Surfing came into Daniel’s life when he was only 15 years old. In Algarve, he came across Surfing Magazine and beyond the waves and being barefoot in the sand, what appealed to him was the lifestyle that being a surfer meant. He started surfing and tasted with pleasure the wintery Portuguese water during the first year.
Not only a surfer, Dan has been shaping surfboards for more than 20 years now, but still can remember the first board he shaped. 18-years-old at the time with a strong inclination to manual labour, he convinced one of his friends to help him build his first surfboard. His first try was a single fin 6’8’’ egg shape that later became a 6’2’’ thruster. Before this shaping venture, Dan was already repairing boards. When he dove into the polyurethane world to give life to his very first board, he never stopped. In a blink of an eye, he went from building it for himself and his friends to building boards for future clients. Today, at 42 years old, Dan’s internationally known for his work.
Dan can be described as an uncomplicated person that works with pleasure, dedication and brio. Before shaping became his profession, he tried the 'normal life thing' and worked as a mechanical engineer for a whole year. After six months, he realized that wasn’t his place to be and he spent the other six months sparing money to go travel.
In 1999, he departed on his longest trip so far: Australia for seven months. While being away, he had the chance to test different boards, of different styles and shapes, allowing him to learn important things that helped him become the shaper he is today. He eventually had to leave Australia and obviously, after experiencing a lifestyle of freedom and days spent at the beach, he didn’t want to return to Portugal to a dull and routine life. He then went to Porto Covo to live in a caravan, discovering the simplicity of being a surfer while keeping life low cost and enjoying waves every day. Dan lived like this for eight years, enjoying the simplicity between people and a life of few responsibilities. He admits it wasn’t always easy, but that it was still really good.
Dan Costa is the face behind the brand Retro Movement. Japan, California and Spain surrender to the quality of his boards, inspired by the classical side of surfing. The brand could have grown much more, but Dan isn’t a great salesman so instead of selling, he decided to bet everything he had in the quality of his product. He is also one of the people responsible for bringing single fins, twin fins and even the classic longboard to Portugal.
When we talk about the future, what does Dan dream of? A future where his daughter can have the life she wants and where he can be there to support her with a good left awaiting him in a place where it’s always summer.
Have you ever ridden one of Dan’s boards? Tell us below!
Up next: This is Billy