Wow, today’s economic deal around the world sure has made the surfing industry think twice; especially the clothing end of the biz. But in a weird way we, or at least me and a few of my custom surfboard shaper friends, don’t seem to be seeing a real decline in business.
In a time where machine turned surfboards looked like it might threaten the shaper, more and more people want hands-on custom surfboards from Hawaii. Here in Hawaii, custom long-board (or long boards) shapes as well as hand shaped short boards have slightly increased.
There is a central location in Hawaii where most of the top shapers do their craft. There is a Hawaii surf factory in Wahiawa that handles a very high percentage of surfboard glassing. For those who don’t know, it’s a process where after surfboards are custom shaped they are “glassed” with fiberglass and resin to give it the final strength and seal the board.
Anyhow, this Hawaii surf factory in Wahiawa houses some of surfing’s most famous surfboard shapers like Jeff Bushman, Dick Brewer , Mike Casey, Keoki, Tommy Tanaka, Glenn Minami, Mitsu Matsushita, Jon Pyzel, Cino, Dennis Pang, Jay Hodge & Ben Aipa. Each one of these shapers have orders that will last them for months to come and during this economic crisis we are very happy but not surprised.
You see, surfing is a personal thing to anyone who does it. For some it is a total spiritual involvement that is at the center of their existence. Surfing is NOT a luxury item or something that you tuck away in your closet; it’s a lifestyle.
In my own opinion, the reason why the Hawaii custom surfboard industry is still growing is because when a surfer gets to that place in their life that they want to order a custom board, it’s a decision to enhance their surfing experience. It’s personal and it’s a run-to feel good addition to your life that only a real surfer can understand.
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