Our beaches have been bathed in some beautiful sunshine lately. It has been fantastic to drag the boardshorts out of winter storage, give them a shake and put them back on for another season of summer fun in the sun.
As the ocean warms up thoughts quickly turn to surfing and that age-old question; ‘should I get a new board for summer?’ This question has bothered surfers for decades. The surfboard you have been riding all winter has a few dings, your mate has got a brand new quad made from some space-age material and has been raving about it for weeks. Do you cave in and order a new board or summer?
I ordered a new custom mal from NMC Surfboards in Barwon Heads last summer (shameless plug). It has been fantastic and the best thing I have done in years. We also have in the family quiver a great little quad Fish which I was really looking forward to riding until the 12-year-old, surf-mad daughter spotted it and I have barely been on it since so I could justify a new Fish….hmm decisions, decisions.
I have always picked up surfboards locally. I figure if you’re going to surf the Surf Coast then get a board from a local shaper who a/ knows the local conditions and b/ usually makes a damn good board (support local business). Every town on the peninsula and Surf Coast has a couple of good local shapers you could be contacting now to get that order in before Christmas.
Sure you will pay a bit more for a locally shaped custom board but ‘hey’, your keeping someone in a job and it would be a terrible thing if the art of surfboard shaping was lost on our coast. Shapers also employ glassers, graphic artists and ding repairers so when you buy a surfboard locally you are supporting quite a vibrant cottage industry (not to mention the local surf shops which carry stock boards and will also have relationships with a bunch of shapers).
Forget that crap that comes out of China. Why would you buy a surfboard made in a factory hundreds of kilometres from the ocean shaped by someone who has never surfed? Sure the boards might be cheap but really are you going to get what you want in terms of performance and durability?
Buy local…. times running out and order books will be filling fast as Christmas approaches. Get on the phone now to your favourite shaper before its too late!
Then come summer when you wax-up that new board for the first time and walk down the sand marveling at the shine on the nose and how light it is, you will know you have made the right decision.
Written by John Foss