A few questions that you should ask before you buy your next surfboard!
1. Does your shaper, shape by hand or by computer controlled machine?
Now this is a difficult one, as many GOOD hand shapers now use a machine, for accuracy, repetition work, keeping board files so the customer can have the same board again etc.etc….
BUT many boards are made on a machine, with the “Shaper” never having picked up a template or a planner in their lives
Machines can be accurate, and quick, if used by the correct guy. Check who loads the blanks into the machine? is it by the actual shaper….. there is much room for error here also!!
Finally, lets be honest, do you want your surfboard to have “soul”? Only a hand shaped board can achieve this.
2. Does your shaper actually surf?
Not only does he surf, but does he surf the type of board you are asking him to shape? Many shapers hate longboards, longboarders, guys who use longboards in good surf….BUT are happy to take a “longboarders” money for a new board.
3. Does your shaper live in the country where the board is to be riden?
Many great shapes are imported, but if you are having a “custom longboard” shaped to be ridden in the UK, it really needs to be shaped by someone who understands the waves in the UK. Preferably by someone who rides longboards in the UK.
4. Does your shaper use the best imported Blanks and Resins?
There are many ways to finish a surfboard. Just check where the materials that are used in your next board are actually from and are they designed for use in the surfboard industry?….. as you will be spending many £’s on this purchase, the correct Flex, UV stable products and strength to weight ratios are all very important here.
You would be shocked to find out how many guys use “boat building” products….. great for boats maybe, super strong….yes… but no flex paterns and not UV stable!!
5. Can you watch your board being shaped?
This is usually one of the best questions…. if a guy does not want you to watch him shape…. it usually means there is something to hide, or he is in such a hurry to make money, he cannot be bothered to have you around….. either way…. not good.
So before you spend your hard earned dosh….. “talk” to your shaper.