Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

The advantage of a custom board

The anti-Wavestorm arguments

Skip Frye with some of boards he has made
Skip Frye with some of boards he has made

“When you add it all up, a surfboard costs a few cents a wave.” — Legendary surfboard shaper, Bill Caster

Generally ranging between 800 and 1,200 dollars each, custom surfboards seem expensive until considering the seven steps involved in making them: 1) shaping a foam blank. 2) Laminating the shaped blank. 3) Coating the laminated blank with resin. 4) Glassing in fins, or routing in fin boxes. 5) Sanding the board. 6) Glossing the board. 7) Fine sanding and polishing the board. Each of these steps requires a skilled craftsman to accomplish. When considering this and that one primary ingredient of surfboard building, resin, has quadrupled in price in less than a decade, surfboards seem like a bargain.

Aside from a few sticks of antique furniture handed down from grandparents, few of us own any handmade items. New handmade furniture is still more rare since it can equal the price of a new car. A new custom surfboard, one made specifically for your height, weight, surfing ability, and in whatever colors you chose costs a fraction of that amount.

Still, when compared to a $150 Wavestorm, $800-plus seems like a lot. Wavestorm, the top selling surfboard in the world, mass-produces hundreds of thousands of boards that can resemble an eight- to ten-foot surfboard-shaped sponge. Their construction is much more detailed than a sponge, and the boards are more durable and safer than their foam and fiberglass cousins.

As the name unintentionally implies, Wavestrom has hit traditional surfboard builders like a tsunami. A second wave to slam the domestic surfboard market comes from traditional looking surfboards being built overseas by factory workers. While skilled in their labors, these workers generally have little contact with the ocean, and rarely understand the performance differences between a 5’8” Thruster and a 9’6” Noserider. Does it matter, Jay Grygera, who owns and operates the surfboard glassing shop, Grygera & Sons with his father Jeff and brother Gino thinks so. Jay had this to say about the invasive species. “Those overseas boards can look good, but they often need repair because the manufacturers have cut corners in making them. One of the unseen ways they do this is in the installation of the fin box. More than once a customer has come to us with a fin box broken out. When I cut away the exterior fiberglass, I can see that the box has been installed without any fiberglass to reinforce it. Another reason locally made surfboards make sense, is because it takes someone who regularly surfs your local breaks to recommend the best boards for local surf spots.”

Grygera & Sons along with the other dozen or so glass shops in the San Diego area have somehow managed to hang on to a decreasing percentage of the surfboard market. According to Grygera, “Most of our custom orders are from surfers who began surfing decades ago, when most surfboards were handmade."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nicholas Wiseman: a great influence on John Henry Newman

Also known as author of Fabiola, a novel
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Skip Frye with some of boards he has made
Skip Frye with some of boards he has made

“When you add it all up, a surfboard costs a few cents a wave.” — Legendary surfboard shaper, Bill Caster

Generally ranging between 800 and 1,200 dollars each, custom surfboards seem expensive until considering the seven steps involved in making them: 1) shaping a foam blank. 2) Laminating the shaped blank. 3) Coating the laminated blank with resin. 4) Glassing in fins, or routing in fin boxes. 5) Sanding the board. 6) Glossing the board. 7) Fine sanding and polishing the board. Each of these steps requires a skilled craftsman to accomplish. When considering this and that one primary ingredient of surfboard building, resin, has quadrupled in price in less than a decade, surfboards seem like a bargain.

Aside from a few sticks of antique furniture handed down from grandparents, few of us own any handmade items. New handmade furniture is still more rare since it can equal the price of a new car. A new custom surfboard, one made specifically for your height, weight, surfing ability, and in whatever colors you chose costs a fraction of that amount.

Still, when compared to a $150 Wavestorm, $800-plus seems like a lot. Wavestorm, the top selling surfboard in the world, mass-produces hundreds of thousands of boards that can resemble an eight- to ten-foot surfboard-shaped sponge. Their construction is much more detailed than a sponge, and the boards are more durable and safer than their foam and fiberglass cousins.

As the name unintentionally implies, Wavestrom has hit traditional surfboard builders like a tsunami. A second wave to slam the domestic surfboard market comes from traditional looking surfboards being built overseas by factory workers. While skilled in their labors, these workers generally have little contact with the ocean, and rarely understand the performance differences between a 5’8” Thruster and a 9’6” Noserider. Does it matter, Jay Grygera, who owns and operates the surfboard glassing shop, Grygera & Sons with his father Jeff and brother Gino thinks so. Jay had this to say about the invasive species. “Those overseas boards can look good, but they often need repair because the manufacturers have cut corners in making them. One of the unseen ways they do this is in the installation of the fin box. More than once a customer has come to us with a fin box broken out. When I cut away the exterior fiberglass, I can see that the box has been installed without any fiberglass to reinforce it. Another reason locally made surfboards make sense, is because it takes someone who regularly surfs your local breaks to recommend the best boards for local surf spots.”

Grygera & Sons along with the other dozen or so glass shops in the San Diego area have somehow managed to hang on to a decreasing percentage of the surfboard market. According to Grygera, “Most of our custom orders are from surfers who began surfing decades ago, when most surfboards were handmade."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Bounce and Twerk: common moves for Megan Thee Stallion and Danyelle “Sweet Dee” Solana

“I use Megan’s music when teaching my classes.”
Next Article

Thai Joints rule in the Heights

Pick up or delivery, Thai fans have it good on Adams Avenue
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close