This Blog is dedicated to the Awesome Foam Board for Beginning Surfers
America has gone from a major manufacturing country to a major importing country. In the past most American goods were American made. If you got a car, radio, television or some other product you could rest assured it was more than likely built in America. Nowadays it seems almost everything Americans are using is imported from somewhere else other than America including surprisingly enough surfboards.
There was a point in time when no self-respecting surfer would ever think about surfing on an imported surfboard especially if that imported surfboard was a cheap popout. Surfboards that were hand shaped were considered to “have soul” a feeling that a popped out surfboard could never duplicate. Surfboard manufactures laughed at the idea of massed produced popped out surfboards ever being popular especially imported ones.
They’re not laughing any more. Go to any beach in southern California and chances are you will see at least as many if not more imported popouts verses domestic hand shaped surfboards.
China, Thailand and other Asian countries are successfully taking a huge share of the American surfing market. A few years ago they could not compete with American built surfboards now it looks as if the American surfboard manufactures are the ones having a tough time competing.
Surfboards are not the only surfing products now being imported from overseas. Purchase a wetsuit for surfing from O’Neill and it quite likely was produced somewhere in Asia. The same goes for Quicksilver clothing company. Buy a pair of boardshorts, pants or a shirt and it’s very doubtful American made. It seems American goods are too expensive to produce in America even when it comes to surfing products.
Probably the number one selling point of imports is price. Most hand shaped surfboards are priced at five hundred and up. Hand shaped surfboards from master shapers such as Donald Takeyama, Skip Frye, Dick Brewer and others can sell for as much a thousand dollars or more. Mass produced popouts vary in price but can sell for as little as three hundred dollars.
Price point considered the popouts are a good deal. Now here is the real shocker for domestic surfboard builders---- the quality of imported surfboards is actually good. Imported surfboards last as long and ride just as good as domestic surfboards but sell for a lot less thus making it difficult for domestic surfboard manufactures to compete.
Light, soft, excellent performance complete with leash and stomp pad. Who can beat that?
Though imported surfboards and surfing products may not be the best for American surfboard makers and surf shop owners they may prove beneficial for the sport of surfing over all. All said and done some kid trying surfing for the first time more than likely doesn’t care were the surfboard came from. Whether it be a piece of wood, a hand crafted masterpiece or an imported surf board all that matters to him is the great feeling playing freely in the ocean provides.
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