One Shaper / One Board

Kalu Coletta picks his favorite creation
By Neal Kearney

Shaper, Kalu Colletta picks his favorite creation

Shaper, Kalu Colletta picks his favorite creation

When I was growing up on the Eastside of Santa Cruz, it seemed that all the best surfers rode boards by Steve Coletta, which were shaped under his Natural Curves brand. His son Kalu was a ripping surfer and musician, and I looked up to him like a big brother. Under the tutelage of his father, Kalu started shaping at an early age—in fact, he shaped one of my all-time favorite custom boards for me when I was 14. In recent years, Kalu migrated to the warmer climes of Oahu for a change of scenery, during which time his surfboard shaping matured in leaps and bounds. Now he’s back in Santa Cruz and shaping more than ever, with an emphasis on hand shapes in an era of mass-produced computer pop-outs. In our first installment of “One Shaper, One Board,” Kalu shares his favorite board of the moment.


5’9” x 18 1/2” x 2 3/8” Squash-tail Shortboard

“It has a Futures thruster set up with F4 fins. It’s hand shaped out of a millennium foam blank and glassed with a 4-ounce bottom and 4-ounce top with a 2/3 4-ounce deck patch, and also has a one-of-a-kind, custom color resin-tint glass job.”


“It’s my favorite board right now because it is the last one I made, and one
of my main goals is to make each board better than the last. It has a nice medium-low entry rocker and single concave that is deepest right in front of the fins to keep it fast and feeling light under my feet.”


“One of the most interesting and unique things about this board is that it was
hand-shaped and built from start to finish by me. To me there is a lot of artistic value and importance in the process of building a surfboard, and it’s a fun, beautiful and functional art form with some technical elements involved, as well. I personally like the more hands-on approach, and I feel that if you use a computer to design and cut your boards, you’re compromising the artistic process. Not to say that people don’t make great boards on the computer, I just prefer doing it by hand.I also like mixing my own colors and doing different resin-tint glass jobs. It’s fun doing the tape-offs and trimming the laps, and I think it gives my boards a unique look. Finally, sanding the board is one of the most important steps because you’re really getting the board back to its true shape. And having shaped it myself, I can get in there and fine tune my rails and edge exactly how I want them.”

Article from Live the lifestyle Volume 2.3 — Oct / Nov 2015 “Shapers.”


Leave a Comment