On Friday, April 19th, URBNSURF and Surf Visuals helped launch Behind The Shaper – a brand new series that celebrates the tall tales of the most important people in surfing, the shapers.

The first instalment of Behind The Shaper heroes 12 well-known and underground shapers from Victoria’s iconic Surf Coast, a birthplace of surfing culture, industry and craftsmanship regarded around the world, including Banjo Harfield, Corey Graham, Cory Russell, John Robertson, Ross Slaven, Shyama Buttonshaw and more.

What started out as a small project quickly ballooned into a 80-page magazine with photography by Ed Sloane, a web and social content series, a 6 episode podcast mini-series by Lipped, The Surfer’s Podcast, and the construction of 12 custom surfboards by the shapers for them to ride at URBNSURF Melbourne’s lagoon in a few weeks’ time, based on a top-secret wave brief supplied to them by URBNSURF

To bring the stories of these 12 legends to life, URBNSURF, along with Surf Visuals, will be presenting a gallery exhibition of ‘Behind The Shaper’ on May 24th (today) at 524 Flinders St, Melbourne. Supported by @nobleboybeer, the event will feature portraits, interviews and boards by the shapers, live music by local DJs, and more.

The 80-page, A4-sized ‘Behind The Shaper’ zine is jam-packed full of tall tales from the 12 local, highly-respected Victorian shapers profiled. Inside you’ll find exclusive interviews, insights and never-before-seen photos of these 12 craftsmen, in their element. Surf Visuals have taken a deep dive into their lives, motivations, experiences, and how they see the future of shaping. There’s also plenty of talk regarding the next chapter of modern surfing – wave pools – and shaping the perfect board for the URBNSURF Melbourne lagoon.

It’s time to tell the rarely-heard stories from the people who make our favourite pastime possible. The shapers. You can pre-order the mag ($10) here.