Featured Artist: Kyle Jackson
Kyle Jackson, owner of Platypi Surfboards, is a Southern California board shaper, surfer, and friend of the Mizu family. We stopped by his backyard studio in Encinitas, CA to catch up on his journey to becoming a shaper and walk us through his handcrafted wood shaping process.
Tell us a little about yourself, what inspires you, and your journey to becoming a shaper?
I grew up shuttling back and forth between New England and California, finally landing in New York. Eventually I realized NY was no longer where I wanted to be and I returned to Southern California in 2000.
My career as a journeyman / carpenter set me on a path of designing and building several bars & galleries in NY, sets for commercials, and art direction on films and advertising. It was a pretty peripatetic career, but in looking back, I realize that it all contributed to the engineering and design skills that led me to this point, along with my love for the ocean.
Then in 2011, while crossing the street in Encinitas, I was hit by a car. After getting out of ICU, I found myself with head trauma, an influx of time, some extra cash, and like any logical person, decided to build a wooden boat. The techniques I learned while convalescing eventually led me to a different way of crafting wooden boards, and Platypi Surfboards was born.
What inspired you to start shaping boards from natural materials?
In an increasingly disposable world, with built-in expiration dates, it’s important to me not to follow that path. I didn’t want to contribute to the problem, and designed my boards to be crafted from materials that are less harmful to the environment and are built in a fashion that adds to their longevity as both surfboards and art.
How long have you been shaping?
What do you like about North County San Diego?
The ocean, the waves, the variety of surf, free-diving, the reefs and beaches – it’s all excellent. The rich shaping history here is a huge inspiration to me and why I moved to Encinitas 15 years ago. I’ve been fortunate to meet some of the older locals and blessed that they have shared their knowledge with me.
What are you doing to reduce your environmental footprint?
I’m very aware of sourcing materials that are more eco-friendly, such as sustainable woods and water based adhesives.
What does, ‘Enjoy the Journey, Leave Nothing Behind’, mean to you?
It means becoming more conscious of the impact our daily decisions make on our planet. Choosing reusable cups, bottles, and utensils is just the first step to take part in reducing our environmental footprint.