Why support your local surf shop and shaper?
Supporting your local economy in general is great for you and your community. Your local surf shop is your best source to finding surf gear, trying it on, and ordering surfboards. By ordering surf equipment online, you are cutting out your surf shop. If enough people do this, the shop will close and you will no longer have a place to try on gear and discuss the local breaks. Many people do not realize this but when you order a surfboard online, shipping usually costs $100-$150. If you order through a surf shop, you get a better deal because they order their boards in bulk and do not have to pay that much, so buying from your local shop generally turns out to be cheaper – and you can see the board before you buy it.
Supporting your local shaper is very important in the surf industry. There are not many sports or activities that allow you to work with a local craftsman who will build and design a product for you by hand. Surfing is unique in this way. However, the local shaper is disappearing. Large retail stores are making pop-outs and selling them for cheap prices to many new surfers. The local shaper makes a board for you specifically (your body type, surf style, etc), for your surf spot. The pop-outs are made by a computer and not designed for you. Additionally, most custom boards are really not much more and sometimes are even less than these competitors, so it’s always worth asking. There is not a better feeling than getting a custom board from a surfboard shaper.