Stab in the Dark: Blake Peters of Panda

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posted by Kate McCart

Welcome back to Stab in the Dark. By now you’ve seen what Julian Wilson did with our collection of cleanskin boards from the world’s best shapers. You also know that Darren Handley (DHD) won. But, now it’s time to meet the gentry behind the other crafts that made for such compelling viewing in our mini-documentary.

Board #10 was shaped by Blake Peters, better known as Panda. Blake was a virtual unknown against some of the pedigree on this list. he used to shape in Simon Anderson’s old Energy but is now based in California and shapes boards for Ford Archbold. The results here are what we were hoping the project could uncover: a talent that isn’t quite under the spotlight. “The board I shaped has a good amount of continuous curve, with a deep single concave and a pulled in outline making it sensitive and precise,” says Blake. “It’d go best in head high-plus, hollow waves.”

Julian Wilson on the Panda: “Ah, the only round tail in the batch. I was surprised how well it went in the tight, pockety waves. It didn’t look like a board you could do an air on, it caught me off-guard. I wasn’t sure if it’d do ‘em, and on my first wave, that’s exactly what I did. Taking it to Bells, where long, drawn out, smooth surfing is going down, it’d be great.”