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Rodrigo Matsuda

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Akela Surf: Tell us about yourself:

My name is Rodrigo Matsuda, I was born in Brazil but I'm of Okinawan descent. Currently, I live in the coastal city of Guarujá in Brazil where the waves are good and I make wooden surfboards everyday.

 Akela Surf: Tell us about the role of a wood shaper (alaia, paipo, handplane..)?

I specialize in making wooden surfboards which are inspired by traditional Hawaiian designs. I think it's very important for the surfing culture. 

Akela Surf: Tell us how you started (get involved) to shape wood products?

When I was younger I worked making Ikebana vases. I really enjoyed making the vases since they involved designs inspired by nature.
I was always interested in the shapes, models, sizes and materials of surfboards. I always dreamed about being a shaper, but because of respiratory issues I started to look for other types of materials to make a surfboard. Then, I visited a festival called THE ALLEY FISH FRY_JAPAN, that's when I found out about the Alaias and Handplanes so I tried to learn how to make them.

Akela Surf: What's your shaping philosophy? Why did you choose wood as material?

I learned it in Japan, where handwork and natural products are valued. I always try to evolve and get closer to perfection with the performance and style of my surfboards.


Akela Surf: What is unique about the products you shape?

I'm involved in every step of the process from choosing the wood to mixing the natural oils required to finish a surfboard.
I try to put all my energy into all my products since I want anyone who bought my surfboard to enjoy it and appreciate nature.

Akela Surf: What do you like to shape most ?

I like to shape Handplanes the most because I'm sure my client will have fun with it and the Handplanes design gives me the opportunity to be creative with new models too.

Akela Surf: Tell us what do you like the most about being a shaper?

I like that people go with my surfboards to the ocean to catch some waves and have some fun. It's nice to know that I'm helping the surfing culture in my country too.

Akela Surf: What is the biggest lesson learned in your shaping career?

My biggest lesson is that we always have to learn constantly.

Akela Surf: Who and what inspire you?

I'm inspired by creative people who have their own unique style of life and work, even if they are not related to surfing.


Aloha :)

alaia brazil shaper design hand plane paipo rodrigo matsuda surf surf culture visla wood surfboarb

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