In-Store: Nothing Surfcrafts

A conversation on all-things surf related.

Surfing is part of Fairly Normal’s DNA, and we’re excited to finally introduce a collection of custom-shaped surfboards to our Embaixada Store. Our first batch of boards comes from Nothing Surfcrafts, owned by local Portuguese surfer and shaper José Raimundo. We’ve known José for a decade now, and his dedication to the craft of shaping is something we deeply respect and admire. A few weeks ago we visited him at his shaping bay in Sesimbra to talk about surfboard design, inspiration, and Nothing’s relationship with the surf industry.

Below you can find the full interview.

FN: Who taught you how to shape?

JR: I don’t think I’ve ever had a mentor, but some people significantly impacted my learning process. Nuno Matta is one of them. I worked with him for two years as a back shaper; despite some divergences, he taught me a lot. It was a very technical experience that elevated me as a shaper. (I hate that word)

Observing the surfers around me is also a relevant part of my craft, and having that deep technical knowledge benefits it.


FN: You are known to experiment a lot with your shapes. Do you feel like there’s a chance of ever over-designing a surfboard?

JR: Yes, but only if you are not clear about what you want to achieve. I think having a wide range of technical skills allows you to mix things up, and let those ideas sink in, to only then materialize them. Any other way, I believe it’s just frivolous attempts to reach something inconclusive

FN: How do you stay competitive as a local shaper against the bigger brands?

JR: It’s simple actually. I don’t try to compete. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they don’t know me.

Nothing Surfcrafts is not at the center of surfing in Portugal. My factory is in Sesimbra, so people have to meet me there if they want one of my boards. That limits the number of customers I have but also refines my core client. I want people to buy my boards not for price discounts or marketing tactics, but because they value my knowledge and way of thinking about surfboard design.


FN: Where do you draw inspiration from?

JR: Today I find myself looking for inspiration outside of surfing. I’m lucky to have some incredibly talented surfers around me, that are deeply interested in the different motions when riding waves. I try to explore new shapes as a physical translation of feelings and emotions. I even write n the walls of my factory small poems that later I channel into the boards. This connection with the emotional side of surfing it’s what defines me as a surfer and crafter.


FN: What’s the goal of Nothing Surfcrafts?

JR: It’s not clearly defined, simply because I don’t think there is a need to do so. We don’t position ourselves as being on either side of the spectrum.

Probably I do everything a businessman or marketeer would say it’s wrong.

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