Shaper in Residence: Otio

by Julius Bauer

The local hardware store is packed with construction workers, young families searching for supplies for their new homes and old people buying gardening gear. Going to the hardware store on the weekends is a ritual in Germany. There, you’ll see the country in all its diversity, buying everything from concrete to velvet toilet seats, where the latest Porsche will be parked next to a food truck selling chicken and chips for 5 euros.

Amongst all this, an 18-year-old guy is looking for materials that are, let’s say, unusual in these parts. He’s wearing Teva Sandals and a pair of O’Neill boardshorts covered in resin drips. Niklas needs foam and a wooden stringer to build a surfboard. Why doesn’t he just buy one, you ask? Well, he doesn’t want to spend money on an industrial product made in a Taiwanese factory. Having read hundreds of articles and consumed heaps of Youtube tutorials – the Internet is a beautiful thing – he’s ready to shape a board himself. Which, to put it mildly, ends in disaster. But he’s onto something.