“Support your local shaper…”

shapewright

Well-Known Member
Aug 6, 2006
1,166
2,110
USA California
I am perplexed here. Many shapers talk “support your local shaper” but then go and ship containers of boards to Japan for big $$. I get the $$ equation. If that is their business, I question the critics who fault people for purchasing from overseas when it can be cheaper to buy a board and have it shipped here? And then there are those who shape almost exclusively for export. Can’t talk the talk and turn your back on LOCAL SURFERS…..or? Sincere questions here about a topic that gets attention now and then. Things that make me go hmmmmm.
I ship to Japan, but the prices to The Japanese dealers are the absolute same as a U.S. dealer.
I look to the Asian and European dealers the same way as any US shop, they are partners to my business, not cash cows to suck money out of.
 

shapewright

Well-Known Member
Aug 6, 2006
1,166
2,110
USA California
I’ve yet to meet a rich shaper.
When I’d finally had an ass full of struggling with Florida’s cheap as hell to live here, but don’t make any money.
My wife was excited that I’d get rich moving back to California, I told her I have a life time job, work my butt off, but no longer have to hope another big weed dealer will order a quiver so I can make another months mortgage
 

West81

Well-Known Member
Jun 28, 2021
410
633
Hollandia
My local shaper is a drug addict that takes up to a year to make a board and get everything about the complete opposite from what I ordered

My best experiences have been with Spanish shapers and Thunderbolts
 

Doggyfizzle

Active Member
Nov 23, 2020
135
214
Ventura
With the way rent/housing has gone in coastal California, I don’t blame some of the bigger-name shapers from going after the export market to make a living, especially as some get up there in age. What comes to mind is Skip Frye selling boards to Japan - is that better than Gerry Lopez lending his name to foamies as a retirement plan? At least Skip’s shop keeps a bunch of folks in the San Diego area employed, some of whom may head out on their own at some point and start turning out quality shapes of their own. Not to mention those folks having a relationship(s) with glass shops - helps perpetuate the next generation of board availability.

My three experiences with ordering customs
over the past year (Harbour, Mandala, Campbell) - the shaping was top notch and timely, but the glassing took a while due to staffing and backlog issues. Who am I to complain? I’m not an important surfer, I’m a nobody that ended up getting a couple incredible boards - with each one taking 4-10 months from order/deposit to delivery.

One thing I’d also add - is perhaps international orders have a higher % of the payment upfront? Might be a bit more attractive from a cash flow perspective rather than the typical 20% deposit that a lot of shops require and provide some stability during these times when resin and labor costs are rising Q/Q and help a shaper lock in a profit that also allows them to continue to sell “local” boards at a lower margin.
 

BoardAddict

Active Member
Apr 6, 2015
397
74
USA California
With the way rent/housing has gone in coastal California, I don’t blame some of the bigger-name shapers from going after the export market to make a living, especially as some get up there in age. What comes to mind is Skip Frye selling boards to Japan - is that better than Gerry Lopez lending his name to foamies as a retirement plan? At least Skip’s shop keeps a bunch of folks in the San Diego area employed, some of whom may head out on their own at some point and start turning out quality shapes of their own. Not to mention those folks having a relationship(s) with glass shops - helps perpetuate the next generation of board availability.

My three experiences with ordering customs
over the past year (Harbour, Mandala, Campbell) - the shaping was top notch and timely, but the glassing took a while due to staffing and backlog issues. Who am I to complain? I’m not an important surfer, I’m a nobody that ended up getting a couple incredible boards - with each one taking 4-10 months from order/deposit to delivery.

One thing I’d also add - is perhaps international orders have a higher % of the payment upfront? Might be a bit more attractive from a cash flow perspective rather than the typical 20% deposit that a lot of shops require and provide some stability during these times when resin and labor costs are rising Q/Q and help a shaper lock in a profit that also allows them to continue to sell “local” boards at a lower margin.
I ONCE (1 time only) gave a HEFTY deposit to a gifted shaper with initials “RP” and I got fucked around for 2.5 YEARS chasing my boards. Horrific. If there is ANY rant in my original post it would be that but it’s been years and I don’t give two flips about it any longer. I miss possessing my Skips but found them hard for me to ride. I miss having my Hustler for an all out rad board that made every section and was just FUN to surf.
 

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
2,197
4,289
California
S
I can't even get a reply from local shapers most of the time if I want to order a board
Spot on.
Support whoever is a professional that will make you what you want and deliver it in an acceptable amount of time versus waiting a good % of your life rotting in some diva's queue.

Shapers that are successful and in enough demand use files whiich allow them to make a living, maximize consistency, scale correctly to size, and deliver a good surfboard in a reasonable amount of time. Any number of them can tweak, modify, customize per your desires on any given day.

The days of Bear carving you out a surfboard under the pier with an adz is long gone.

Ride what you love, and love what you ride.

The buck starts & stops with the customer.

BF Shaping 1972.jpg
 




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