Ted first picked up a Skil 100 planer in the summer of 1986 in the shaping room of Outer Banks underground legend Murray Ross. He learned the basics of board building through Murray at his backyard glass shop, paying his dues cutting out fin patches and sanding rails. In 1987 Murray moved into Mickey McCarthyís New Sun Surfboards with Ted in tow.
By 1988 he was polishing and sanding fulltime and shaping boards for himself and a few friends. This is where the glassing team of Rascoe Hunt and Ted Kearns was formed. In 1992, Ted and Rascoe formed Gale Force Glassing. The contract glassing company soon morphed into a full fledged surfboard label with the growing demand of Tedís shapes.
In 2008, after over 22 years of shaping on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Ted and his wife Tanya along with their 2 Jack Russell's packed up and moved to the Big Island of Hawai'i. In October '08, after many years of planning, the TK Shapes Hawaii factory opened for business.
In November, 2012, TK sold his factory on the Big Island, and relocated to Oahu. TK is mainly focusing on custom orders and spending more time with Tanya, especially in the water!
Shaping influences: Murray Ross, Lynn Shell, Mickey Mcarthy, Scott Busbey, Matt Kinoshita , Donald Takayama, Greg Loehr.
Shaping philosophy: Surfing is an individual sport, and every surfer has certain needs to have the most success. Shaping custom surfboards isnít just about knowing how to shape, but more importantly knowing how to interpret what the customer is trying to articulate and giving them back "exactly what I had in mind".
Being able to shape all styles of boards on demand is also a must for a custom shaper. I donít believe shapers should be pigeon-holed into shaping only one style of board. How boring!