INTERVIEW WITH MIKE DELANEY – CO OWNER OF PUREGLASS AND CREATOR OF THE BOARD BUILDERS COMMUNITY.

Has the Surf Industry lost its true meaning and identity? You have core old school surfers fighting for what they believe in, Millennials trying to find something to fight against. Then the majority who have no idea what’s going on and really don’t care as long as they get the latest board, ridden by some popular guy, and they can get it tomorrow. Pure Glass Co-Owner, Mike Delaney created the Board Builders Community in hopes of clearly seeing through the foam dust towards a positive future for board builders. 

Shop: Pureglass Inc.

Location: Costa Mesa, CA.

Years in business: 14

Interviewee: Mike Delaney

Job Title:Co-Owner, Production Manager, and Epoxy Laminator

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BTR: How and when did you get into board building?

MD: I think it’s almost been 20 years now. I moved back to Costa Mesa from Dana Point and had just sold my pool cleaning business. I was looking for a night job that would let me spend daytime with my kids. At the time, my brother in law Jim was laminating at Wallin Surfboards and asked if I would like to learn how to hot coat and glass. That was my start.

BTR: About 4 years ago you became CO-owner of Pure Glass. What led to this transition?

MD: I have worked at Pureglass since the day it opened. In the beginning I did just about everything in the shop from fin installs to glosses. I also spent a ton of time on the factory side of things, basically managing production. The founding owners, Jim Chalupnik and Bill Scharing, who are also my brother in laws, saw how much I helped in the day to day managing of the shop. They rewarded me with part of the company.

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BTR: You started the Board Builders Community on Instagram back in Jan 2018 after an inspiring trip to Surf Expo. What are your goals with the Board Builders Community? @boardbuilderscommunity 

MD: In the beginning, I really just wanted to have a page that people could share their thoughts about the industry in a positive way. There was a ton of negativity in the industry at the time and people were being verbally attacked if they tried to share their opinion that differed from the masses. To be honest, I lost my sense of purpose for a while and didn’t post much. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out a way for BBC to bring craftsmen from around the world together to share their thoughts and ideas about our craft.

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BTR: One of my favorite questions you’ve asked on BBC is “Will there be a generation after us to keep our craft alive?”  Please explain the question for anyone who doesn’t follow you and what you find out from the comments?

MD: If you’re in the industry at a management level, you are well aware that there is a shortage of quality workers out there. There are a number of factors that can be attributed to this but that’s for another interview. What I did see from the comments was there are little pockets of young craftsmen that are joining together to build boards. It’s not in the traditional way where you start as a shop grom and work your way through the ranks. I believe that model is pretty much obsolete in this day and age. I’m excited to see what these guys do in the future

BTR: What advice do you have for future board builders?

MD: Learn everything you can. In this age of social media, you don’t need to be in a shop environment to learn your craft. If you have the opportunity to be around seasoned craftsmen: ask questions and watch. Push yourself and never stop learning. For me, I’d love to see this next generation come together and start working towards making this industry united with one voice. There is power in numbers.

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