Dale Walker

Foam, dust and resin hit you with an all out assault on the senses as you walk through the sliding door into the shaping bay. A labyrinth of rooms go from shaping to sanding to glassing bays, all the associated toxic fumes fill the air and combine to give you that rush of excitement that can only come from being in the presence of a shaper. It’s never more exciting than visiting Dale, his label eCtic Concepts could not be more aptly named as you never quite know what you’re going to find in his little room. Dale is originally from the North East of England, his formative years spent searching the frigid nooks and crannies of Yorkshires coast. It fixed an obsession in his bones for surfing which, like so many other, led him to abandon the fickle yet perfect waves of The North Sea and head south for the consistent more accommodating waters of the South West.

Here he picked up the plane and saw and worked for a number of shapers, learning his craft, whilst at the same time holding down a ‘real’ job which would, and still does allow him to be experimental and just go a little bonkers with his shaping. As with most apprentices, especially ones with heads full of off the wall concepts such as Dale’s, sooner or later it was time to go it alone. His love for longboards and craft that glide in general had taken him through the bays of Nine Plus and numerous other shapers, but he could never quite take it where he wanted to go. Fortunately, having a sensible side and holding down a solid job helped, it meant he could indulge himself by launching Walker Longboards. His boards are crafted in the same way ‘logs’ have been done for decades, full of detail, finesse and just built for gliding and long drawn out turns, basically a lot of fun. Dale takes his longboards extremely seriously whether it is the more traditional nose riders, the full retro flow machine or more modern takes on classic designs. But you get a feeling that whilst these are awesome creations, Dale has more, another side to his shaping persona, and that is eCtic Concepts.

eCtic is possibly the best possible description for Dale’s ideas and shapes, you never quite know when you walk into that shaping bay exactly what you are going to find. Being a fan of boards under six foot, I first fell in love with Dale’s Mini Simmons concepts. They were way more maneuverable than other forms of the species I had tried and being of the short board persuasion I gravitated to them right down to sub-5 foot models. But once involved with one of Dale’s concepts you can’t help get caught up in his other ideas. The Freakoid was an early incarnation he based on the Mini Simmons which he did in 2008, with a tweaked tail design, deep channels and a displacement hull all on a sub 5’2 board which worked, turned well, caught waves better than anything and glided through flat sections like a knife through butter. eCtic Concepts then flowed, spewing new shapes into the world on a weekly basis. The Phish, Discs, Diamond noses, bodyboard/surfboard hybrids, the Chubster, displacement hulls, more variations on the traditional Mini Simmons than you can shake a stick at and they all work in their own exciting way. I even have two bio foam blank Alaia inspired finless boards in my garage which have the craziest shapes, but they work.

Simply put, Dale comes up with board concepts like other shapers, a lot are fairly far out like many shapers, but the difference is he shapes, tweaks and makes them work, puts them under open minded people’s feet who proceed to have fun on them. Beyond the boards are the fins. eCtic Concepts fins are as visionary as the boards themselves, drawn out shapes and cut aways inspire what look like totally dysfunctional designs, all designed and hand shaped by Dale. - Tim Nunn (Wavelength Magazine)

Dale has spent the last few years exploring coastlines of Costa Rica, Hawaii and California, putting his boards up against a variety of waves.  Local surfers have been taking notice and experiencing how different these boards are. Currently Dale is over in California finning and hot-coating at Lost Enterprise and shaping out of Eric Arakawas on the North Shore of Hawaii test driving his hulled creations with the local talent... Watch this space :)

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