Yeah buying blind off the rack like I used to do is a recipe for disaster and a big waste of money. It that situation custom is the way to go. After shaping a few I am slowly learning what does what, so it would probably help me when picking off the rack. I am pretty sure I am done buying retail boards and plan on making everyboard I ride for the rest of my life. Even if I suck on them it's really fun to ride a homedone board and a great excuse when you screw up on a set wave, lol.
PS: Mitchell, thanks for the heads up the other morning, I was in the water at the time and for about 4 hours after you called, figured it was too late for a report to do you any good by that point.
HEHE: well, you gotta also look at width, cuz more surface = more flotation, and that is a very important part in my choosing, cuz thickiness just feels like it gets in the way, as where width is necessary for your foot placement and doesn't impair diving. I'm 6'1" and 160 and had been riding a dinged up twin fin at the small height of 5'10", made easier by its nice width and limited thickness. I now have a 6'3" thruster with similar width and thickness, but can abviously float alot better and do more stuff because of the added length.