Richard Prause is the shaper and owner of Grasshopper Surfboards. He makes insane surfboards in Charleston, SC and has insane style to boot. We caught up with him for our ongoing ‘Profile’ series.
Can you give us a brief background on yourself?
It starts with my Mom and Dad. They were surfers. My dad grew up in the Crescent and started surfing Folly Beach in the 60’s. My mom went to Ashley Hall when it was a boarding school. They got married, moved to Hawaii, and I was born on the island of Maui in 1981.
They moved back a few years after I was born, and I grew up here in Charleston. I went to college and married the woman of my dreams. We travelled around a bit, and made our way back to Charleston to start our own family. I now have two beautiful daughters, and I work as a manufacturing process engineer at Boeing South Carolina, in the Composite Fabrication division.
When and where did you start surfing?
I first started ‘surfing’ in the gullys of Sullivans Island where my parents would go to wakeboarding by a lot of different wakeboards . Once I could paddle out by myself, I would go with my dad to IOP, Berts and Folly whenever the swell was up!
What do you love about the Charleston surf scene?
The surf is not the best, but it is home to me here. I love the crisp fall days when there is the back end of a ground swell still filtering in and a couple days of offshore winds have groomed the small waves to perfect form. I also love the natural beauty of the undeveloped barrier islands in the area and the ever changing inlet sandbars that can on occasion put out a perfect wave!
What’s in your quiver?
Everything. Singles, Twins, Thrusters, Quads, short, long, paddle, inflatable boat….
What was your best surf trip?
Every one you take is the best. A year on the North Shore of Oahu living and working felt like a really long surf trip. An Australian winter traveling the East coast and the Victorian coast in a camper van was probably the most adventurous surf trip.
Fiji/Samoa/Indonesia while on that side of the world – all amazing places with perfect waves! There are some good cold water waves on the east and west coast of North America that have been fun to go to. I have had some really good bachelor/wedding surf trips to countries close to home that were insanely fun.
My honeymoon was a glorified surf trip with my new wife around the Hawaiian Islands – that one is hard to beat…. More amazing day trips than I can count – up or down the coast, or out in the boat to find a novelty wave.
What inspires you?
So many things. My beautiful family most of all. The ocean of course. Travel. Meeting people from different backgrounds/cultures. Good food. Catching a glassy wave!
Describe your perfect day in Charleston.
Take the boat out with my family to a sandbar in the middle of nowhere. Catch fish and surf. Share a meal of what was caught and tell stories of the day and days past.
What does the future hold?
No one knows – that is why it is so exciting!
What’s your favorite RWSS product?