest shaping influence?
Webby: My team riders and customers for sure. Feeling out the boards in my own surfing is really important as well.
BT: What are your most popular model(s) at the moment; what are you selling the most?
Webby: Varies by season typically. Moving into autumn on the east coast, I’m shaping a lot of Napalm’s. And the new Wacko model is proving popular. Its a shorter and wider version of the Napalm, maintaining a paddle power sweet spot but keeping the length down.
BT: Which markets are you selling your boards in? Where are people most frothing?
Webby: We’ve got a good reach – Australia, Hawaii, the US, Europe, Indo and a few other markets.
BT: Its said that your attention to detail and making sure that every one of your customers gets the right board is a relationship usually only seen between the big name pro’s and their shapers. What’s your big-picture ideal on shaping and board design:
Webby: My formula is pretty simple – its all about providing a quality board, on time, at a good price. And it works.
BT: What do you see as being the main benefits of machine shaping?
Webby: I’ve been shaping for 24 years, and I think the biggest positive impact is around consistency and the ability to refine design.
BT: You’re established solid roots in Hawaii over the years. What have you noticed has changed the most on the island in terms of board design?
Webby: It’s a similar theme around the world – every one is chasing more paddle power from shorter boards (even guns). By default, this means wider and thicker. Another really obvious change has been the impact of online surf forecasting. I still travel to Hawaii with my old-school weather radio, but the internet has changed the dynamic of crowds and flow in Hawaii.
BT: Do any / many of your team riders skate? Do you see a correlation between good surfing and good skating?
Webby: Yeah, they do. The skate scene on the north coast is booming, with heaps of good skate parks around, and more being built. Good skating translates into good surfing, especially above the lip.
BT: If you could ride any wave, from any session in history…where would it be and when?
Webby: It would have to be the Cyclone Betsy swell on the Gold Coast in January 1992. The afternoon before all the conditions lined-up, it was really messy and onshore – but everyone was amped. The next morning – well – everywhere was lighting up and looked amazing! If I could go back, that would be the day…
BT: What’s the best way for people to get in touch?
Webby: Best way is to check out our website www.webstersurfboards.com.au, then drop by the store or give me a call. We’re also across the usual social media.