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Nick Mesritz - Founder of NMD Bodyboards

Nick Mestriz NMD bodyboards

Home Town: Avoca Beach, NSW, Australia
Years Shaping: 18 years
Boards Shaped: 200,000+
Favourite Break: Canggu
Favourite Board: 12.75” x 21.75” @ 18” x 18.75” x 42.75” PP

How did you become a shaper?
My Dad had a trucking business and one day he had a delivery to this bodyboard factory. He came home and told me about it and I tripped out. Growing up in New Zealand, which seemed a million miles from anywhere, in terms of bodyboarding, I never expected to find a factory only minutes from my house. So I jumped on my bike and rode up there and hit the owner (Rick Broderson) up for a job. I was still at school, so he gave me a start working after school, which suited me fine. During my time there, Rick taught me the basics of bodyboard construction, but I didn’t actually shape any boards, just worked on the line. About a year later I finished school and moved to Australia to work fulltime at Rheopaipo. It was at Rheo that I started actually shaping.

What countries have you shaped in?
New Zealand, Indo, Australia and the USA (both Hawaii and California). My wife wants to spend some time in Europe, so a 6 month stint in France might be on the cards in the future. A return to Hawaii would be fun too.

How did you become to be considered as one of the best?
18 years of hard work. If you want to be good at anything you have make sacrifices and give it 100%. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with some amazing riders and their demand for ultra high performance boards pushes me to continually create progressive product. Last but not least, I am forever grateful to Buzz Morasca at Toobs for mentoring me and building my laminators.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love the actual art of shaping a board. I fire up my iPod, turn on the AC and close the shaping room door. Then it’s just me and the foam. There’s something about using your hands to craft a board, you feel the shape, feel the bumps and keep working it until its smooth and sleek. Then you deliver the finished board to the rider and wait in anticipation as they stare it down, looking at every detail, scrutinizing your work. The final proof comes a few weeks later when its been given a good workout and you get the thumbs up. To be able to take a block of foam and turn it into a high performance bodyboard, that’s a good feeling.

What separates NMD from other stock board companies?
I think it largely has to do with a “hands on” approach and attention to detail. From designing the range, to shaping the prototypes, from loading the templates into the computer shaper, to overseeing the production, I am there every step of the way. In an age where board co’s design their ranges on paper and have the boards manufactured under license by independent factories, without having any direct involvement in the day to day production, I am fortunate to be able to own and run my own factory. Its been bloody hard work, but with the help and support of my family, friends and Dan Sivess, I’ve been able to turn my dreams into reality.

If you could change one thing about the bodyboard industry, what would it be?
I think there’s too much narrow mindedness. Sure, we should be supporting bodyboard clothing co’s, but if a kid wants to wear something that’s not bodyboarding, then they shouldn’t be ostracized for it.

What job do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a shaper?
When I was a kid, I was dead set on being a policeman. I’m also pretty keen on cooking and even worked as a kitchen hand for a few months, so maybe a chef. I guess it comes down to the fact that I have a knife fixation.

What don’t you like about your job?
The travel. Sure its fun at the start, but spending a whole day cramped in a plane and in airports every second week is no longer my idea of fun.

Who’s your favourite bodyboarder?
Tom Morey. I don’t know if he still considers himself a bodyboarder, but we all owe him a great debt.

What drives you?
When we designed the NMD Bull logo, I was asked what my mission statement was. I said I wanted NMD to be the board of choice for the local underground ripper. The hardcore guy at each break that might not be in the mags, but has style and is the one the groms look upto. Even today that’s still a major focus. I want to make boards that are considered the best by those who know what a good board is.

So what’s in store for the future?
More water time!!!

This story is from NMD Stox website

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