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!