First Board Advice: VA beach shops and General board info.
I'm looking to buy my first board I have been surfing for a few year (4 I think I have'nt kept track) and have used both short and long boards. I have not however used hybrid sizes, funboards, or fish. I'm looking for a board that is affordable as some family members are allowing me to pick it out as a gift and are paying for it. I've looked at Frierson Designs, Austin Surfboards, and 757 surfboards. I like the 757 designs and info posted up on their site. I need to know how dependable their boards are and how long they are likely to last. I need a board that will grow with me as I learn how to do more manuevering in waves. Also does anyone know pricing/types of boards that Frierson and Austin Surfboards typically make? I live an hour or two inland of the beach and therefore cannot regularly visit shops, does anyone have any reccomendations to make of the VA beach shops? any information would be greatly apreciated even if it is just how concaves work or the reason for a swallowtail on a board.
So you want to drop some coin on a nice custom in VB, eh.... Been surfing / buying boards around her for about 10 years, here are my findings:
not familiar with 757 boards but Friarson is possibly the finest custom shape that you can purchase in VB. He was also a co-founder of WRV (or something like that). The guy has decades of experience and makes a damn fine board. He is shaping because he wants to, not because he has to. I get glass jobs the same place he does and they aren't cheap but my boards outlast my friends lost's and CI's hand over fist. His prices are pretty high but it's vb's own Al Merric (in a sense..). On a big day at my spot all of the old rippers pull their friarsons out of the attic and get shacked!
Austin has always been "the new guy" but now that i think about it, he has been on the scene pretty much the whole 10 years. It shows, i've been in the shop lately and he does some awesome things with those boards aesthetically. Resin work is top notch. Lots of neat retro-ish designs cater to the vb type surf too. Most of his stuff varies greatly but prepare to drop at least $550. I would say go his way if you want a one off log, retro, or egg. I didn't see much performance oriented stuff in there. OH, hey, just remembered this- saturday morning at pendleton bring $25 and you can ride all of his stuff from 8-10am. Demo days type thing. I think that initial $25 bucks gets you in to sessions all year.
Lastly, don't forget Tim Nolte on the bypass headed to obx. It's on the right about 2-5 miles from the bridge. I think he is the best bet if you want a quality hand shaped board and you dont want to pay for Friarson's signature or Austin's pigment work. He has been in the biz for a few decades and this isn't his first rodeo. If there are waves prepare for the shop to be closed / delayed... for r&d right... right... A custom fun-fish out the door is like $450.
Last edited by leethestud; Aug 17, 2011 at 09:22 PM.
Lee hit most of the important points. Frierson in town- very good shapes, Tim Nolte if you want to head down towards OBX (some of the best lamination on the EC - his boards last), might want to add Scott Busbey of In the Eye down in Buxton he has been shaping for over 35 years (good riding boards at a very fair price).
You don't mention anything about yourself = height/weight/age, what kinda board you are looking for- where you surf, what you want it to do. If you give some of this info you may get some more useful feedback. Good luck Jim
757 surfboards is run by two local shapers robert and andrew. Andrew is my personal shaper his boards are amazing. they can make anything you want. He is actually making a new board for me at the moment. Brand new custom epoxy stick with 5 fin setup cost me only $450. Their boards are very durable and I would recommend them again and again. hope this helps. Local Sessions magazine actually just did a spread on them in their recent magazine.