Surf came into Daniel Costa’s life when he was only 15 years old. In Algarve, he came across with Surfing Magazine. Beyond the waves and being barefoot in the sand, what appealed to him was the lifestyle that being a surfer gave him. He started his adventure and the first year he surfed, he tasted the wintery Portuguese waters, he got in the water without a suit. He got out happy, knowing those were the first waves of many good ones.
He shapes surfboards for more than 20 years, but he can still remember of the first board he shaped. He was 18 years old and a strong inclination to manual work, which had a good friend of his to “be a pain in the a**” and convince him to build his first surfboard. His first try was a single fin 6’8’’ Egg shape that later became a 6’2’’ Thruster. Before he gave this first step, Dan was already repairing some boards, firstly with his own, then with his friends’. When he dove into the polyurethane world to give life to surfboards he never stopped. In a blink of an eye he went from building it to himself and friends, to build it to a friend of a friend and future clients. Today, at 42 years old, he’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 6 months, he realised that wasn’t his place to be and he spent the other 6 months sparing money to go travel.
In 1999, he departed in his longest trip so far, he lived 7 months in Australia, where he worked and learned important things that helped him to be the shaper he is today. In there he had the chance to test different boards, of different styles and shapes. He is one of the people responsible for bringing Single Fins, Twin Fins and even the Classic Longboards to Portugal. Eventually, the time to leave came and after having experience a lifestyle of freedom and spending his days at the beach, he didn’t want to return to Portugal to a dull and routine life. Surf allowed something different and that’ what he ambitioned. So he went to Porto Covo, to live in a caravan, where he found the simplicity of being a surfer, of keeping life costs low and of surfing everyday every time it was good. He lived like this for 8 years, enjoying the complicity between people and a life of few responsibilities. He admits it wasn’t always easy, but it was really good.
Dan Costa is the face behind the brand Retro Movement. Japan, California and Spain surrender to the quality of his boards, inspired in the classic side of surf. The brand could have grown much more, but Dan isn’t a great salesman and so he had to bet everything he had in the quality of the product. Retro Movement is known for that and those who search for Dan already have in mind what they want. The brand has in it everything Dan learned while abroad, as he absorbs what he can to his professional and personal growth.
He’s a single parent for 14 years. Zoey arrived to change all priorities. The surf, the freedom and the shape were no longer in first place. What mattered the most was to be present, available and ready to accompany her in her journey. Dan started to see things from a different perspective, thinking before acting, calculating his steps to ensure that his daughter had him by her side every time she needed. Today, they live together and are a team. Zoey used to surf with her dad, but she has other interests as well that prove she is capable of thinking on her own and that, much like Dan, is a bit of an outsider.
Dan aims for a future in which his daughter can have the life she wants and that he can be there to support her with a good left awaiting him in a place where it’s always summer.