A surfers most important tool

This message is a story about the performance of custom short boards (polyurethane, eps, or extruded blanks) compared with the performance of the Cobra factory’s various short board models marketed by US based companies. I’m going to assume for the sake of discusssion that variation in performance between the two types of boards would be the result of several factors including - but certainly not limited to - the design of the shaped blank, the glassing schedule, the fins and fin system, and the suitablity of the board’s dimensions to the specific surfer. What has really caught my attention with regard to performance is that virtually all of the surfers on salary to these companies to market their boards ride custom boards shaped and glassed by competent professionals in the surfboard manufacturing trade. Is the surfer’s preference to custom boards a barometer of the relative performance of custom boards compared to the Cobra models ? What are the specific variations between custom boards and Cobra models that make one or the other the board of choice for surfers who demand the best quality of performance from their most important tool ?