Meet Dominic Picone: surfer, golfer, board shaper, and failed intern. After a short stint in our customer service department, Dom realized that a desk job wasn’t quite his calling. Not just yet, at least. So off he went to pursue his dreams. He returned to Linksoul a few years later, boards in hand, and now Dom shapes all of our LS boards. We recently spent some time with the Linksouldier and Affinità founder/head shaper at his shaping bay in San Diego, where he gave us the rundown on his tailor-made crafts and the parallels of golf and surf.
Tell us a bit about the birth and inspiration behind Affinità.
Affinità is a combination of the tight-knit community of San Diego and the community in Italy. I have a ton of family in Italy and Sicily. And when I was coming up with the business name and concept I was in Italy, visiting family and I ended up making some great friends in the surf community. There, I was reminded of the importance of family, friends, and community. They loved our Southern California style and surf culture and I loved their style, culture, and passion for surfing. So that’s where I came up with the name Affinità, meaning a kinship, common interests, community, etc… It was really an extension of bringing people together through a common love for surfing.
What’s a normal day in San Diego look like for you?
It’s pretty different every day, but it usually involves a lot of coffee and getting some surfing in. Then throw some errands in the mix and, of course, shaping. I’m always doing something different. I can’t be doing nothing. My fiancé says I’m nuts and have ADD, so I got that goin’ for me.
If you could choose anyone (dead or alive) to ride your boards, who would it be and why?
I don’t know if I’ve actually thought about that before, but I think I’d have to choose anyone from Endless Summer 1 or 2. Today, there are so many amazing surfers out there that I would be honored to have any one of them riding my boards—Chris Del Moro, Rastovich, Tommy Witt, Ponzanelli, Leah Dawson… the list goes on.
Who are some of your golf and surf inspirations?
Golf inspirations would have to be Hogan and Palmer. I used to study Hogan’s swing like crazy—it’s incredible to watch. I think Palmer’s attitude and how he always carried himself is something to admire. There are so many surf inspirations—Duke, Rob Machado, Skip Frye, Kevin Connelly, and Terry/Josh Martin, to name a few.
Favorite wave in San Diego?
Besides surfing and golfing, what else do you do to keep busy?
Lately, working on my house has kept me real busy. Besides that, shadowing and chatting with other shapers when I have free time is something I always try to do. I want to continue learning about the craft. I want to be one of the best shapers around some day, so I think that keeps me driven on my down time to just keep learning and progressing.
Key to happiness?
Surf a lot, spend time with the people you love, and I’ve heard whiskey creates happiness, too.
Order your very own Affinità x Linksoul surfboards here: http://linksoul.com/Gear.aspx