Surfboard shaping has long been synonymous with craftsmanship, emphasis on the man part. Saioa Lorentz, a 26-year-old shaper and graphic designer from Bidart, a small coastal town in the French portion of the Basque Country, is one of a new generation of craftswomen who may have a thing or two to say about that.
Here, in this short film produced by Salt Water Mag and presented by Roxy and Surfdome, she lovingly fashions a beautiful 5’6 shortboard, in collaboration with pal and test pilot Janire Gonzalez Etxabarri, who opted for a twin-fin set-up. Just 17 years old, Janire is from the charming seaside town of Zumaia, on the Spanish side of the border that divides the Basque Country in two. You may recognise her wetsuit from Roxy’s recent collaboration with Liberty Fabrics.
Saioa Lorentz… The name ought to ring a bell, despite its unusual grouping of vowels (four in a row!), or the fact you’re not quite sure how to pronounce it, or even that you’ve never heard of her before. That would be because her father is the low-key yet highly rated Axel Lorentz.
The resident foam guru in the Pukas shaping bay (Saioa was also the name of his first surfboard brand), Axel makes stylish, beautifully crafted surfboards for a long list of pro surfers from the Basque Country and beyond. Several high finishes in Stab in the Dark, the prestigious blind-tested shaping contest run by Stab Mag, have cemented his place in the highest echelons of surfboard-shaping mastery.
So yeah, Saioa’s of noble shaping stock. No surprise she knows her way around a hunk of foam, but she also brings her own unique perspective to bear on it.
A recent art-school graduate, she treats each surfboard as an aesthetic object in its own right, in addition to a functional wave-riding contraption. Her feminine lines are informed by years of learning and hard work in the shaping bay and the studio alike.