Open Shapes with Neal Purchase Jnr & Von

Open Shapes with Neal Purchase Jnr & Von

Words and images by Andrew Semark

I have been working with Ryan Von Dresslet for a few years now and he has changed the way I look at surfboards. His dedication to his craft, and investment into those around him is a credit to his nature. With a slight turn of the head, small movements in the shaping bay Vons character is poured out into a small piece of foam. Ryan has made a push to create boards for the waves of West Oz, he is backed by a solid group of guys who entrust him to put the finest shapes under their feet.


Apart from shaping, Von pushes hard to create a community where artists, surfers and shapers can all be apart of something. That’s where I had the pleasure of meeting NPJ. Ryan put out the call for NPJ to come out to West Oz and create. Opening up the bay and orders for the crew to get amongst.

Getting to meet and shoot with Neal was a pleasure, the guy oozes style and charisma and it shows in his shaping and surfing. Watching both Von and Neal nerd out in the shaping bay was like watching someone speak in a completely different language. In every board they invest the time it takes to refine every aspect so it rides perfectly.


The most impressive thing about Neal was his ability to drag Von out of the shaping bay and into the water, both guys downed tools and spent time back to where it all began, surfing. West provided fun waves for the guys. Both work tirelessly creating for others, its really good to see then still finding the same enjoyment of riding waves on crafts that they’ve created.

Being able to see and enjoy the final products that both Von and NPJ created is probably the best part, from the concept, design and feel of the finished product you begin to appreciate the hard work these guys invest in each design. Years of knowledge poured into boards that respond under your feet. They do it all for very little credit but the joy we all have experienced is a credit to them.