from this article..."With all of this said, the more boards you surf the more dimensions you will collect. The more dimensions you collect, the closer you will get to understanding what boards work for you."
... "A new board is a risk. Find a company or shaper that works for you and stick with them. Find one who shapes boards for your type of waves.
Eventually, this may lead you to calling a shaper and having them shape boards specifically for you. You can do this at the start, but it's usually not worth the time, hassle and expense unless you know exactly what works for you (about 2% of us)."
I grew up in surfing in NJ, DE, MD and I have never gotten the vibe that the core surfers are obsessed with the surf scene else where. Yes, the kooks are but not the core group itself. The east coast will never be competitive and marketable with in the shaping/surfboard industry. You can not survive on shaping boards in Delaware. Jersey you may have more chance, but the trade off as far as income is not worth it. Surfboards have little mark-up. East has little waves to work with. The 2 just don't make for a great shaping bay.
RDJ, I don't think you are being rash. You being protective for your own right. Maybe I should visit John Ashton and do an interview with him. He is a great guy and deserves some recognition. He is the only shaper in my area within a 45 minute drive. An interview would be fine, but a relationship? For that I need a 5 minute drive. A big mistake on my part that I see in this article is I will never EVER recommend having a relationship with a shaper OVER THE PHONE or via email. That to me is stupid. I want to see foam flying, pick up stringers shaved into curly fries, and watch a board being shaped in a cobalt blue room! Thats when you get to have a relationship!
cheers to that right there.
rDJ- If you know an excellent local shaper, just post his name.
Very few shapers can produce high performance boards as accuratly as a slightly tweaked CNC model.
If you want high performance and dont have time and\or money to waste, go to the rack.
If your loookin for a more exotic board like an odd fish, a single fin or a wooden board, it is worth going to a local shaper in order to shake the mainstream. Be cautious, you may end up with an experimental piece of crap.
just throwin it out there, in the delaware/ocmd area Doc of Ocean Atlantic Surf Shop in OCMD is a phenomenal shaper and local legend. Makes great boards, and sells them at fair prices. Rode my first OH on one of his boards. I'd say that's a special connection.:D
I think a valid point in all this is to say that midatlantic surfers and locals aren't "obsessed" with CA and HI surf culture. With the internet, and youtube and contests and everything else, everyone who surfs on the east coast is exposed to the same "culture" and media that CA and HI are exposed to. And I think east coast surfers are really let down when they hear things like "Those boards wont work here" and we need "specific boards for these local conditions"...
As a guy from maryland, there in nothing worse than being in the lineup in CA and have people say sh** like, "there is a beach in maryland"?
So, its hard enough to get credibilty as a shaper or pro surfer from the east coast, so I think a lot of guys are sick and tired of hearing that their waves and their home towns are second rate....
I take the same quiver I ride in CA back home to OC MD when i visit. I ride the same boards. If its complete slop, then I just dont go out...
But there are good waves to be had back east, and when the good swells come, with the right conditions, I want to be on a the right high performance board. The same technology that guys are using at trestles works great at a pumping 48th street OC MD..
So, im not feeding the local shaper argument one way or another... But go down to OBX and to the places where all the east coast pros are congrigating, and they surely arent riding some strange custom shapes and concepts from local east coast shapers. They are pulling into big barrels at hatteras on the same sticks being used on Oahu.
Granted, day to day you can get great ideas and boards from local shapers...
But young surfers, developing surfers want to do the same sh** they see on tv. They dont want to cruise on a log. When a good day comes to the mid atlantic, guys want to get boosted. Guys want to get deep in the barrels. Gusy want to blow fins out the back....
No one wants to be told that they can't advance with the same technology the rest of the world is using....
I just think for 95% of surfers, there is already the perfect stick, sitting on a rack somewhere waiting for you... A lot of local shapers get caught up ni re-inventing the wheel, while meanwhile, Al Merrick already produced the local concepts 15 years ago...
The firewires, the CI and even the lost brands that you speak of are being developed by the worlds best, and design to be applicable on an international scale...
A good CI shortbaord will work well in CA, HI, MD, NJ, AUS and Bali.... you just need the right day.
I pretty much agree here except with not going to a shaper for a first board. I always send first time buyers to a local shaper for several reasons. He will give them a stable board set up for the area they surf. Nine times out of ten they will save money by purchaseing his product over a shops. Last but not least..... You local shaper will make you a more durable board that will last you several years instead of just a summer or two before the deck is completely caved in. The Industry is in it to bleed you out with,most of the time, a poorly manufactered product that they put a pro on in hopes you will buy it for names sake. A local wants your return business as well as your word of mouth business. You get a great board and he in turn gets more customers.
Originally Posted by rDJ