An interview with Beachbeat's Markie Lascelles
Beach Beat Surfboards is a stone’s throw from the Finisterre Workshop, just the other side of the Wheal Kitty courtyard. It’s been here for over 30 years and is a leading light on the national shaping scene.
With the summer in full flow, you might be thinking of a new slide to make the most of the small swells or even ahead for a new stick to make the most of the soon to be coming autumn juice, so we thought it a good time to hear from Marky Lascelles, head shaper at Beach Beat. This is his story and look on the brand.
Can you give us a quick history to you/Beach Beat?
Well Beach Beats history is a long one! Founded sometime in the early 80's by my old man Peter 'Chops' Lascelles. He had already been in Aggie a little while doing his Natural Flow surfboards and decided it was time to expand and head in a more performance direction, so Beach Beat was born. He rounded up a crew of local rippers including the Hendy boys, among others, and set up shop next door to our family house here in Aggie. Dad and his crew soon became renowned in the UK and Europe for their shapes and finishes. He then created Laminations finishing and eventually moved it on to Jeremy Walter and his crew at Wheal Kitty - the rest is history I guess. As for me, I was born in 1990 and have lived in Aggie all my life, fair to say I caught the surfing bug pretty early and after a childhood of contests I decided I wanted to travel and surf better waves. So after finishing school, I began travelling and surfing in places like Indo and Aus. I started shaping about 5/6 years ago and helping dad run the machine. Now really proud to be head shaper of Beach Beat surfboards and Cord surfboards. My brother Sean helps me out and I also help out my mum in the Aggie surf shop.
As for me being the head of Beach Beat, the same with Cord, it gives me a lot of pride. it was pretty daunting at first, 23 years old and I've got the weight of our families business on my shoulders. Before that I had pretty much done every thing in my power to not have any responsibilities, be able to just pick up my board bag and go surf where ever I want or do what I want. So I guess you could say it was a bit scary, but the moment it all happened I knew it was what I wanted to do. I never had any doubt about that. And now it’s all settled down a bit, it just makes me proud and happy that mum and dad built this thing for me to carry on, and dad taught me enough to carry it on with confidence. And hopefully I can put my own stamp on it and keep pushing it forward.
Can you talk us through your latest shape?
I’ve got a few, Skippy just did really well in the Oakley comp on a new one called the 'deputy'. It was originally for Wardo as he wanted like a smaller version of his sherif shape for summer, so we kept the back end the same but moved the wide point forward a bit and rounded out the nose and gave it a slightly flatter rocker - it seems to be working very well. As for what I’m riding... it was just something that sort of happened when I had a bit of spare time, its almost a bit old school, quite a wide swallow tail and a wider nose, with a spiral vee concave running through the bottom. I think that one is 5'6'' x 19 1/2 x 2 1/4 but it keeps the thickness right out to the rails. I'm happy with that one it seems to make all this weak surf we have been having a lot of fun! There’s one down at the Aggie shop and it’s what I’m recommending right now.
Favourite surfer to shape for and why?
I don't really know, its fun shaping for all the boys really. It’s always good when you get feedback (good or bad) because it helps you evolve your shapes. I like shaping for Skippy and Wardo because they both tear the bag out of it so it takes the pressure off me a little bit ha! Its always nice to see someone surf really well on one of your sticks though. And then Noah is fun to shape for because he wants to ride anything and everything, and he gives me good feedback, plus he kills it too. And then most of all...ME...Because it means I get a new stick (perks of the job!) and try my shapes out!
Best thing about shaping?
Gives you a different perspective, and its definitely opened my mind up to different boards and how to make them work on the water. Also a sense of achievement when some one comes up to you with a big grin stoked about how good there new board was going. I enjoy working with customers to get what they really want from their boards and help improve their surfing.
And the worst?
Having to work while people are out there surfing your boards! And cleaning up all the dust sucks as well. Other than that it’s a pretty damn good life.
Scariest waves you’ve surfed.
A few sessions I guess, but one up in the North East, when it was massive and howling onshore, springs to mind. Ben Skinner, Wardo and I decided to go in - I'm think the sleep deprivation from the drive must of made it look almost ridable, but it wasn't...and it was huge! That was my first time at the spot and it was pretty hectic. I also had one session at Lakeys was pretty full on. Very big and low, just cleaning up after a storm and so was all over the place. They are the sorts of sessions that are made fun by being a bit scared though, and you get to push yourself a bit. You get it a lot in surfing when your kinda scared but when you get out you realise that you were having a ball the whole time!
Please drop into Aggie Surf Shop where Marky will be more than happy to talk through any shapes etc.
Photos: In the shaping bay - Kirstin Prisk
Photo: Lakeys Surf - Richard Kotch