Santa Cruz Surfboard Glassers-Master Craftsmen – Jesus and Maria Ocaranza, “Del Cabo Quality Surfboard Glassing” Surfboard shapers get all the buzz! Taking featureless foam blanks, they create the unique vehicles that allow us to walk on water, don’t they? Well, not quite! Few riders stop to think about the fact that shaping is just one half of creating a surfboard.
It is the glasser who marries shaped foam with fiberglass and resin to make the complete board. Glassers are the unsung heroes of surfing!
Jesus and Maria Ocaranza, from Los Cabos, Baja California, are two of the heroes. They learned the glassing art from local glass master, Ralph Headrick, bringing to life shapes for Arrow, Vernor, Haut, Strive, and M10. In 2005, Jesus and Maria opened their own glassing business, “Del Cabo Quality Surfboard Glassing”, where today they are in high demand working closely with Jon Mel of Freeline Designs and Ward Coffey, Ward Coffey Shapes. Currently they own a surfshop where they sell surfboard in los cabos.
Unlike shaping, with its sanding and carving tools, the glasser’s art requires expertise in multiple crafts: precise handling of dangerous chemicals, fitting fiberglass cloth to the complex shaped foam, applying the resin so there are no bubbles, and sanding/polishing the board to its final, super-glossy or matte finish.
Each is a special skill. Add to this the fact that timing is everything to the glasser, who has only a limited window to apply the resin before the chemical reaction that hardens the resin ‘goes off’ and you have an idea of the art and craft behind your finished ‘stick’. So the next time you are taking that big drop or making a hard-driving bottom turn— Nah, you won’t think of the glasser then. But later on, after that great session, while you are sending out the love to the shaper who made your magic board, save some love for the glassers, those unsung heroes who make your great rides possible.