Two Fins, More Wins

Before the IPS world tour, the top shortboard-era surfers—Nat Young, Midget Farrelly, Gerry Lopez, Reno Abellira, and Terry Fitzgerald among them—earned a living by shaping surfboards. Once the tour was established, aspiring pros had more incentive to focus entirely on wave-riding, and boardmaking fell by the wayside. Wayne Bartholomew, Shaun Tomson, Cheyne Horan, Dane Kealoha, and nearly all the other IPS pros had no interest in shaping.

Mark Richards bucked this trend partly because, unlike...