Do you save money by shaping your own surfboard?
The simple answer YES absolutely you save money but let’s discuss just how much and what you gain by buying a board from a shaper or surf shop.
After 20+ years of surfing I decided I was going to make my own board. Now keep in mind this was in Sept of 2020 because if you are reading this in 5 years from now prices will change due to inflation. I am not going to talk about shaping itself in this article but rather my time/costs associated with it. So let’s break it down:
I was able to purchase everything I needed for $252 (blank, fin boxes, leash plugs, glass, and resin). That meant I was able to shape my entire board from start to finish for about 1/3 to 1/4 the price that I got quoted for from local shapers. But let’s dig into that number a bit…
First, there was no shipping involved here. I am fortunate enough to live by a warehouse that sells materials to local shapers/shops so I was able to purchase for what they pay. If shipping was involved, you would probably need to add at least another $100+ to the price. Having said that, I have enough resin left over for at least 1-2 more boards, so my next board will cost me closer to $125! So multiple boards bring the cost down even more!
Second, I had all of the tools needed. If you don’t have the tools, you are going to need to spend at least another $100 on tools if not much more depending on what tools you choose to buy. I had saws, sanders, paint brushes, stands, etc.
Third, I had a space to do this. If you need to rent a space, that would obviously add more money.
Fourth, time. Time costs money. I estimate that I spent about 30 hours making my board over about 3 weeks. That includes time spent reading and watching youtube vids. As they say time is money.
Fifth, I am an artist and can sculpt, so my board shaping is probably above average (or I would like to believe) but was still terrible with lots of little errors. I realized when paying a shaper, you are paying for their skill, not the materials. You won’t have that skill so your first boards are not going to be quality like a shapers.
Was it worth it?
100%. I loved it and will do it again. Is it worth it for you? I can’t answer that. If its worth your time/money to create an ok board that you created then yes it absolutely is. If you want the best, don’t have the time, then its absolutely worth it for you to pay a shaper.