FABIO GIACOMINI HISTORY OF THE SHAPER
I was born in Italy in Rome, in a marine estate, where the family home was just in front
of the sea. This natural element has always fascinated me so much that it then became
part of my private and personal life.
Professionally speaking, I started shaping boards in 1980, I think it was a consequence of
my strong passion for the construction and for the surfing on a wave with any type of board.
I started windsurfing, which at that time I practised assiduously, as did many of my peers. Windsurfing was very popular in Italy at the time, and I started to produce my first models of wave performance boards to be used with sails.
Since then I have had the opportunity to work with professional athletes, for example
I produced for Pietro Pacitto, a windsurfing professional athlete, several boards for his use: in the wave Windsurfing World Cup and in national competitions.
In the mid 80s traditional surfing began to take hold in the place of windsurfing.
I surfed myself in those days when there was no wind but the sea waves formed.
It was really fun and exciting to be able to surf the Mediterranean waves without
sail but with my board only.
Those custom boards were already in fact surfboards and then I decided to put in all my efforts into the surfboard shaping, making it my profession.
I have worked for the last 38 years in close contact with national and international pro surfers and with top shapers abroad (France, Australia, United States and South Africa) to improve and refine my technical knowledge in the design and construction of high quality and performance surfboards.
Among the international athletes I remember the collaboration with the South African Clyde Martin who participated in several European Professional Championships in the 90s.
Of the national athletes on the other hand, the longest relationship was surely with the multichampion Emiliano Cataldi still in action on boards designed by me.
In recent years I have also collaborated with some athletes of the WSL circuit, and Ntando Msibi, a South African young athlete of remarkable skills. He and Emiliano are currently the ambassadors of my products overseas.
Today I am a freelancer and I devote myself mainly to the design,
research and development of the product.
I design models for 3 companies with international distributors,
as well as producing my limited series of unique and special boards,
100% made with the manual experience of a craftsman,
who has accumulated 40 years of continuous work in the sector.
I live in South Africa, but I often go back to Italy.
Moving in 2005 to one of the world’s top countries in surfing both
as a production and as well as a practitioner, was fundamental for me.
This new position has allowed me to increase and improve my professional experience
greatly, an objective that I could never have achieved if I was living in Italy.
Fabio was born in Rome Ostia on 01/05/1962
He enrolled at the scientific Lyceum high school A. Labriola in Rome and passed the matric exam. He decided not to continue his studies at the University. He had a passion like many, of the sea and the boards, since then he was convinced that surfing would become a reality in Italy as a practiced sport and be followed like any other sports.
In 1980 he was in fact the first professional shaper in Italy, opening his first surfboard company ‘WEST COAST “based in Rome
In 1988 he established PIKE still based in Rome, which would become the most famous surfboard brand in Italy from 1988 to 1998, used by national and international team surfers.
Fabio, however, did not want to stop there, but wanted to achieve more ambitious goals. It was his total conviction in his shaper work and in the growth of the industry that led him to achieve professional results that no other Italian shaper had ever achieved before.
Currently he is a shaper / designer of surf boards and sup of international level, he resides, since 2005 in South Africa working as a freelancer in the service of famous manufacturers.
He was a highly regarded technician in the South African and international surfing community.
In his 38 years of training, Fabio has achieved professional goals that lead him to be considered the most ‘competent surfing technician in Italy, father of Italian shaping and ambassador abroad of the Italian shaping school.
These are his main goals and skills up to now:
First professional shaper in Italy since 1980, shaper for Europe of the following international brands: SAFARI SURFBOARDS SOUTH AFRICA 1990, STARK SURFBOARD FRANCE 1992, BEAR SURFBOARD USA 1994 and PIPEDREAM SURFBOARD AUSTRALIA 1996.
He is the founder of PIKE SURF the most famous surfboard brand in Italy 1988. He is the founder of the first Italian surf association IWST 1990. He is the coach of the Italian national team surfing at the World Cup in France 1993.
The only manufacturer in the world of surfboard models for the GUCCI high fashion house in Florence 2000. The only Italian manufacturer of a surfboard line signed FERRARI 2006.
He has worked as a freelance shaper since 2005 in the following companies abroad: SAFARI SURFBOARD 2005/2007, F22 INDUSTRY 2008/2010 BILT SURFBOARD 2011/2013.
He is shaper and international designer of boards since 2015 at HURRICANE SURF, PIKE SURF and AQUA INC.
He is a lecturer in Handcrafting Surfboard at HSA (HANDCRAFTING SURFBOARD ACADEMY) with head offices in Italy and South Africa.
Coach and surfing technician with a decade of preparation in the design and construction of surfboards (only) in Italy, testing expert and national and international leading athlete, he has won several competitions abroad and is currently champion of the national sup surfing and sup race circuit for the ASI Sports Promotion Authority.
He is the Executive responsible for the Surfing and Sup industry at the EPS ASI. He is the head of the humanitarian project of teaching shaping at the ONLUS Surfers Not Street Children in Durban South Africa since 2017.
In 2018 he participated in the project for the construction of boards for the disabled, the ORG SURF4CHILDREN of Rome Italy.
He is an honorary member of the KLOOF CONSERVANCY Nature Park in Durban South Africa since 2014.
(Bibliography: STORIA DEL SURF IN ITALIA A. Masoni/ PHASAR)