San Diego State University Sports MBA Program
5 Questions with current student and entrepreneur, Chris Clark (SMBA ’12)

1) To start, give us your elevator pitch for your company, Shaper Studios.

Shaper Studios: “Where Surfing Is Made.” Shaper Studios is California’s first surfboard workshop. Surfers now have a home outside the water where they can come shape and design their own surfboards. Our friendly staff of surfboard builders has a passion for sharing the art of surfboard design with surfers of all ages. We rent clean shaping bays and pro shaping tools. We have an array of custom glassing and artwork options. We also offer private & group shaping lessons and have great packages for corporate events and offsite retreats. Please visit us at

2) What have you learned throughout the year that you’ve applied to your own business?

I strongly believe that you can learn something from everyone and perhaps my classmates have been among the most supportive in helping me tone not only my business skills but offering themselves to support me as a friend. I’ve been using all class projects and group projects to my advantage throughout the year. For example, our large statistics project asked us to use provided data sets to run statistical analysis. Instead, I recruited a classmate to help me collect primary source surf data to run statistical analysis that would benefit the on-going market research project for my business. I’ve also used specific tools from classes like Entrepreneurship and Law to really polish up the professionalism of my business.

3) What local action sports executives have you learned the most from in your time at SDSU?

Kevin Flanagan (CEO, The People’s Movement) has been my number one mentor since the start of the year. We’ve been building our new businesses side by side and that has been really educational and exciting for me. Fernando Aguerre (President, International Surfing Association) has long been an inspiration as I continue to develop the philanthropic activities of my business. More recently I’ve been working with Dave Nash (President, Sun Diego) to really understand the retail environment. My company was just accepted today into the SDSI Connect Springboard Program [ed note: congrats, Chris!] so I have a feeling there’s a heap of learning on the horizon.

4) The Game Changers event you helped organize with San Diego Sport Innovators was a big success, can you talk about how that event came about and what you feel came out of it?

Agreed. What a great event. The SMBA Program and SD Sport Innovators gave me the creative freedom to make Game Changers something special. The goal was to bring game changing insights to local San Diego sports executives and Sports MBA students. We started with a solid theme and then sought out a dream team panel. The incredible atmosphere of the SD Hall Of Champions made the event spectacular. Game Changers really shook the local sports industry and I’m not just saying that because I had a hand in it. Four months later it is still being talked about as one of the most powerful sports business events San Diego has ever seen. I would really love to see the SMBA Program run with a series of these events next year.

5) Where did you learn to salsa dance, and aside from you, who’s the best dancer in SMBA ’12?

I learned how to dance while living in Mexico. I used to train almost 4 hours a day and then go out dancing at night. I was so afraid there wouldn’t be any dancing back in the states and come to find out San Diego has a huge salsa scene. I currently dance semi professionally for Majesty In Motion Dance Company and teach the salsa classes at SDSU. There are so many talented dancers in the SMBA ’12 but if I had to pick one I’d go with J Buns from Philly. He’s got it in his blood and he was a big hit in the D.R. being mistaken for world famous bachatero, Romeo Santos, of Aventura.

Leave A Comment

Corporate Stuff