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Ordering A Custom Surfboard

A really useful guide when choosing your next board..

Luke Hart

Ordering A Custom Surfboard

A lot of surfers would benefit hugely from ordering a custom surfboard. The good news is that it’s an easy process that usually ends up in buying a surfboard that helps you enjoy your surfing more.

Whether you want to catch waves with more ease, or you are looking to add more performance to your surfing. You might even have a dream surf trip planned that you want the perfect surfboard for. What ever your reasoning behind the idea of purchasing a new surfboard a custom surfboard will be able to achieve your wants and needs with a far higher degree of success than if you are just buying a board from a surf shop.

When you are looking for a surfboard shaper to go to there are some key points to take into consideration.

What style surfboard are you looking for?

If you are unsure on this then go to a shaper with a vast array of models and experience making lots of different types of boards. If you have a rough idea its easy enough to identify a shaper who is an expert in that area.

Whether you want a longboard you could go see someone like Ben Skinner who is a world level longboard himself. Or if you want a groveller you could go and see Steve Darch who grew up on the south coast of the uk and specialises in surfboards built for the smaller weaker scale of waves. Or you maybe looking for something a bit more bespoke in which case you could go and talk to John at Olero Surfboards. A shaper that focuses on all the finer details of surfboard build and design. Or potentially you are looking for your first surfboard in which case Max at Hand Laid Eggs would be a great shout given his experience as a surf instructor who works on building boards that work for new surfers.  Make sure you do your research and find the best shaper for you.

What will the Shaper ask me?

So firstly, a good shaper will always want to know what you are currently riding and a brief history into the kind of boards you have previously ridden. So if its easy, take your current board with you to show the shaper. This will give them really good insight into your personal trends, what you are used to feeling and then if any of the patterns are detrimental or a positive for your surfing. A good shaper will see things in your board choices and experience that you may have never noticed.

Shapers will also want to talk about your surfing. Yes this can feel a bit exposing but think of it like going to a doctors, if you want help then being honest will be the best way forward, and don’t worry a shaper has heard it all before!

Obviously knowing your height, weight, fitness abilities and what waves you usually tend to surf are always great information for a shaper so make sure you go prepared with this information too!

Be Open to ideas…

Now the shaper has lots of good information to come off, you can start talking about possibilities in which type of design you should be looking at, what size you should be going for and what construction method and flex to weight ratios you should be looking at. This part of the chat is all about team work. make sure you understand the whats and whys when shapers give you advice. Knowing what makes a board right for you is great and can really help when you are actually riding your new board.  Together, you will come up with a formula that makes sense to the shaper and sits right in your mind also. Then its just time for the fun bit…..

What do you want your custom surfboard to look like?

This is the part that can really make a surfboard your own. Colours, textures, finishes, this is where you can leave it to the shaper, come up with your own design or simplay go for something that is plain and simple. Its good to have an idea about this part of the process, but if you don’t then don’t worry, the shaper will take you through all the options.

What fins and hardware do you need? 

This is important, working out how you are going to set the board up is key to getting the most out of it, so make sure you ask the shaper what he thinks is best in terms of fins set ups, sizes, shapes and if you need a tail pad or not. Nailing down these final pieces of the puzzle are the details that tie it all together.


There we go! You have ordered your new surfboard just like a professional surfer would. Ordering a custom surfboard wasn’t so bad was it? Your shaper is stoked you asked, and you will be stoked you took the plunge. Let’s hope its the start of taking your surfing to the next level!!

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