Moroccan Shape : a meeting with Fahd Hand Surfboard

24 January 2020 | Travelogues

I met Fahd several years ago, I was on a surftrip in Morocco and I broke one of my boards. When you're in the Tamraght area and you need a good shaper, Fahd is the one you go to. It just so happens that I needed some contact and we had some friends in common with Fahd, namely Arno a great guy who lives in Indonesia. I went to live with him for several months to surf some islands in Indonesia.

I've been surfing in Morocco for 5 years now and it's hard for me not to stop by and see Fahd. Now with Google you can find the address of his place where he does repairs. But otherwise it's hard to say that Fahd bothers with advertising. From the road you can't see anything. Not a sign, not a sign. Just a bunch of boards, lots of boards. Fahd works in Tamraght in this little place next to the road right next to the only traffic light in the village. This is where you'll find him if he hasn't gone for a surf session. In this little place he rents out, he repairs the boards of surfers from all over the world passing by as well as the boards of the locals.

He also has another room that he owns for shaping. A more quiet place where he takes the time to make the boards we ask him to. If the repairs are always good, I love Fahd's shaping. First of all he knows how to do everything and will do everything depending on what you are looking for. I have a board from him that works really well. Finally, whether it's to get a nice board made, to fix one or just to spend five minutes with him, you'll never be disappointed. Because Fahd is above all a very nice surfer with a great mentality. A good guy who works hard and never forgets to put surfing first. Here is the feedback from my meeting with Fahd this winter in Morocco.

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Hi Fahd, how long have you been shaping?

Since 18 years. I first started surfing and then shaping.

How did you learn? How did you get the idea of shaping?

I learned by myself, it's a gift from God for me. To shaper you have to surf, that's obvious. I'm passionate and in love with surfing. I had to understand how to surf and how it works. I wanted to learn to understand surfing better. It's even better if I can test the boards or have them tested. If it doesn't work out, we can make a new one, sell the board and improve to find the right shape.

How do you divide your time between making and repairing ? Not easy when I see all these boards around us?

Yes, I have a lot of work to do, but I still have time to surf. Repairing is a lot of time and that makes me earn more money to live. Shaping is more rare, it's less. When there's no surfing, I work hard. If there is surfing, I surf and I do more glassing. It's more quiet.

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But you still work alone?

Yes, if there's a problem, it's me, not someone else. So we look for the problem, we go up the chain and we do things right. It suits me to work like that.

With the evolution of surfing and the number of surfers here, aren't you afraid that other shapers will settle here ?

Why not? It takes 10 years to learn to work with Moroccans here and do a good job. The competition... Pukas (he laughs...)... ? If it happens that I have to grow, I'll take someone with me for glassing and some repairs. But we'll see, it's the future in time so we'll see.

With ecological problems becoming more and more urgent to solve, how can shapers play a role in making surfing less polluting?

We consume less if we make good quality. Make less boards but good boards. If we prefer small shapers, we would have less problems instead of buying boards from big factories. First of all quality as I said. The materials will evolve by themselves, it doesn't depend on me. I'm making do with what I have here. The wood? You have to cut down trees, transport it. I don't know if it's better. But some people change their boards four or five times a year. The professionals even more, even if it's different. If you want to use less material, you have to work well. That's the first important thing.

One last question Fahd. The Taghazoute bay (QS 5000) is coming this month (January 2020). What do you think about it for surfing in Morocco ?

I can't tell you. It's my first time. So we'll see.

But with the explosion of surfing here, the atmosphere in the water has changed a bit, isn't Anchor Point already famous enough?

It's because of this wave that there are tourists. To talk about this wave is to thank the people who came here to surf in the beginning, the Australians and all that. If it can explain the history of this place, it's good. Let them know that in Morocco we have jewels like this. Everyone wins in the end. I'm against localism. Everyone takes care of the earth so everyone can enjoy it. It's like sharing an apple. God created it all so we have to learn to share it. Even if there are more and more of us, the waves don't belong to us. The wave at Anchor Point is beautiful, everyone should enjoy it.

Thank you Fahd. Thanks again for everything. It's a real pleasure to see you. As always. You do a great job and I'm taking one of your boards with me to finish this surf trip. We'll keep in touch. See you soon.

Be sure to stop by Fahd if you are in Morocco, he is the shaper you need.
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