Bespoke Surfboard

For the vast majority of categories or sports, getting something made bespoke for you means shelling out more of your hard earned cash. And for good reason – tailored goods are for the most part, better. Instead of having a machine simply punch out your online order, someone will actually take your specifications and create a bespoke item according to those specifications. You pay a premium for this painstaking attention. There are certain details that can’t be made by robots, so be thankfully for your dexterity and opposable thumbs!

The great thing about surfing is that a very large portion of the market is hand shaped. A lot of the ‘pop-out’ surfboards that are made using a press are frowned upon in the surfing world. They do not offer the same sort of flex and spring under pressure and thus performance is affected. A lot of them are also made for the mass market and therefore do not cater to the dedicated need of your local surfer.


Surf culture is one of the only sports/industries that actively promotes the small local shaper. The materials used are the same, and a custom surfboard from a local shaper will cost the same (if not less) than a stock board from a big company such as Al Merrick or Firewire. As such, if you are looking for a new board then I would advise having a serious look at a local shaper making a board specifically for you. Alter the height, width, thickness and shape to dial in the perfect volume. I would also go for 5 fin boxes so that you have the flexibility of riding it as a thruster, quad or even twin fin.

It is a great way to move away from stock boards. In surfing, small changes to boards can make a hell of a difference, an inch of length or a quarter of an inch in thickness can affect paddling, turning and speed. That is why getting a board that exactly fits what you are looking for is so important.

Almost all surf towns or areas will have their local shapers and the vast majority of them will be willing to talk to you about bespoke boards. If you are fairly new to surfing then take their advice – if they say a double concave won’t work then don’t try to force them into putting one in. After all, they are the experts and probably know more about what works and what doesn’t work than you!
If you don’t live near the coast but are still interested in getting a board made for you then go on Bespokee where you can post your job (say a 5’10” hybrid with 5 fin set up) and shapers can tender for your work. In this way you can remotely manage your project and get the perfect board for yourself.

It is at least worth a conversation with a shaper. Do you like that Al Merrick in the shop but would want it half an inch thinner? Well mention that and see if you can get it made bespoke!


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