Or any sweat shop boards. I know I'm responding to old posts but hopefully I can save people from the mistake I made. They are crappy, Chinese made boards. The company will sell you one directly and WITH a warranty, IF you pay ridiculous shipping costs. The website is really only there to make them look like a real board company you can trust. Their real bread and butter is selling shipping containers full of boards to individuals at greatly reduced prices. The guy who posted above is one of them. They turn around and sell them to unsuspecting naives like me.
They aren't really doing anything wrong. The guy I bought from didn't pump up the quality of the boards when I went to his house to check out the boards. He DID post on craigslist that they had extra glass over the fin boxes, and it turns out mine did not. It barely scraped the sand on a shallow break and the fins and almost all the foam up to the deck tore out. Now I can look and see there was not extra glass over the fins and the glass that was there was sanded so paper thin that you can see the complex of the glass (digitized looking black spotting). On the unbroken spots where I can see the complex, I can put my finger right through it without trying. Of course, I never tried to do that before it was broken so there was no way to know. And I didn't know what to look for as far as oversanding when I bought the board. I got some forced education. Not a totally bad thing I guess.
So anyway, it had only been four weeks from when I bought it. I asked the seller (rep as they call themselves) some questions very nicely by text, but he would not respond when he found out the board was broken. Iíve heard this same thing from others now. I didn't get mad at him or try to go to his house to talk to him about it. He is just a guy trying to make a living. I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing. He surfs all day and only has to work when he makes appointments. Not a bad gig. Kinda like being a trusted local shaper.
The problem is that these companies are breaking down the community of surfing, one of the last remaining small community systems. Community means accountability. You won't find your local shaper putting out shabby work and then ignoring complaints. Thatís because they wouldn't be a trusted local shaper for very long if they did. They would have to go do other jobs they don't want to do; one's that won't allow them to surf all day. Companies like Equinox (and Walmart) can operate the way they do without it affecting their ability to stay in business and profit. This is because they distance themselves from surfers in every way except financially. Surfers do gain something from all this: we get boards for a little bit cheaper. But is it worth it? We don't get them for THAT MUCH cheaper.
I know I wish I would have saved a little longer or bought a used real surf board. Do you want surfing to be in the hands of a faceless Chinese entity? Or would you prefer to have your local surf community stay in the hands of you and your friends?
There are countless other reasons to not buy boards from companies like Equinox, including the fact that the boards are probably made by children working in ****ty conditions, like a lot of things made in China. Please join me - speak out against Sweat Shop Boards whenever possible. Don't even "speak out," just bring up this post and tell my story and see what others have to say. Ask people about their boards. Thereís a lot of stories like mine out there now because Companies like Equinox have already cornered a pretty big chunk of the market. People are realizing though. We just need to be more vocal about it.
If you or someone you know has a similar story then post it. I hear these same stories all the time now that it happened to me.
By the way, despite the very thin glass on most of the board it rode good, and it probably will ride good again once I get it fixed. But then I will have spent as much as if I bought a real surfboard made by the hands of a real local surfer. Iím sure itíll break again too because the deck had yellow spots and spider web cracks after my first surf on it. I was surfing seal beach river jetty on an average day; nothing heavy. But getting back to my last point Ė the board rides good, and I donít have anything against the reps or even against the company. Itís just this Walmart system of unaccountability. Iím just trying to make people aware of the silent takeover of our beloved sport. Itís just about impossible to stop. We canít fight it on a large scale so it will probably eventually prevail and you wonít be able to find a local shaper to make you a custom board (as well as countless other negative consequences that are unforeseeable right now). We can fight it on a small scale, talking about it amongst ourselves and bolstering support for local surfers and shapers (and local shops). Its not much, but its all we have.
This has been a stream-of-consciousness rant, but Iíve been talking through email with shapers and surfers from Southern Baja to Southern California, accumulating stories and research topics, and Iím eventually going to write an article and offer it for free to every surf mag I can find. I have a friend who does freelance writing who is living in China at the moment, and when he gets some time he is going to look into how we might possibly get inside the factories (who are ignoring American copyrights) making these boards or get images of the inside and stories from the people working there. Iím also going to post this on every surf website I can find.
I will post some photos soon. I have one on my phone but I'm gonna try to get better ones with my roommate's camera so you can see how thin the glass is sanded