Shaper Ryan Lovelace gives us a tour of his Santa Barbara surf haven

Shaper Ryan Lovelace has created a surfer’s, shaper’s and artist’s haven in Santa Barbara, California.

Remnants of a raucous party intermingled with vintage art and beautiful boards at Trim Shop. Photo: Gabriela Aoun

Trim Shop is a three-story warehouse in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, an area made up of wine bars, breweries, artist studios and surf shops.

Last week, Lovelace gave us a tour of his shop and ran us through some of his board designs.

In the case of Trim, “shop” is a broad term: Lovelace’s operation houses guest rooms for visiting shapers and creatives, an art studio, a shaping room, and a storefront filled with gorgeous boards, ’70s photography by Dan Merkel and sketches drawn by Lovelace’s girlfriend, Katie McLean.

Trim Shop SB
Lovelace made a point to offer creative space for artists and surfers. Photo: Katie Rodriguez

The rooftop deck overlooks Sandspit, the righthand barrel in Santa Barbara Harbor. The store doubles as a party venue (when we visited, there were still amps and mic stands from the band the week before) and the whole building is watched by Lovelace’s fierce, 20-lb guard dog, Herbie.

Lovelace confers with his shop assistant, Herbie. Photo: Gabriela Aoun

Lovelace’s boardline, TrimCraft, is an extension of his shaping philosophy. “Surfboards are built these days by CNC [computer numerical control] machines,” he explained on our tour. “They get pre-shaped by a big machine. We’re trying to breathe a bit more life back into hand-shaping: taking an entire blank and doing the whole process … spending the time to build a surfboard.”

Ryan Lovelace
Lovelace still believes in the value of a hand-shaped board. Photo: Katie Rodriguez

He has put his theory to the test: “I think those of us that are really dedicated to hand-shaping feel the difference. I’ve done the experiment on myself and tried machine-shaped versions of my boards, then hand-shaped one, and I just feel happier on the hand-shaped one. I think what it is is the connection between the person building it and the actual board.”

Trim Shop Santa Barbara
Time for some product testing, perhaps? Photo: Katie Rodriguez

He’s also proud of his unfinished, bohemian setup, a design he purposefully chose, perhaps as a statement: “Any friends or customers that come by, we give them a little tour, to show them why the Funk Zone is worth not developing completely. There is still some ‘funk’ left.”

For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!