Manufacturing in Asia

I'm noticing that many higer volume board co's are having inventory build overseas either in China or Thailand (Cobra being the main one)....are there any quality manufactuers in the US that are willing to do design and build work to someone else's specifications?  

yah, Dewey Weber

Are you looking for high volume machine shapes?. I wish you the best of luck in the next few hours :slight_smile:

Actually I’m learning to shape and build my own…I was just curious about that is happening in the industry especially with SUP’s.  At 40 I’ve decided to leave the corporate rat race and start building boards…I was curious is most SUP companies are building thier own boards or farming out to a manufactuer to handle volume.  I keep hearing “COBRA” in Thailand is a supplier that is used by many big brand for SUP and surf.  

Here is the thing. at 40, learning to shape to make a living is a bit late. i mean its a pretty hard craft to learn like that.

i suggest that if you do not want to be on the corporate rat race like u said. do not go the China way , THE BOARD SUCK ASS!! i dont give a shit what other have to say. suck balls.

her what you do.

you get boards cut by a local machine cnc , you get a local glass shop to finish them.

i think its your best bet. you wont make much, like 50$/boards if ur lucky but you can try use your time to rep ur brand, make connection, do trade show… and you stay local.

China is good for Tshirt, leashes… stuff like that. surfboards are too tuned to be mass made,

i have been shaping for 15 years, there not much money in building boards, also its hard to find time to run other things like Tshirts or boards bags or whatever…

if you want to make big cash, it has to be in accessories. 

what i do is only high quality gloss , tint, insane boards. no tshirt no crap. its my niche but aint easy.

good luck.



yah, like if you are a real surfer and not an internet surfer and you obviously have not any or near enough shaping exp. , and dont’ know of all the guys who would beg,borrow and steal to make your boards with your label.

Ghost shapers, free lancers, cad cam guys, et al.

Then you shouldnt be doing this, let alone be made to YOUR specs.


Thats why no one has really responded to you. They should either discourage you or in trying to help you end up writing a  book in here.

Basically I’m learning how to shape along with build my own, personal… I had been just interested in learning that is happening in the industry especially using SUP’s. At forty I’ve made a decision to leave the organization rat race and start building forums.

Since we are in the Industry section of Swaylocks, I can reply accordingly.

If you look up COBRA in Thailand you will see that MANY people partner with the Thai government in this 2400 employee state of the art manufacturing center a bit outside of Bangkok.

Their website will reveal to you the depth of their abilities in making ALL KINDS OF WATERSPORTS equipment; surfboards, sailboards, paddleboards, SUP’s, kiteboards and more.

They offer many different types of construction to address what the manufacturer specify in their products… Some sell for lower price points, others, like Naish, are creme de la creme. Some have different types of construction as is the case with Surf Tech.

In China, Clyde Beatty produces SUP’s and surfboards…  I shaped for Clyde along with Max McDonald, Wayne Rich and Steve Brom until he made the decision to go offshore, eventually closing down the Santa Barbara facility that had been the historic Yater factory from the very day the place was built by the Castagnola family per Yater’s design…

The quality of Clyde’s SUP’s can be viewed at Wave Front Surfshop in Ventura, where he provides Randy Shafer both SUP and surfboards. I also provide Randy with Stoker V Machines (surfboards) that are domestically made in Goleta.

The decision whether to go offshore or not, or do some combination of the two, as Burton does with Channel Islands along with many other established labels, is a personal choice. The decision is based on economics and cost efficiency of distribution.

Obvoiusly we are talking about VOLUME when discussing the aforementioned.

The advent of CNC milling is a viable way to address those earning and enjoying an increased demand for their product. Surfboards, more than SUP’s have been historically plagued with a notoriously slim margin. However, those that are smart enough to create a good business plan and associate themselves with professionals that are reliable and motivated, can increase that margin if they produce a product that is perceived as a good value that can be supplied in a timely fashion.


There is another question of course…

is it ok for a western eg Aus or Us manufacturer to move offshore for thier asian markets…

 ie its very difficult to compete with the aussie dollar being so strong…

 if i made boards in asia with the same materials but cheaper labour for the market there would that be ok?..


haaaa’’   few people geting panties all knoted?


  shaper just what does this truly mean??.

 i have been a  person that has shaped boards since 1958 but in that time i have also glassed’’ sanded. glosscoated  polished vacumed bag .

**when this whole package is in your kit  you will then come to realise that the shaper tag is just part of the whole show’’    to work in a shop with other shapers has a very valuable experience the comradry’’ is priceless

the pushing each other’’         to pinch the scissors from the glassing room to cut some sandpaper   haaaaa’’

or to dare to open the door of the finish room fark that stare from the gloss coater.                                   these experiences are  whats needed to get your stripes

and to manage a team of these people is even more hair raising than one could even imagine’’

to have orders overdue   and the team refusing to  turn there back on the swell  teaches you even more

about building surfboards’’  than worrying about being a shaper or a glasser?

if they did not shape them on time i did             glassing the same’’

so i guess what i am saying is untill you can do it all and get customer satisfaction

you are just another wheel in the cog



**cheers huie

hi huie cool post

, we cant forget our emerging markets of girl surfers and weekend surfers. they dont buy into the whole history and lineup attitudes and procedures . they are more interested in how the board looks under the arm etc etc.