Just wondering if anyone has any feedback on machined boards these days, how accurate are they to the real thing when manufactured in Thailand etc? This is in comparison to the same company branded board coming out of the small Aussie warehouse. I have no real issues with the quality of workers OS as they would be just as skilled as anyone WRT glassing etc.
I have bought custom boards from my local shaper for the last 8 years and wont stop. I am eyeing off a great looking board off the rack and don't know too much about the whole mass production industry, any help would be great. My instinct is that they are that accurate you would struggle to determine which one was made OS and which one is from the local warehouse.
Even 'customs' are 'pre-shaped' by machine these days - literally in the thousands, it should make no difference that you can tell. I been surfin' smurftech & another well known brand for years now w/o a hitch - only tip is to make sure you gonna like the shape, cos they last a looooooooooooong time.
Yep, as Singken say, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between machined and 'hand' shaped boards. Over the last five years my surfing has been split pretty much 50/50 machined and traditionally shaped boards. The only reason I continue frequenting my shaper is because I like the smell of resin and I like having a say in how my boards are going to turn out. Indulging in bent conversations and observing his bizarre and idiosyncratic behaviour is another bonus.
Good stuff, i thought as much so its good to hear from people of similar thinking. I too will continue to visit my shaper almost for the same reasons Stunet.
One thing to be aware of with the Asian made boards is on some of them the stringer can have a bow in it, so if the back fin is set in line with the stringer it is offset. My shaper pointed that out to me, as he is American he used a lot of clark foam and this was common, all my boards have pencil line at different points of the center line.
Cheers @Crustt but its a EPS board with no stringer.
I've ridden surftech for years and loved em, corkiness and all. I got sick of snapping boards and ordering boards and feeling we had reached an understanding and getting something quite different from my expectations. OK this is surely at least partly an issue of my own understanding of what I wanted/needed however in my experience it is inferior to trialing different shapes already in existence knowing you can get exactly the same if you want and then make minor adjustments (if its a shaper such as hayden with capacity to modify, not surftech as they are factory based). Getting them handshaped is a random act which can also result in a magic board, and I've done that over the years with a handful of absolute winners but I dont have the spare time to ride shit boards these days. I'll leave that up to those with the inclination and time, its the R&D side of things and its important that continues to flourish but I've done my time and probably will again.
I now have mainly been on a haydenshapes shredsled for the past year which I'd say was one of the best boards I've had up to about double overhead or a smidge under depending upon the wave. Got a couple of other boards from them too and they all work really well. Machine made is just catching up with what other board shaping industries have been doing for decades, case in point snowboards. You'll virtually never get a custom made snowboard, but you work out the model from how you want to ride and your biometrics, then there are adjustments like type and positioning of bindings (eg fins).
Discussions like this remind me of that footage of Curran surfing a ridiculously short wide fish in massively sucking Indo barrels. Or Kidman surfing maxing Kirra on a 5'10" simmonds thing. It is so very important to get the board under your feet right but over thinking accuracy that's another thing. While I now only surf hand shaped boards I take mundies point about variation but for all the reasons stunt mentioned I just love that whole surfer/shaper thing. The shaper I go to just laughs at this bees dick here and a bees dick there measurement thing calling it as it is bullshit. The only negative I have heard of about Asian made boards is in the glassing especially the rails which seem particularly weak.
I thought eps blanks were molded and that's where there strength came from, having said that I admit I know next to nothing about the modern eps technology.
I'm with Floyd, I ordered a board yesterday, 3 minute discussion on length and what type of wave it was getting used in and 15 minutes on fins. I hung up the phone and realized I don't even know what tail I'm getting, can't wait love surprises.
What I particularly don't like about Asian made boards is something that probably relates to Floyds point about weak rails, I assume that most boards are still hand sanded and it is a bit of a struggle to find a good sander in oz let alone Asia, the sander can change the whole board, poor old sander is the under rated ghost of the surf industry.
Heres my Asian made board experience:
Like boards in Australia, regarding asian boards theres plenty of good boards and plenty of crap ones.
For example, my local shop/shaper had a few of there own label boards on the rack that were a few hundred dollars cheaper than all there other own label boards, there was one that was all the dimensions i like and looked nice, im not best buds but know the staff, strangely enough i got the feeling he wasn't keen on selling it to me, and then let me know these cheaper ones were made in china, it wasn't a big deal for me, so i bought it, first surf went ok, but after surfing it the deck had already sunk like you would expect after a few months.
I couldn't be bothered with trying to hassle to get my money back, so put it on the second hand rack for a $100 less, luckily it sold real quick and they do a deal where they dont take commission you must just spend the money inshore..
Anyway talking to other guys after this, apparently all those China made boards this shop/shaper got made were the same, not sure if it was the blank or glass job or sanding or what, and they obviously didn't get any more in.
That was the weakest board ive ever had, but in contrast the most durable boards ive ever had are also made in Asia Firewires in FST construction, rapid fire stronger than standard PU, but only half as durable as FST.
I also got given one of those surf tech boards from a friend to ride after i snapped/creased all my boards in Indo and came back boardless and broke, i felt a little embarrassed walking down the beach with it, but surprisingly i had a few good surfs on it, although it was damn ugly and horrible in choppy conditions.
@mundies the board i ended up buying was the Hypto Krypto, i was tossing up between the Hypto and the Shred Sled but the feedback was just too good on the Hypto. Due to a long run of no waves i am yet to really give it a go. Have you surfed the Hypto too and how would you compare it to the Shred Sled?Where did you pick your shred sled up from?
Hey darty79 I've heard good things about the hypto from a few different crew who are all pretty good surfers, never ridden one myself. Contemplating getting one. I'd love to have a go on one the right size for me before dropping another nine hundred bucks. Heaps of difference in the volume between the shredsled and the hypto - I think the sled is probably further along the spectrum towards a conventional shortboard and the hypto is the other way towards being more fish-like (but still with shortboard characteristics from the feedback I've heard, they also reckon it works in waves up to 6ft). The hypto also only comes as a thruster I think, whereas the sled has 5 fin boxes - I ride it mainly as a quad and it flies. Just bought my wife a hypto for Xmas so I hope it goes well for her - happy wife happy life....
I got my shredsled and also ordered this hypto both from the haydenshapes online store and both boards were in stock exactly how I wanted em and the shredsled arrived within a week and still waiting on the hypto ordered a couple of days ago. I also recently got a golden gun that I custom ordered cos I wanted a bit more volume and not quite a pinny as how they usually come - looks unreal but havent had the surf yet to give it a good go. In terms of service I've found the haydenshapes crew in Sydney to be efficient and minimal bullshit.
Darty I'd be interested to hear what you think of your hypto once you've had a few surfs on it
@Mundies, mate i have had the board out now a couple of times in better waves. Its a good board however i still am yet to have it in nice clean conditions with big open faces, this is where i think the board will be suited. I am still deciding if i purchased the right board or not, which makes the fact that you cant demo boards anywhere anymore terribly frustrating. I had a 6 star fish 5'10 that i picked up some time ago now and was able to do anything on that board, it really encourage you to hit the lip hard and would give great flotation for your recovery after the snap. I am finding the Hypto is good board however i do find myself nursing the bottom turn a little, the board doesn't want to stay tight in the pocket it wants to release out on to the face and go. It is great for drawing out some long turns but i realise it is only my 5th surf so i am still getting to know how to release the energy within it.
I think you have made a good decision for the missus as it will float over the lumpy sections well. I am not sure how good it is in 4-5-ft steep waves which i had it in this morning. As i said it was sketchy on the steeper ones with me having to nurse it around, i think i need to review how i best bottom turn on it. I think it requires a bit more leaning rather than just stamping on the back foot. All up the general feel of the board is that of a high performance board so i need some tweaking on how i am surfing it, i will let you know. Enjoy.
Also James at Hayden Shapes was very helpful too, as you said no BS.
Hey Darty, you might wanna think about the type of fins you are using when it gets a bit bigger too. Could make a difference with bigger fins in terms of holding in on bottom turns.
Mundies, i am running the Rob Machado's on advice from some guys who have used the setup before. In saying this i was out this arvo at Kirra and got some long grinders, still finding the bottom turn an issue however out on the face the board goes real well. Little cover up too which it handled well inside of. I think i just need to work out how i approach the first turn, on my normal short board i like to get it right up there straight away. Its always fun learning the ins and out of a new board
Damn straight darty79. Just went on a bit of a tangent and ordered a 6'3" DHD Margo Nugget tonight.
More volume (34.8 litres) but back towards a performance shortboard plan shape. I'm leaving the shred sled in Radelaide as now I have 2 rugrats I'll be doing more trips here, and travelling with all the kiddie shit plus surfboard is a pain in the arse. Or maybe I was just looking for a half feasible excuse to order a new board....