If you are a surfing lover, choosing the right surfboard is essential to your performance. Combining your skill level and weight is crucial to determine what type of surfboard to buy. Next to those two criteria, what brands, colors, etc., become other options on top of your decision when buying a surfboard? Beyond that, you can also decide what type of base materials for the surfboard you want to buy.
After making the decision, as mentioned earlier, you can choose whether to get it from an offline surfboard shop or from an online store. The fun of visiting an offline shop is the direct interaction.
We physically can look and feel on the displayed surfboards at the shop and get direct answers from the shop staff to our inquiries. Besides those reasons, buying your surfboard online could also be interesting. It is easy to do despite the add-up shipping cost and the challenge of customer support availability.
How Much Does a Surfboard Cost
The cost of a surfboard varies between $300 to $1000. It depends on the type, the materials used, and the quality. For a beginner, the longboard type is the recommendation, considering your level of skill. A longboard is usually mass-produced since it does not involve custom shaping for the finishing. It is 8 to 9 ft in length with a standard shape and equipped with only 1 fin.
For a more advanced skill level and professional surfer, the short board is the choice. It is typically 5 to 7 ft in length and equipped with 3 to 5 fins. It commonly involved custom finishing as to the owner's desire or requirement.
A longboard usually comes with two choices: the soft top and the hard top. The soft-top longboard is considerably the cheapest. It uses expanded polystyrene (EPS) as the base material. The selling price could be between $300 to $500.
While the hard-top longboard costs more than the soft-top, the cost varies between $600 to $1000. The base material is either using polyurethane (poly) or epoxy. An epoxy hard-top cost must be more than poly.
Cost of a Short Surfboard
A short board surfboard involves custom finishing. In general, it involves a skilled craftsman in the finishing process. The duration required depends on the complexity of the shaping. Usually, it could take 6 to 10 weeks for the completion process of a custom short surfboard. Next are the base material and the finishing materials. A short board can be made of poly, epoxy, and fiberglass materials.
The cost of a new standard shortboard varies between $500 to $900. Beyond that, the custom shaping will add more cost to the price. On average, a custom-made shortboard varies between $750 and $2500. So, the additional cost you will get could also depend on whether it involves a well-known surfboard craftsman in the process. As they might charge you extra considering their popular insignia.
How much is the production cost?
From an economic point of view of a standard longboard and shortboard production, we can assume the production costs 50% of the selling price. It comprises 40% variable cost plus 10% of fixed cost. So, based on such assumption the production cost of a standard longboard could vary between $300 to $500 if we use the earlier described hard-top longboard price.
The variable costs comprise the following:
Cost of the base materials
Cost of the glass cloth
Cost of the coating resin
Cost of the shaping finishing time
Cost of the materials
As mentioned before, the base material, usually called blank foam, is made of EPS, poly, or epoxy. The price of EPS blanks of 9 ft in length is between $125 to $150 per piece. The cost of poly blanks with similar lengths is between $170 to $180 per piece. At the same time, an epoxy blank should cost more than the poly.
Next is the cost of the glass cloth. The pricing is usually per yard, but we can get it in rolls of 120 to 125 yards in length. For a fiberglass cloth of average quality, it is around $4 per yard. For finishing it requires at least 2 layers of 7.5 yards of cloth for a longboard. So, the cost of the glass cloth is $60 for 15 yards of glass cloth.
Let us assume that we use the above-mentioned materials to produce a 9 ft length longboard; the summary of the materials cost is as follows:
Sum of Material Costs
The finishing cost and the fix costs.
If we use the first mentioned $500 production cost, then the $216 material cost is 38.2% out of the described 50% production costs. From the described assumption, the remaining 11.8%, or $284, should be the combination of the finishing cost and the fixed cost.
For a mass-production surfboard, the finishing cost could be a combination of the CNC machine running plus the worker involved during the process. Meanwhile, the fixed cost itself is derived from the fixed overhead cost of the production business.
Please note that the above-mentioned cost is only an assumption. Whereas for mass surfboard production, the aforementioned pricing could be less since a certain discount or cost reduction can incurred for a large quantity procurement.
For a custom-made surfboard, the biggest variable should be the craftsman cost involved in the process. As mentioned earlier, such cost shall significantly be higher if it is done by a highly skilled and popular surfboard craftsman.
On the other side, if you have the skill, you might get a much more economical production cost in making your own surfboard. However, bear in mind that you must anticipate the cost of the learning curve that you might experience during the making process.
Written by Oliver Jones
I'm a dedicated surfer and writer, and my heart truly belongs to the ocean. Surfing is not just a sport but a way of life for me. I ride the waves in the water and on paper, pouring my passion into every word I write.
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