004 – Shapers Series: The Untold Story of Tom Parrish

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This episode is sponsored by US Blanks.

This episode is sponsored by US Blanks.

From working with Gerry Lopez during the Lightning Bolt era to co-founding one of the 5 major surfwear brands to abandoning the surf industry to practice law, Tom Parrish is one surfing’s most mysterious figures. He solidified his legacy with the iconic boards he crafted during the 70’s but then disappeared from the surf media’s eye for more than 2 decades. Very little can be found about Tom’s work and whereabout after the early 80’s, expect for his website which indicates that he’s been shaping boards for the past few years in Maui. That’s where I found him and where we spent the day together discussing his life and career.

Tom Parrish’s Website TPSurf.com or email him at tom@tpsurf.com

Tom Parrish with his North Shore quiver circa 1978.

Tom Parrish with his North Shore quiver circa 1978.

Tom Parrish with Jeff Hakman in the shaping room.

Tom Parrish with Jeff Hakman in the shaping room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Hakman with a broken board shaped by Tom Parrish.

Jeff Hakman with a broken board shaped by Tom Parrish.

 

A classic Parrish board shaped for Peter Townend.

A classic Parrish board shaped for Peter Townend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Parrish with Tim Stamps at Stamps Surfboards in August 2013.

Tom Parrish with Tim Stamps at Stamps Surfboards in August 2013.

Tom shaping a "Thank You" board for Tim for allowing him to use his shaping bay. August 2013.

Tom shaping a “Thank You” board for Tim for allowing him to use his shaping bay. August 2013.

7 thoughts on “004 – Shapers Series: The Untold Story of Tom Parrish

  1. Russell Hughes

    Great article!
    From ’74-’80 Tom shaped boards for Mark Collins, me and many others living on Maui’s Northshore.
    Remember: from ’67-’77 Maui underwent a Cultural tsunami in that until late ’67 the paved road stopped at the Sheraton–dirt road to the Bay. Also, the paved road stopped at Azeka’s –dirt road to the dump…..we used to park under the keawe trees on the beach and dive for fish and lobster during long South Swells.
    Tom’s boards were the best….then he was gone and the boards broke or were surfed out.
    Thank you for the story of why….

    Reply
  2. Brian

    Well done!! Thanks for that interview. There’s so much more to surfing than what is usually covered in the media. Thanks for finding new lines!

    Reply
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  4. Tony Crise

    How can I get a hold of Tom ? I’m traveling to Maui this week and I make support your local shaper shirts. It would be an honor to give him a couple shirts for him to wear. If you have his contact info I would appreciate it thanks.

    Reply
  5. Steven Josefsberg

    About eight years ago someone told me that Tom Parrish was still shaping boards on Maui. I emailed him with a request that he make a custom board for me. He immediately got back to me with a list of questions; Height, weight, age, how long have I surfed, where did I surf, etc.etc. I began to realize that he was going to make me a truly custom board.
    Since that time Tom has made me about a board a year. We always talk about what modifications might be done on the new shape. Everyone of the boards has ridden amazingly well. I have only sold one and have I regretted selling it. It has been pure joy for me to be able to work with a board maker of such talent.
    Tom is currently in France shaping some boards but will be back on island (Maui) around mid November.

    Reply
  6. Brian Woodward

    Just found the shapers series through a US BLANKS link on facebook and so enjoyed the Tom Parrish story. Looking forward to listening to more. Thanks!

    Reply

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