Tell me again why your boards start at $700

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by grainofsand, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Kyle

    Kyle Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2011
    Jakls, have you shaped any MPH designs? Just curious, I love my Vader by FW and have not seen any local shapers making MPH boards. Wondering if you have messed with them at all.
  2. fl.surfdog

    fl.surfdog Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2010
    They are made in do we call them Thai-sticks.
    DawnPatrol321 and nopantsLance like this.

  3. littlerhody

    littlerhody Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2009
    I just bought a custom Roberts fish for 520 bucks. I never buy lost FireWire or Channel Islands they are all marketing and that’s why they charge 775 for same quality boards

    QUOTE="headhigh, post: 497334, member: 12213"]First and most important: if you buy a $700 lost, CI, etc you are paying for a name brand (period)

    Boards don't just take foam, cloth resin and catalyst... You gotta pay the help, pay the power, pay the water, pay the advertising, pay for tape, pay for razor blades, pay for fin jig, pay for gatorskin, pay for sand paper, pay for all the shit your help fucks up.

    I used to fix dings for a big-time east coast shaper. He's been in business 35 years but margins are still razor thin at $5-600 for a shortboard/fish and about $800 for a LB. He was making as much, if not more, on the ding repair than on the new boards. It's not a biz for the faint of heart.

    Edit: I thought of more overhead. for CNC machine, pay 10k when CNC machine dies and you have to ship it to Australia to be repaired. Then the U.S. gov't wants to charge a huge duty to bring the machine back into the country because they think you are buying it, but you already bought it and already paid the taxes. Damnit! The surfboard game is a constant series of headaches from stress and from breathing toxic shit all day.[/QUOTE]
  4. littlerhody

    littlerhody Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2009
    Also the Clark foam going out of business increased costs of surfboards

  5. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    I've repaired firewires before a bunch of times for friends...the early ones with the vent plug, the later ones without the vent plug, but not the timbertek. I truly hated trying to fix those things...its probably not that they need lots of repairs, but when they do need repairs its lots of headaches so "authorized" repairmen means authorized to charge you more.

    I've ridden a few firewires and didnt like them, but they have such a different feel i guess it could be a matter of dialing in that completely different boardfeel. The baked potato especially was (to me) a horrible riding board. Not loving the FW!
  6. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    As others have mentioned- the real price inflation on boards in the last few decades was when Clark foam went under... and at the time everyone knew what was going to happen to prices before it even happen. Prices increased easily 200 to 300.
    And that was the last time I bought a brand new board off the racks at my local shop. Sadly, but I just don't have the extra coin to throw at it when there are plenty of used boards for sale.
    But I have since had boards shaped directly from local shapers/glassers with better results (better boards) and better prices.
    AnywAys, i remember the last board I bought was a Robert August Wingnut II- personally signed by wingnut, from one of my favorite shops at the time, spellbinders. And I remember Ron telling me that I was smart for buying it now cause the prices are gonna go up...

    That was like 2005 ish? Personally I havnt noticed a huge change in prices from 2010 to present... the huge change was prior if I recall correctly- but then again I havnt been paying much attention to new board cost
  7. Mr.Belmar

    Mr.Belmar Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010
    Also, someone mentioned that shops are marking up boards 300 or so from the manufacturer- ask any shop owner and he will tell you they only mark up around 150 on a board... and that all thier sales profits are from clothes etc... plus how many boards do they sell a day? Maybe ... maybe one at best in the middle of summer surfing season?

    AnywYs- I think the real theft here are the boards that are machine shaped and / or made over seas.... that would be the real ripoff... your just paying for a mass produced label when you could get a hand shaped board for the same or less... but we all know that anyways, right?
    Ghetto likes this.
  8. foamieswithmyhomies

    foamieswithmyhomies Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2014
    I have to admit, I never felt a need to shell out money for a custom board; my most recent board was a used ...lost that I picked up for $250 bucks and suited me fine. That being said I had a custom shape done for me this spring and it was barely $500 bucks and took 2 weeks to make. After riding it for a month or so, I can 1000% say I'm surfing this board better than anything I have in the past. When you buy a local shape it's obviously nice to support the little guy, but you're also getting something that's designed for where you'll be riding it. That usually means you're having a hell of a lot more fun out there.

    I didn't get the hype about custom boards and thought it was too expensive/too long of a process. Don't make the same mistake! It's like getting a custom suit: once you've had one why the hell would you go back to off the rack?
    Ghetto and DawnPatrol321 like this.
  9. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Well said!
  10. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Huh?? A "sufboard fashionista"??
    foamieswithmyhomies and Kyle like this.
  11. foamieswithmyhomies

    foamieswithmyhomies Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2014
    does this board make me look fat, barry?
    Barry Cuda likes this.
  12. 3rdperson

    3rdperson Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2014
    Gotta say I've thought about this. I see some local shapers using the reverse tactic to sell $800 dollar borts. " I'm a local shaper, I'm going shape you a higher quality bort... so you should pay me the same as the big names".

    I'm all for the local business owner making as much money as possible and I have no problem paying for quality, especially for something that's going to bring me happiness. The issue, is I've never had a bort shaped by a local guy that I liked. Maybe it's my input, maybe the shapers I've tried just suck? I don't know... it's just never ended well for me.

    If I feel like I'm going to like a particular bort, I go with it, no matter who the maker is. I don't think I've ever liked two from the same shaper/manufacturer though..

    CL is the best surfshop on the planet. I have a steady stream going out and coming in.. I try all things interesting and in most cases it doesn't cost me anything.
    antoine likes this.
  13. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Not all shapers are created equal. Who have you gone through in the past? Don’t worry, they won’t see this.

    When people say go to a local shaper, they don’t mean just anybody, hopefully they mean a talented or well known shaper with a track history of quality boarts.

    There are some local shapers around here I wouldn’t buy from, but there are a couple really talented legends that I wouldn’t hesitate to pay top dollar for one of their boarts. It’s all about the craftsman.

    It also helps to give honest feedback about your ability and don’t try to ride boarts you aren’t really able to ride competently.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  14. heaps of Meh

    heaps of Meh Active Member

    Jul 6, 2012
    The turned down rails and rocker of the wavestorm make it the Cadillac of surfboards of our generation
    La_Piedra and headhigh like this.
  15. 3rdperson

    3rdperson Well-Known Member

    Mar 14, 2014
    Agreed. I've never pulled name out of the phone book though. I've used people that many swear by. I'm also conscious of my ability, don't have a desire to paddle borts around I can't surf.

    Just occured to me... my go to was a custom order.. all I changed was a little bit of thickness and it's a well known CA guy..not exactly "local" to me.
    DawnPatrol321 likes this.
  16. dlrouen

    dlrouen Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    "It's scientifically proven that boards over $700 make you surf better." - The Inertia
  17. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    I'm just a back yard hobbyist doing everything myself. I make a few boards a year and have been at it since 1989 when I shaped and glassed my first board in my parent's driveway. Can't remember exactly what those first blanks cost but I do remember that first gallon of Silmar cost me $13 off the loading dock at Mays Landing Mahogany Company. I think the guy just put the cash in his pocket.

    My average material cost today to make a standard HP short board start to finish is just under $200.

    Blank: $80ish
    Resin: $40
    Cloth: $35
    3 x FCSII Boxes: $25
    Leash Cup: $2
    Misc......tape, acetone, wax solution: $5-10

    If I were a bigger and buying better that number would go down a few bucks. If I were located in Southern California the cost might be as low as $150 being close to the source of blank manufacturing.

    I figure a standard shortboard for me is about 10 hours of labor start to finish. So figure $150 for labor at $15 an hour. If I had the right shop space and could work multiple boards at once my labor time per board would go down. I'm guessing if I were set up right there would be 5-6 hours of labor per board. Labor costs would be much higher if I were running a business with employees.

    Rent: I have none.......I'm in my shed. Figure on a minimum of $1,000 a month for rent and utilities.

    Tools: Over the years I've accumulated the right tools for the job and haven't spent much on them. I've accumulated 3 Skil 100s, a Rockwell and a Hitachi planer. I've got about $300 total invested in planers but the Skill planers are each worth more than that if I sold them. I've got two a Harbor Freight $40 and a nice DeWalt that would cost me $200 to replace but I paid $70 for it used. Miscellaneous hand tools, fin system jigs and safety items I've probably got another $400 invested.

    Learning curve probably cost me $1,500 in boards that sucked before I started getting results I was happy with.

    I did the math on it a few years back when I was giving serious thought to taking it to the next level. Even looked into getting a shaping machine. The number I came up with is that I would need to sell 400 boards a year to make enough money to make it worth while. Not to mention the toxic nature of the whole process. Very few people are making any real money making surfboards. That's why its just a hobby. Its been a fun ride.



    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
    Ghetto, headhigh, Kyle and 5 others like this.
  18. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2014
  19. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Another repair rant. This time a dime sized, quarter inch deep deck crunch near the nose on a Hayden Shapes. A repair that on a "normal" tech board you spoon in a tiny little dribble of resin flush until with the deck and then sand flat. 10 minute repair.

    But not on this bubbles, and bubbles, and bubbles for 20 minutes and i realize since the board is basically hollow, its gassing off. Resin is dripping into the core and the easy repair will have (at best) bubbles in the repair when the epoxy finally sets up or a few CC of epoxy resin inside the board and/or no repair resin left on the deck at all.

    Then it stops bubbling for a few minutes and i think i'm good.

    Then the sun comes out and the temperature change makes it start bubbling again within 2 minutes. I realize whats going CANT repair this board if the temperature is rising.

    I bring it in the cool house and the bubbling immediately stops and the repair finally sets up without bubbles.
    MrBigglesworth likes this.
  20. antoine

    antoine Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    ^^^ sounds like consistent temp is as important in the build as much as it is in the repair process.
    MrBigglesworth likes this.