The price is just one of the numerous benefits of the local sharper. Getting a board designed for local conditions as well as establishing a relationship with a shaper will allow for better, more dialed in boards, and more fun in the water. Cheaper price is just icing on the cake. We are fortunate in Florida to have many good shapers to choose from, but if we didn't, like Barry I'd have to find out what else is out there. My experience with name brand boards has not been very good either. Probably why I buy from my local guy every time. As far as the price hikes, I think the large influx of foam surfboards is costing legit shapers/manufacturers sales. Last couple times I was in Hawaii and California, I was shocked how many people ride those fucking things. Now you have guys like JOB and Ben Gravy selling those god forsaken things and featuring them in their videos. It has to be negatively affecting the industry and driving up prices on real surfboards.