Quote Originally Posted by zach619 View Post
I am on the fence with this one, but since our nation was built on Capitalism, I really don't feel too bad about "cutting out the middle man" in most scenarios. I guess my opinion on the "local shapers" etc is this: I think that maybe 5-10% of "local shapers" in our country actually do a quality enough job to justify their prices... For most modern surfers, cutouts and "China" boards are EXACTLY what the surfer really needs. They have been tested and ridden by thousands, both pro and novice and they are mass produced for that very reason... If you are a throw back guy, who wants a bad ass custom single fin or a fish... go for it... I go local with my shaper too. My shaper was one of the best in San Diego, but I still went off the rack 3 out of 4 boards unless he was floating me a board, which he did sometimes... But the simple fact is that I could walk into the Plus One warehouse (Local San Diego Company) who dont mass produce boards, but they produced 10's of thousands per year. Custom art... My Shaper actually did a lot of glass work for them... But their prices were cheaper than most local shapers because they made so many, and the boards were magic sticks... Nothing like walking through, feeling the rails and know what you are getting... Still today, you can get a ridiculous board, with custom art, out the door for $400... If you walk down to OB Surf Shop (My old Local Shop).... The same boards go for $580 off the rack... I mean, its hard for me to justify walking an extra 1/2 mile to "support the shop" when the mark up is obvious...

But with that being said, it is what it is... I know we all love surfing and we treat it differently than we do when we grocery shop, or shop for cars, or electronics... I mean, most of us I am sure go with the best deal, for the best product. I never read into where my "Panasonic" TV was manufactured and what kind of working conditions they went through... I mean, I buy most boardies and stuff from ROSS, or TJMAX or whatever... they are like 1/3 of the price. it is what it is.

We just treat surfing differently... And the sad truth to me is this: If you arent a well known shaper, dont get into that "TRADE"... Hobby? Yes.... Trade? No.... There is no money in it unless you are established.... I think we could ALL AGREE, that we would all quit our day jobs tomorrow and shape surfboards for a living if the money was good. I think we would all also agree that owning a surfshop is next on our list of things we would quit work to do everyday and love it if the money was good.... So, what is the answer? I dont know... But you cant justify giving people hard earned money just because they are in your community... Cause the bottom line is, maybe they shouldn't be... I am sure that some shops stay on the cutting edge of great products, that are made locally and support the economy, but the world in capitalist america doesnt work that way... You phone company outsources their call centers. So do your banks... So do your credit card companies.... I mean, half of our fruits and produce are outsourced... So thats life I would say....

If the Mom and Pop shops go under, its because its just not a healthy business choice.... I wish it werent true, but unless a Ron Jon pops up in Hilton Head Island, I guarantee the reason we have no shops is because the shops dont make money on real surf products... It is what it is...

Like I said, if it were that easy, we would all own surf shops and shaping shops...
BUMP!!!! FINALLY, a normal person who see's both sides. That is just the nature of the beast. China isnt the only country manufactuing our products. (I.E Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, El Salvador) Now my intentions were to provide a site for cheap surf stuff. NOT to get into a long debate about China products blah blah. I find it very hipocritical that people take such a strong stance on it but then write crap on a forum with a CHINA MADE laptop most likely bought from Best buy or Wal Mart? How many of you bought your electronics from a Mom and Pop shop?
And to touch upon what you mention about local shapers, I totally agree. Sorry but most local shapers don't have the skills to charge what they do. If I'm paying for a board I'm getting a quailty custom board from CA. I also pose the question, why would I order a board through my shop, get a 75$ mark up when I can do the same off the internet on my own and have it shipped to my house. Capitalism at is best! The consumer is going to find the best deal, hence, wetsuitwarehouse