Carton Shaper Legend Surfing Life with A Love of Music and Boards February 05 2019

(Note: click here for Spanish version)

Edwin “Carton” Villalobos always has a smile that emanates peace and a joy of life. You can almost always find him at his shaping workshop practicing a new song on his guitar or shaping a board in the shaping room. Perhaps you will see him sitting on a chair outside eating fruit or drinking a coconut water or Imperial at the end of the day.

People know the place well; it’s a favorite place for many to buy a surfboard or a bar of wax on the way to surf a local break.

Where are you from? When did you start shaping boards and why?

I'm from Barranca, Puntarenas, Costa Rica. I began to shape boards when I started highschool in 1989, like a fanatic because I knew the wave of Boca Barranca. I surfed the wave and I loved it. In 1996, I sold my first surfboard at a professional price.

What kinds of surfboard shapes do you make?

I fell in love with surfing without caring on what type of board. Surfboards are pretty, all of them. I always have made all styles of boards because there are all types of people. And all kinds of tastes for life and for riding waves

What board shape is the most popular?

The shortboard 5’8 and 5’9.

Where is your factory and showroom located where you shape and sell boards?

On Calle Madrigal in Playa Jaco.

Are there other places where people can find Carton Surfboards?

There are a couple of boards at manta Surf Shop in Playa Jaco and a couple available also at Monkey Mafia Surf Shop in Playa Nosara, Nicoya, Guanacaste.

How do you like to connect with other shapers? 

I forget that they are shapers and always see them as people and surfing friends. My shaping life is very very nomal and very natural so I don’t feel a lot of difference if someone is a shaper or not. But I feel that yes, it’s a good friend or bad friend, good energy, bad energy, strange, good vibrations, bad vibrations…

When I connect with other shapers, I like to talk about their stories and the good things in life, family… I focus more on the friendship than on work.


How are sales going for Carton surfboards?

Very well. We are selling a lot of white boards. It’s better right now for me to make an extra board then spend more time on the colored ones. When people just want to buy a board, color isn’t as important.

What is the price of a new surfboard?

$490 for a new board (shortboard) it’s the local price, and I have the same price for everybody

How do you learn more about music?

Beautiful question. You have to pay attention to what the artist does, the strategies, the tricks from the mouth, the attitude they put on the music, a LOT of details. Plus mathematics and sounds. Every single sound has a code. When your memory is bigger you can remember different noises. Imagine the noises. You have to make your brain strong through practice. And then every time you see the music, it’s easier.

When you learn something new in music, it’s like the beginning again. You have better details so you have to rebuild the song again, rebuild the song again and keep on building. Oh my God.

Musicians that inspire you?

The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, ACDC, Johnny Cash and my Dad, Edwin Solan Villalobos


Words to live by? 

Health, Enjoyment, Peace, Love and Occupation.  (busy, busy baby). A lot of music and a lot of food to eat. And cooking also.  

Sounds like music to my ears... 

Find Carton Surfboards on Facebook and follow on instagram @carton_shaper_legendjaco 

Author Kate Hanley 

Photos by Kate Hanley/Pura Vida Board Gear. Guitar photos courtesy of Edwin Carton Villalobos 

Find  some Pura Vida Board Gear boardsocks at Taller Carton on Calle Madrigales, Playa Jaco. Follow us on Facebook and on instagram @puravidaboardgear