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7 Tips on Buying Your First Custom Surfboard

by Swapnil K.

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Getting a new surfboard can be a tedious task for any surfer. If you are a newbie to the sport, then all the more reason to do a thorough research before you step out to get your first board. The surfboard market today caters to different needs as per individual requirements. One only has to be pitch perfect about what they’re looking for in a surfboard.

A good surfboard should not only take account of the types of waves and weight of the surfer, but also the many other precise details that make the board truly unique. Now, there are many arguments on getting a custom surfboard. Some will always prefer ready-made all-rounder surfboards, while some insist on getting a second-hand board before taking the plunge.

Many people jump to conclusions when a custom surfboard is mentioned. The word custom doesn’t always mean a hefty figure or expense. It’s still a surfboard, but there are a number of things that come into play. To start with, the shaper takes the center stage. As opposed to buying a board from the sports store, this process eliminates the middleman.

Instead of going through trials and tribulations and searching like a maniac to find the perfect surfboard, why not opt for a custom board? Buying one isn’t that difficult of a task, and this post will show you how to get yourself a perfect custom surfboard with a few pro tips compiled from surfboard experts with intricate knowledge of the sport.


1. Get your basics right



The first and foremost thing to do before going for a custom surfboard is getting first-hand knowledge on surfboards. You surely don’t want to be wandering aimlessly like a small child looking for candy. So what do you need to start with?

There are four basic types of surfboards, which differ in dimensions, nose shape, and tail size, used by surfers of different skill levels on different types of waves:

  • shortboard – when you watch videos of pro surfers ripping monstrous waves, they’re riding a shortboard; these are highly maneuvrable and are great for fast and steep waves.
  • fish surfboard – just as the name suggests, this board has a fish-like profile; it is shorter and wider than the average shortboard, which makes it agile in small to medium-sized surf. Being wider, it is also more stable. 
  • longboard – the best choice if you’re looking to have fun riding the waves and just slide casually while walking the length of the board; it is a great board for beginner surfers that makes it easy to catch waves of all sizes thanks to its thickness and length.
  • fun shape surfboard (or funboard) – bridging the gap in between the shortboard and the longboard, the fun shape surfboard is highly versatile, as it supports all surfers in all conditions.


2. Find a good shaper



Image source: Go Caveman

After you become familiar with your own requirements, the next step involves finding a surfboard shaper to make your custom board. The first and foremost thing to look for in a shaper is the types of boards they make. As mentioned above, different types of boards come with different requirements. Therefore, a good shaper will typically be specialized in one type of surfboard.

It is up to you to look out for a shaper that meets your current requirements. Talk to people who have used the shaper’s services and see their feedback. Once you have decided on a shaper, do your best to give them accurate dimensions and details. You can also check some surfboard shaping tools or accessories online through VoucherBin, where you can also find good deals and discounts to avail.


3. Learn the volumes of your surfboard



A surfboard is a complex combination of measurements, curves, and dimensions. A board’s length, width, and thickness, along with a decent volume, will help you paddle better into the waves. You can make use of online surfboard volume calculators to get a better idea of what to look for in your new board.


4. Stick to the details



If you are looking for a particular design, don’t let your shaper talk you out of it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t heed their suggestions, but you also don’t need to give way to the shaper’s imagination when creating your own board. After all, you are the one who will be using the board, not your shaper. Have clear discussions beforehand.


5. Check the material



Surfboards are made of all kinds of materials. Epoxy and foam are ideal for starters, but when it comes to custom boards, molded boards are a good place to start, as they are pretty sturdy and can take some throwing around.


6. Artwork and color



This may seem like a trivial issue, but if you are getting a custom board, keep in mind the functionality of the board over aesthetic appeal. Your board needs to be in the water and not be a hanging piece in your garage. The best suggestion is to go for a clear color over any kind of artwork which would only involve more cost and time to make your board.


7. Protect your custom surfboard



Now that you have decided on your custom surfboard, you surely don’t want it facing the brunt of the elements, such as dings or delamination from being exposed to the sun. A surfboard bag is a good solution to such problems. A good surfboard bag will help protect your surfboard better and give it an extended shelf life.


A good surfboard can make all the difference between enjoying a good time or being stuck with a lump log that is straightaway awry. Happy surfing seafarers!


Now that you have all the basics covered, it’s time to put your new custom surfboard to the test. Grab your board and join a wave surfing camp in an exciting destination!

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