Local shaper selected to design Surfin’ Snowman trophies
Most 16-year-olds don’t shape their own surfboards, but then again most 16-year-olds aren’t Clay Reynolds. For the past two years, the Indian River High School student and Ocean View native has been shaping under his own label, Reynolds Back Door Surf, and selling his boards out of his family’s shop, the Millville Town Peddler, on Route 26 — while still managing to get his homework done on time.
Since he started, Reynolds has shaped mostly for himself and for his friends — but the surfing community has certainly taken notice. In fact, this past September, Reynolds was selected for the East Coast Shapers surf expo in Florida, where he was the youngest shaper with boards on display. He’s also been featured in Eastern Surf magazine as one of the East Coast’s up-and-coming shaping talents.
Locally, Reynolds’ work can be found hanging in West Fenwick Island in Smitty McGee’s, which had him shape three boards with their logo to display in their bar. His glassing talents were called upon by the Salted Rim in Ocean View, when owner Rick McGee walked into the shop one day and asked him to pour the epoxy on their bar.
Most recently, Reynolds was approached by Rick Hundley, race director of Bethany’s Surfin’ Snowman event, and asked to shape, design and glass skimboards to be used as trophies for the race winners.
“I don’t think there’s very many runs out there that can say they’re giving out custom skimboards,” said Hundley. “It’s cool. It’s different.”
He went on to describe the way he found out about Reynolds’ boards.
“I didn’t know Clay was a 16-year-old high school student. I walked in [to the store], and his mom told me he was at school. And I said, ‘Oh? Where’s he go to college?”
The skimboards will be given away at the awards ceremony at the end of the Dec. 28 event, to the two overall winners of the 5-mile and 2-mile races.
When he’s not at school, in the store or shaping boards out back, Reynolds can most likely be found in the water. And while shaping boards is just a hobby and way for him to make some extra money right now, his ultimate goal is to make it his profession.
So far in his young career, Reynolds estimated, he’s made about 30 surfboards. And he has learned a lot in his two years of shaping.
“[The first board I made] I didn’t get the fin boxes down far enough,” Reynolds recalled of one of the many lessons he’s learned in his trial-and-error shaping experience. “When I sanded them, I didn’t sand them the way I was supposed to.” Reynolds would quickly figure out how to remedy the situation himself, and he’s gone on to prove how his home-grown know-how is shaping not only surfboards and skimboards but his own future.
For more about Reynolds and his boards, visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ReynoldsBackDoorSurf, where he will continue to post updates on the progress he’s making with the Surfin’ Snowman boards and his other creations.