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  1. #1
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    Buying a Surfboard - Surfboard Selection Guide

    Steve O breaks down how to go about purchasing your next or first Surfboard.

    This thread is a Discussion in response to the following Swellinfo news Article
    http://www.swellinfo.com/surfnews/bu...surfboard.html

    This article was submitted to the Swellinfo Surf News section on April 9, 2009

  2. #2
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    Why

    Why is every piece of text on those articles a link?

  3. #3
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    oops, sorry, this has been fixed.

  4. #4
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    MonCo NJ
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    "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)."

    Has this guy ever worked with a shaper before??? The whole point of working with a shaper to get a custom is that the shaper knows board design better than any shop rat and your shaper can dial in a design to fit your specific need. Really disappointed in this article and it's neglect of promoting the custom board order. Walking into a shop to buy a board can work IF you know what works for you, but I would never trust a 15 year old shop rat, or some crusty and cranky old surf shop owner to tell me how a shapers board will work for me. Go right to the source and work with the shaper.

  5. #5
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    if you can work 1 on 1 with a shaper than it can be beneficial... But, every slight little dimension change has an effect on your riding, so if you dont know what works for you, designing a custom shape can be really challenging. I think the point he was trying to make, was find out what works best for you first by experimentation, before you go tweaking dimensions with your own custom designs.

    Quote Originally Posted by rDJ View Post
    "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)."

    Has this guy ever worked with a shaper before??? The whole point of working with a shaper to get a custom is that the shaper knows board design better than any shop rat and your shaper can dial in a design to fit your specific need. Really disappointed in this article and it's neglect of promoting the custom board order. Walking into a shop to buy a board can work IF you know what works for you, but I would never trust a 15 year old shop rat, or some crusty and cranky old surf shop owner to tell me how a shapers board will work for me. Go right to the source and work with the shaper.

  6. #6

    shapers rock!

    RDJ...sorry you didn't like the article! To be honest the article was written for the general population. And a devils advocate would indeed say go to a shaper and get it custom (the direct source). But you must know what works for you before you start tweaking small dimensions. The article is just a guide. If you get the "grand scheme of things," everyone is still getting paid. I have surfed a long time and to be honest, if I was to go to a shaper and tell him what I wanted it would still be based of my last board or two. And who mentioned making a purchase from a 15 year old surf rat? If you read the article that disappointed you so badly, I strongly recommend (quote!) ,"I would never purchase a car from someone who does not know what they are talking about!" I am 28 years old and I feel I am just entering my surfing prime. I like the idea of a relationship with a shaper (being one myself) but this is not realistic in the mid-atlantic for everyone. I have work, coaching, working out, work, surfing, and work. I don't have time for a relationship with someone making something for my leisurely purpose. There are some great shapers around, but I will venture out to say that if we put out a poll of who works with shapers routinely, the ratio would not favor "people working with shapers!" If someday I develop a relationship with a great shaper, I will write an article on that topic. But for now, I am going down to K-coast when I need my next board.

  7. #7
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    Most of the surf shops I walk into have kids working the board room/rack. I don't trust a kid to tell me how a board off the rack will behave in comparison to my last two boards. They don't shape. Most don't understand the elements of design. There are a few shops, however, where most of the time you will be given attention by the owner or someone with enough experience to guide you through an off the rack purchase. Take Ocean Hut for example. Tony used to shape his own label, Creme Surfboards. Beach House, Eric has more years of longboard knowledge than most anyone in the area. But this isn't the case most of the time. And to use your example of buying a car... I have yet to walk into a car dealer and find a salesman who knows more than I do about the car I'm interested in. And all of that information is available on the internet. But I bet the car designer knows more than me. And wouldn't it be nice to talk to him before buying the car. Well surfing is one one of the activities that allows this opportunity.

    I just think your article is misleading in that it really doesn't address the custom board order as a valuable option. And as busy as you are, it really doesn't take all THAT much time to talk to a shaper and design a custom. Common now seriously? A few phone calls and emails. The benefits of those few extra minutes will be completely worth it. Experimentation to find what you like will be more successful by changing a few elements at a time through a custom than buying a different board. However, your discussion about used boards is dead on. That is an easy and cheap way to experiment. Buy used, figure out what you like. Then go to a shaper and tell them what you've liked about the used boards and let him work with you to tweak design for a new stick that you'll be completely stoked on.

    I think one of the serious injustices that we as east coasters inflict upon our own surf culture is the neglect of the custom board and local economy. We are obsessed with California and Hawaii surf culture rather than embracing our own. This is why there is a serious lack of east coast shapers. We need to stop buying Lost and CI boards off the rack and patronize the local shapers who knows our waves. Or at least order customs from a non local shaper who can work with you. I've bought boards off the rack, everyone does. And it is great to experiment with off the rack boards, but sticking to just otr boards you will miss out on a very rewarding dimension to your surfing experience (or leisurely activity as you put it).

    If my first post came off as offensive or harsh I apologize. This is just some constructive criticism recognizing that your Buying a Board article missed the bus on a very significant option for buying a surfboard. I do appreciate the time you put into drafting the article and the attempt by the site to provide some informative reading. For my surf experience, I'll continue working with shapers to get custom handshaped boards designed specifically for me.

  8. #8
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    I hope not all surf shops near you have only 15 year old kids working the board rooms... I know in my area (Delmarva), all of the core shops have veteran surfers that know there stuff. The 15 year kids are there, but there is always the owner or manager guy that knows what he is talking about.

  9. #9
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    Yep. And I did offer two specific examples in my post above. There are others. But still, as much as the shop owner knows, the shaper knows more. And another thing, you are limited to what the store has in stock. If they don't have the right dims for you, the salesman/owner may push you towards a board they have in stock with different dims. Or you go in looking for one model and they are out of stock, BUT they have this other model that works just as well... get the idea. They want to make the sale. Everyone is hurting nowadays and you can't blame them. But why risk it. Again, I am NOT saying don't buy off the rack. I like the CI Flyer F quad and I know what dims work for me. If I walk into a shop and they have one in those dims I'd be tempted to buy it. But the article ignored the custom option and to me and many others, that's huge miss in an otherwise well written article. You posted this thread to discuss the article and that's what I'm doing. Pointing out something I think it missed.

  10. #10
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    its good, i'm glad you brought up the significance of the local shaper.