Shaper Sundays: Manuela Shapes

Introducing our second installment of Shaper Sundays. A talk story video compilation with people who craft the boards under our feet that keeps a smile on our face every time we hit the surf.

“Moving In Da Positive.” A mantra that resonates within Kely Rodrigues, the man behind Manuela Shapes. It is more than surfboard shaping and surfing. It’s a mindset, a vision. “Onward forward, backward never.” The future is all we have to look forward to and you cannot dwell on the past. Purity in embracing a moment and taking whatever the situation is, then looking at it in the best way possible. Kely’s dynamic reaches way further than your local shaper. A purist that keeps it real, both in and out of the water.


Kely is a surfer that shapes, not a shaper that surfs. I have to say, I see him in the line up whenever it is good and even when it is not. Early dawn, late dusk, before work, after work, when he should be at work. For someone who has a full-time job, shaping a dozen logs in a month, competitively surfing, consistently traveling, and a girlfriend, Kely still gets it in. His passion drives him and his community supports him. The beauty of Maui’s logging community is their acceptance and their support. You will see Kely’s boards in the same line up as all the legends like Ole, Yater, Charlie Smith, and other icons from all over the world. Manuela shapes is found under the toes of Maui’s best long boarders and underground surf scene. The scene that has cultured from roots and is all about going out and sharing waves, scoring no matter how small or big and enjoying every opportunity to be out there. Giving away waves to friends and stoking out when you see them rip on a knee-high day. The community of different people that live different lives, work different jobs, from different places, all embracing the moment and enjoying that time together. The beauty of the logging community. Kely is the heart of that community.


His stoke arises from shaping and riding his own shapes. Seeing what differs and how it feels under his feet. A continuous learning process that has translated into inspiration for the boards he shapes. Each hand-crafted board that leaves his garage to the glasser conveys his knowledge, his time, his growth. Each board crafted to allow a surfer to open a new way to express their personality on a wave. From nose riders, beak nose midlengths, to stubby singles, each board has an identity and a name. The diversity of ideas stems from that drive and positive movement.


Kely is more than a shaper, he is a presence. He gets “wealth in the richness of the soul’ and shares that wealth gained in the boards he crafts. The simplicity and the bond between the surf and the feeling of wave sliding. A legend in the making. Here is a little bit of Kely Rodrigues and Manuela Shapes.

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