advice and hints here apply no matter who you're buying your surfboard
from, and if this all seems too obvious and simplistic then this
page isn't aimed at you.
you decide to order a custom surfboard (from us or anyone else), here's
a few tips on the process.
First of all, ever heard the expression "you don't buy a dog and bark yourself"? Unless your hugely experienced, don't go in with a list of tail and nose widths, rail shapes, concaves, blah blah blah. You're paying for your shapers experience and expertise so use it. Decide what length and type of surfboard you want in general terms and be brutally honest about your abilities and weight! Leave the details to your shaper. Ask the shaper to explain the fundements of the shape and what the surfboard is deisgned to do it it will become far more clear what you will need. Chops has been shaping for over 35 years, you are most welcome to ask him as many questions as you like! He can shape your surfboard on our 42" plasma screen in The Aggie Surf Shop, you will see all the dimensions, curves and slices of your new shape, not to mention the volume in beers! or Litres for the purists!
will no doubt end up engaged in a conversation about where you
intend to use your surfboard most of the time and what if anything
you want the surfboard's performance to be biased towards, maneuverability,
ease of paddling, down the line speed, whatever. It's up to you,
it's your surfboard. Obviously
it helps if you have at least a rough idea of what you want but
if you have any doubts, always ask rather than pick a surfboard based
on what you've seen in the latest mags or on what your mate reckons
will work. Remember, your shaper doesn't want to just sell you this
surfboard, he wants to sell you this one and the next, and the next
and the next. In other words, he has a vested interest in giving
you a surfboard that suits and helps you so you'll be back for that
next surfboard when you're ready for it.
way experienced and competition surfers get surfboards that work best
for them is by building up a relationship with
their shaper. When they
order a new surfboard, they can explain what they did and didn't like
about the last surfboard and this feedback can be built upon when
the next surfboard is shaped. Our C.A.D design program and shaping machine makes easy, every individuals shape is saved on file to come back to at anytime. Replica's and evolution of shapes has never been easier! People use this approach for one simple
reason, it works. It'll work just as well for you as it does for
any of the pros. If more people could get their heads around this
there'd be a lot more happy people in the water!
Given the limitations of choosing your new surfboard purely on sight, it's imperative that you look at as many as possible to make sure you get a surfboard that works for you and not one that you have to work around. Make sure you end up with what you want to buy and not what someone else wants to sell. Alternatively, talk to someone about having a surfboard custom made.
| Mini Mals
you're buying "off the rack" as it were, here's a few questions
you ought to be thinking about;
was the surfboard made and who by?
Is it a manufacturer you're familiar with? If its bears the name
of the shop you're in it's what we call a contract board, so again,
who makes them?
the construction? Not as odd as it sounds, if you're a relative
newcomer you don't want a surfboard with a pro-light glass job. It'll
be nice and light, but you could be buying another surfboard in a
few months when it's reached the end of its useful life because it wont have as substantial laminate.
the finish? We DO NOT lacquer finish our surfboards, all our surfboards are resin finished giving our unique dolphin skin finish or high gloss polish and also great strength to weight ratio. Gloss polish finishes are much more common on Midlengths
but you may see glossed shortboards
in a shop. If you do, make sure they have a genuine gloss resin
coat on them and not just a spray lacquer. It's possible to hide
all sorts of horrors under a coat of spray lacquer and still end
up with a board that looks great under the lights of a shop. A
spray lacquer is stickier to the touch and feels like it's pulling
moisture out of your fingers. Many mass produced boards from the far East have this Lacquer finish.
last point to bear in mind on boards made overseas is that they're
being imported for one of two reasons, they're either a big well known
brand name which is going to sell well, or, they're cheap. Cheap to import that is, not necessarily
cheap to you, so be careful and shop around. Also bare in mind that if the surfboard is imported it may be shaped for different waves than the majority of us ride, i.e. increased rocker and very low rails which may not to right for you and hamper you progression.
on the surfboard? Over 90% of surfboards currently made in England come
with a removable fin system of one brand or another but there's
absolutely nothing wrong with glassed on fins, and in many ways they give a more complete feel to the wave a surfboard rides. But it's all down to personal preference and fashion.
you're talking to the salesperson, if you're not being asked the
right questions, walk away. The sort of things you ought to be
asked are how much you weigh (crucial) and what's the level of
your fitness, experience and ability. If your not honest about
your abilities, even the best salesperson in the world will end
up selling you a surfboard that doesn't suit you. Worse than that,
the surfboard may positively hinder your progress. The vast majority
of people who are learning would benefit enormously from initially
buying the bigger/longer (albeit less street cred) surfboard, FB Flyer or Mini Mal, when they're just getting into it and then start bringing
the length and width of their surfboard down
as their skills improve. Mind you, try telling people
that!! If you're buying a
first surfboard, forget what you may have read in the magazines and
get drawn into a discussion on the minutiae of rail shapes, bottom
shapes etc.etc. It honestly won't make any difference to you and
more to the point someone may be trying to blind you with science,
or baffle you with bullshit if you prefer.
way, good luck and good surfing!!