Foam dust and resin hit you like an assault on the senses as you walk through the sliding door into Dale’s shaping bay. A labyrinth of rooms go from shaping to sanding to glassing bays, all the associated toxic fumes fill the air and combine to give you that rush of excitement that can only come from being in the presence of a shaper. It’s always interesting visiting Dale, his label Ectic Concepts could not be more apt as you never quite know what you’re going to find in his little room.
Dale is originally front he North East, his formative years spent searching the frigid knooks and crannies of Yorkshires coast. It fixed an obsession in his bones for surfing which, like so many other, led him to abandon the fickle yet perfect waves of The North Sea and head south for the consistent more accommodating waters of the south west. Here he picked up the plane and saw and worked for a number of shapers, learning his craft, whilst at the same time holding down a ‘real’ job which would and still does allow him to be experimental and just a little bonkers with his shaping. From longboards to mini simmons, his shaping is all about getting the most fun from a wave possible.
See more from Dale and Ectic here – www.ecticconcepts.co.uk
So how and why did eCtic begin?
The brand eCtic Concepts came about from my love for the ocean, the feeling I get from her when paddling and dropping into waves. That as well as a deep rooted love I have for old board designs, ranging from longboards to single fins to the Mini Simmons. This is where it all came from, where the true roots originated. Bored of seeing the same old boards being produced, from these feelings I decided to start playing with my own shapes.
Who is behind eCtic, is it just you as a shaper or do you have other collaborators behind the scenes?
It did all start off just me but in time it has grown . . . I seem to be expanding across the world now with many following me in places like Japan, California, Australia, Norway, Mexico and Morocco. I am also lucky enough to have many great artist friends from all over the world wanting to collaborate with me, built up from Facebook of all places. As for my shapes! I like doing it all myself . . . I feel when I am in my shaping bay I am in my Zen, my zone . . . Some people use yoga, swimming or running to be in their own space, but me, mine is in the bay.
What would you say sets you apart from other shapers? And where do you draw inspiration from?
God’s honest truth, I don’t really see me being set apart from the other shapers. I truly do feel we are all part of the same thing chipping away at old designs and coming up with new. What I do see though, is that the boards I produce are different to the ones that are around. I just want to invent, create and innovate my own ride!
How do you come up with some of the designs, like the Freakoid? Is it something you had planned for a while, or did it come from many experiments?
The Freakoid was designed a day I went into the bay fully focused into doing something different, something new, something fresh, something so small you can ride them a good foot and half smaller than the usual boards you would ride. A short board all short-boarders, long-boarders and body-boarders would equally enjoy.
What about KMASi? Why and how did that become part of eCtic?
I thought if I was to keep in all as much as I can about my ride there are many things about the fins I have used from FCS and Futures that I disliked so I changed a bit about them to make them work better for the boards I do.
There are some mental fin shapes in there, do they work? and can you tell us a little bit more behind the thinking
The fins are tried and tested and all are 100% shred-able. . . KMASi is about thinking out of the box like eCtic Concepts. . . It’s about not just pushing boundaries but making them work better for everyone.
The whole eCtic/KMASi deal looks so much fun, I mean yeah you can buy a regular board, stick the best Futures of FCS in it, but these boards to me look like they are just made to have a lot of fun on, would you say that is the general ethos behind the company?
Pretty much the case. . . The ethos so to speak behind it is I want to get as much as I can out of my ride, to mix fun with performance and be in the water in all sorts of conditions from an ankle snapper to over head. . . These boards allow that!
I ride a shortboard a lot, but love to step onto these shapes, I can see why a pro or sponsored surfer wouldn’t ride them, but your average surfer is going to have so much fun on one of these in my opinion, what would you say to someone who was unsure about riding a Mini Simmons or a Freakoid?
The Mini Simmons is a legend of a board that are known to slide out a little like most of them today do like Bings etc but the ones I wanted were no not do this and don’t from some tweaks that I did. As for the Freakoid my best seller, it’s all about performance . . . If you ride a 5’9 fish with this you can ride a 4’9 and the rails shape, hull, channel and fins I’ve played with you can air, gouge, slash and smash the sh*t of the the wave if you are serious enough surfer.