shortboards for under 500? i'm not too sure how that is "pricy"
People who think this is pricey are what is wrong with surfing... Surfers who view a surfboard like a piece of sporting equipment that can be made cheap in China. It's more than that. Some people will never see that and they are just missing out on the experience.
Just an FYI... at $100 a foot for a handshaped surfboard that equates to about $30 an hour labor, which equals $60,000 a year before taxes and health care. Take out taxes and health care and you are down to $40,000. Some of you are too young to grasp the cost of living, but it's not easy to support a family on $40k. These shapers are not making a lot of money at those prices. But this is what they must do to compete with cheap china made crap. Think about that the next time you complain about the price of your board.