How do Costco and INT make their boards?

It seems like it would be really easy to do wouldn’t it? Just get some ridiculously thick foam, with 3 wood stringers (I know, cause my neighbor one in half)  shape it, then seal it in something waterproof. Right?

so you’re saying they’re big into being eco-friendly and recycling? haha. that’s crazy.

Four years ago, I decided to “downsize” my operation and move my airbrushing operation to a Ding Repair shop around the corner. This was well after the Clark Foam thing and the middle of the Chinese thing. That’s when I got my first look at some of the “New” boards in the marketplace. Holy Crap! Just throw out what you know about surfboard building design. I witnessed some of the scariest things I could have imagined. Some of these “Suck-tecks” and “Turd-lites” and a few others, had very much the same things as seen in the previous pictures. I saw a board with a very well-known shapers name, off-center stringers wraped with un-saturated fibreglass, brown ugly foam, and some staples. Yes I said staples. Wow! Since then business has picked up and I took over building and added a Ding Repair service to my customers. I do still see some really scarey boards which provide me with a “chuckle” from time to time. Just last week, I saw a Chinese board with a local board builders name on it, Leaking water in the middle of the deck. After sanding it down, whoa!,  inside was an old brown surfboard that looked like it came from the swap-meet. All painted pretty in those cool Chinese/Costco style colors.  It’s a scarey place out there in the surfboard market-place.

I guess I like my wood stringers in the center and visible. Barry

INT makes great softboards here in the USA; that picture looks like the board was never taken care of and left outside in the sun, so similar or worse damage would occur to a poly or epoxy surfboard if left to the elements.

 I know JL Designs in Oceanside makes the best handmade soft surfboards in the world.  Jimmy Linville is the real deal; in the water or out the guy rips, and knows how to be in the right place.  Plus he is flat out the best fisherman in Southern California.  Quality craftsmanship, and quality materials equals JL Designs.

Softboards are a different thing. You need to keep them out of the sun. Same with Boogey boards. I have a Costco softboard and several boogey boards. The morey boards are OK, but the cheap ones will bubble up in one day. Same for the softboards you get at Costco. I have some swelling on the bottom of mine.

Having said that. I really like the Costco board. I got it for $80 new and it was great for the kids or just for having fun. It paddles like a 10-0 and it’s only 8-0. Bought it when they first started selling them. Solid blue on top, white boogey board bottom.

The rails on surftech softboards are a weak point. After a while and some abuse they will split and the top and bottom will start to pull away. I’ve seen a few and I actually bought one for $40 to repair and use. I plan to cut off the rails and glue on XPS foam, reshape the rails then glass just the rails. I may also add a perimeter stringer between the blank and the new rail.

I’ve seen his with regular surftechs too. My brother had one that had a break in the rail on the nose and the top and bottom starting pulling away making it harder to repair. That was back when surftech was still a new thing. Not sure what the newer ones are like.


 Is it a factory or a warehouse operation?  If they are made here then they get one atta boy point.

Looks like there stringers offset to avoid the fin plugs.

I'm not a big fan of soft surfboards or surf schools. I am a big fan of LOCAL, US owned small business. INT has a small factory in Carlsbad, California. Right down the road from Palomar Airport. I do not know if INT imports any products but I do know that they provide real jobs to real people right here in my neck of the woods. That's a good thing.

 jesus, you'd never snap it though haha

the stringer in that photo is crazy. i think the link didn’t work b/c of the period.

They don't make boards They just sell boards that are made in some Factory run by the Army using Prison labor.

not so fast…

from INT’s webpage

“Located in North County San Diego, we hand craft all of our boards using local & recyclable materials.”

You get what you pay for… If you really want to learn to surf find a good shaper in your area who will spend the time to educate you on what will work best for you in your local conditions for your size weight etc. Money well spent.

ACE - the link didn't work for me, but it was the correct url.  Here's the pic...