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Have pro & team model boards helped the average surfer?

Ando on his signature Hypto Krypto: Image courtesy Boardcave

 

 

Board Design

Why or How Popular Surfboards Models Become Best Sellers 

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 28 January, 2016 - It is no secret that pro surfers definitely have a hand in selling boards for their shapers brands. These guys absolutely rip, and to tell the truth, they could make a door look like it surfs well. So just how important is it to take note of what custom surfboards the pros are surfing when you’re just an average everyday surfer? Boardcave investigates...

The Mid-90’s

Just look at the mid 90’s when Slater and the whole crew were riding ridiculously thin, narrow, rocketed out boards. Sure, they can make them work and work really well, but the masses of us “average” surfers were more or less kooking out, trying to ride these boards that were not suited to our needs, or the waves we are surfing day to day.

With that said, it is the pro’s like Slater that are still influencing us with new models…remember the Wizard Sleeve?

That was one of the game changers for the masses to really take a look at shorter, lower rockered boards. The thing is, many shapers were already turned on to short, wide, high volumed boards. It just takes someone like Slater to bring that to everyones attention.

 

Replica Boards

What the pro’s are doing at any given moment obviously has an impact on the general consumer. The Mick Fanning Ducks Nuts Replica is one of our best selling boards from the DHD line up. This came out for the masses as Mick was/is tearing apart his 2015 campaign.

“You can ride the same board Mick is riding, and surely you will be surfing just like him!” … well, maybe not quite exactly like him, and maybe you shouldn’t ride exactly what he is riding…

What Darren Handley has done (which we were not seeing in the 90’s) is actually offer a few sizes in this replica model so the average surfer actually has a chance of being able to surf the board. But not too many, it is meant to be a replica after all. The board is available from a 5’10 to a 6’1.

Even Mick himself made tweaks to the original Ducks Nuts…for that size range, the boards actually pack a little more volume compared to the original..meaning, overall boards are going a touch wider with a touch more volume even at the elite pro level compared to days gone by.

A current favourite surfboard

Now, let’s look at the best selling board world wide. The popular Hypto Krypto nabs the best selling board world wide as well as winning Surfboard of the Year award two consecutive years in a row. Is it a result of having someone like Craig Anderson pour his style all over the place on this model (most of which the waves are pumping), or is it actually because it is a user friendly board that can be surfed in anything from knee high slop to pumping overhead and hollow?

Having Ando show you what this board can do certainly helps, but word-of-mouth, reviews and referrals are still essential for success. If the boards didn’t work for the average surfer, they wouldn’t gain the popularity that they have now. Combining a tried and trusted design – with some tweaks and your own style – with a strong brand like Haydenshapes is going to help you sell boards. Having someone like Craig ride them doesn’t hurt either!

 

What Actually Works for the Average Surfer

This all coincides with the average surfer starting to understand that wider boards with a little more volume can make a world of difference to your surfing. Don’t get me wrong here, there are/were plenty of surfers that already knew this, but there are plenty of people out there that simply want what their favorite pro rides.

Luckily for them, many of their favorite pro’s are starting to ride equipment that will either suit the average surfer, and surfboard shapers know exactly how to scale boards appropriately for the average surfer. Advanced tools like the Board Engine also help avoid too many crazy board orders.

The vast majority of us don’t have the ability to hop on a plane and chase perfect waves around the world, our day to day surf session consists of average days ranging in the knee to head high and not so perfect. Usually before or after school/work when we may just be missing the right tide, wind, swell windows.

We need those wider, higher volume boards that we can actually surf, if we want to maximize our precious water time. They don’t necessarily have to be hybrid models, but customising a high performance pro model appropriately for an average surfer goes a long way.

 

Accessibility

Another thing to consider in a board becoming popular is the combination of marketing, a user friendly board and…accessibility. The reason brands like SUPERbrand, DHD, Haydenshapes, etc. sell so many boards is their accessibility.

There are so many great shapers and surf brands around the world. They very well may sell a lot of boards, but on the world stage they may remain relatively unknown.

While some bigger brands may have a bigger marketing budget, in reality whether or not the board is actually going to work for the average consumer, is the most important thing. Remember, even the bigger brands were once small time guys that simply had to shape boards that work to get them to where they are today.

After all the marketing and the accessibility, if a board does not work, the word-of-mouth stoke is not going to be there and it will be a short lived seller. A board can look good aesthetically and be the right price, but what good is that if it surfs like a dog?

Author: 
Andrew Stephenson
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