why the delay?

Just curious if these is a normal occurence or not. I have ordered a board from a manufacturer that will remain nameless for now in April. I was given a time frame of 6-8 weeks for the completion and board in hand. Due to circumstances which are unavoidable, large influx of orders, the board was not finished until the last week in July. I am willing to accept this as the nature of the buisness BUT, the board is still sitting in the shop. First I got the call that the board was completed and will be shipped out the next day. I called the following day to get the tracking number, turns out it was not completed yet. The next week I got another call that it was going to go out the next day and that I would get a call with the tracking number. I waited a few days, no call. So I called to see whats up, the shipping guys didn’t show up that day or something. So I called back a few days later, ran out of foam inserts for the boxes. So all this I can kinda accept but it is wearing on me pretty quickly. Now I call again the following week and now they lost my address. So this is were I am at right now, three weeks later. Supposedly, today is the day it will go out. Up until now I have been understanding and polite about the situation but its starting to get a little ridiculous. Is this a normal practice… I hope not. Thanx for your thoughts.

It means your board is fabulous, magic, and unreal. They’re out surfing it and can’t bear to give it up just yet. Take it as an omen of many fine sessions to come. :slight_smile:

thanx for the good word

i think thats the main problem with big companies. you are just a number. when i bought the last board. I met these guy “Ratso” in Auckland NZ. He shaped me a sweet al merrick 6`6" semigun. The board was made with my input so it was perfectly the board i wanted. It has been a really magic board and still is. I think that talking to your shaper personally is a very important thing. It´s so horrible to fill out a sheet and email it to the company. How can the shaper know what i´m really looking for without talking to me? How can he shape a good board without seeing me?


They can’t follow a simple timeline for a project that’s supposed to be their expertise, they’re horrible communicators, and can’t keep even the most basic supplies on hand. I’m sure they’ll tell you they’re under staffed, got really busy, the shipping guy had a flat tire, etc - None of which should be your problem.

Since the owner is not in control, you’re doing the right thing by calling and constantly asking for updates (essentially do his job). Make sure to call again today and ask for the tracking number, and again tomorrow if needed. If they just kept you updated - you would prob be a lot more okay in regards to their poor planning and operating skills.

You’re way beyond the need to be polite - time to be abrupt, specific, and just be a darn pain in their @$$ 'tl you get your board.



What get me is the lies. Why they just don’t be honest.

  1. Hey dude surf was up and we decided to go surfing instead.

  2. A bloke needed his board urgently for Indo so we pushed it ahead of yours.

  3. I drank all the blank money out on a heavy night with the boys give me a few days to get some money together.

  4. Oh sh!t is that your board lying in the corner unfinished.

  5. Hey Joe did you remember to phone the shipping company.

  6. Sorry mate my dog ate your board.

When you shape em your self you dont have these hassels.

Hope this cheers you up a bit

Once I ordered a board from a local shaper, took him an astounding 6 months to get the thing done…admittedly, I didn’t bug him at all until the four month mark, as I didn’t urgently need the board, but when i called, he said that the order form had fallen behind his desk, and he was really sorry…a quick two months later and it was finished…

later on, a friend ordered a board from the same guy, after a couple of months and after the dumbasses in the store gave him all manner of excuses, he asked to speak to the man…guess what his excuse was? Yup, his order fell behind the desk too! I know Nor Cal is supposed to be earthquake country, but gimme a break!

Call them every single day until you get your board, and after two weeks, start calling them twice a day. Don’t be rude, but do be curt, brisk, direct, etc.


in reading the replies it seems to me that this is a typical occurence. Now, not to step on anyone’s toes because I know there are shapers out there who are responsible and good buisness people but could this run around be a factor in many peoples decisons to go with factory made boards rather than hand made?

. I would be pissed. I would demand a free leash a board bag and some extra fins…that might make up for it…would you order from them again? would you recommend then to someone? I bet not…

After working in the shaping and retail end for 20 years, I decided that if I wanted a board, I’d just go to a store, pick one out, and buy it.

The runaround has happenned to me…and by me now, for about 50 times, maybe more often even.

If I search thru say…200 boards in the store and can’t find the one I’m looking for, then maybe it’s God’s way of saying I shouldn’t buy one today.

Sorry, all you custom builders, and budding shapers, that’s just my reality.

I have a friend who had the same problem. When the board finally arrived it had a large nice and bright purple and pink girl decal on it. He got to give it a few tries though to see if he would keep it and covered the decals with large stickers. It’s the board he uses the most. Oh yeah, he got a dicount as well.



Just got the word. Its all packed and ready to be shipped. I can’t get too excited until I know for sure that its being sent out but I guess its persistence that pays off. Although it should not be necessary. I probably will not order another board from this manufacturer again or recomend to another. I guess I’ll just have to keep looking for a shaper who professionality and consideration is satisfactory. Could there be room for a consumer digest of sorts on this site or somewhere else on the internet?


As you can buy a off the rack handshaped just as readily as popout, I don’t think it will factor into the decison process as much as other concerns btween the two products (concerns that are covered thoroughly in other threads).

Though I will say that the problems associated with ordering a custom did factor heavily into my decision to start making my own boards. I’ve experienced the whole spectrum of below par results with board makers and custom requests.



A sad reality of the surfboard industry. It’s sooo difficult to make custom boards today. And the fault doesn’t lie all with the guy shaping the board, although he does have to answer to some of the blame. First, when the customer walks through the door for a custom shape the board manufactrer generally doesn’t make the blank. It usually has to be custom ordered with special rocker and stringers. This takes time and the shaper doesn’t have any control of this. 2. Once the shaper recieves the blank,and especially if you order in the summer, you’ll probably be at the end of a long line of orders since that’s the way it is in summer. More time. 3. The board then goes to the glass shop, which the shaper has NO control of. Again, the glass shops are increadibly backed up in summer. More time. 4. If there’s color, airbrush or resin color of any kind, expect even more time. Airbrushers are in high demand and are always backed up. More time. 5. If the finish of fin system is something other than what that factory always does then you get top racked. WAY more time. Finally, shapers only pick boards up on the days they deliver blanks to the glass shop. This can be only once a week. If your board missed the pickup day, this alone can add another 2 weeks.

I’m not trying to make excuses here, but the industry, as a whole, has set up a very inefficent way of doing business. This is primarly due to the fact that there is NO MONEY to pay anyone to manage the business or take care of the little hangups that always come up. It is left to the business owner who is generally the shaper, and the bookeeper, and the production manager, and the secretary, and the janitor … and the … and the … and the…

Think about it. Custom blank weight, custom rocker, custom stringers, custom glue color, custom shape, custom airbrush, custom laminating, custom cloth weights, custom labels, custom fin placement, custom fin systems, custom finishing, custom fin templates. Just how many chances do we have to make a mistake? This is the reality of custom surfboard building today. I’m getting a headache just thinking about what I left behind a few months ago. And I had a situation where I could control every step. Almost no one else does.

I too went back to off the racks board for awhile. My latest off the rack had the deck dented considerable after a couple of rides, there was some weave showing through in small area, and I just recently noticed the cant on one fins differs from the other by small amount.

After reading Greg’s information, I do feel more empathy for the shops but none the less I’m frustrated by the majority of options that are available for purchase.



Now there is an honest answer, I got a headache just reading it…let alone having to deal with it. It still sucks to be waiting for your board…but with all involved it is amazing you get one at all. Or if it even resembles what you ordered. I know when I have ordered customs I have never put all the money down, so the shaper has to pay/credit for that stuff up front? What a pain in the a#s, glad I make my own stuff now…I can only bitch at myself…peace and waves…

Me and Richard Barth we ordered new yaters or maybe just me …it was ready…we started out hitchhiking from Pedro on friday afternoon down highway one to santa barbara we were hitch hiking in the middle of the night through big sur , what a memory , when we arrived in santa barbara in the early dawn we were truly of the road waited til the yater shop opened picked up the board and then hitch hiked to the friends house south if stanleys and spent the night,we left the board there and then came back the next weekend for the board in richard’s truck,new board dosent mean much when you can accept not going the distance to pick it up the day after its done ,wether you have to walk or take a train ,con your sister for a ride ,call-in sick ,reserve a plane ,hey man that freight company is next…you think that place is run by rocket scientists? the door is whiiide open to human fallibility when you simply dont take the initiative to DO IT YOURSELF,and we all know from watching old movies,You Just cant get good help these days…ambrose…if you want the job done right…you coulda been riding that board since the end of july -11 days ago…if you made the board yourself you coulda been riding it since may

Out of all the foam boards I bought over the years I only ever ordered four custom ones.

I like single fins. In 1981 they were getting very hard to find on the shelf so I go into Wayne Parkes surfboards in Auckland and order a 6’2" double wing swallow. I go in with a picture and some nose and tail measurements. The nose measurement was about 15" and the tail a few inches less. The picture showed a Murray Bourton mini gun with a forward planshape. When the board was shaped it was a complete no nosed needle. Wayne told me that you can’t have wide noses (after he shaped it). I paid for the board and wasn’t happy with it.

So pretty soon I go into Mike Murden’s factory, this time for a 6’ double ended pintail single. I write down the nose and tail measurements (which are the same). When the board is done it is a roundtail single winger with a 15 1/2" tail and a 13" nose. The colour scheme was correct. I surfed the board for 2 years after replacing the fin which was made from thruster fin panel and was so thin that it rattled in the box, the tip would flop side to side two inches at the tip.

The next one was from Roly Stanley in Piha and was a gem, and was exactly what I ordered ( 6’2" double ended pintail single)

Foolishly,two years later I sell the board I get from Roly, and trade it in on a thruster. Thrusters and I don’t get along, so I regret my decision and decide to get my favourite board made again. Roly is gone, so I go to Andy Jordan in Mount Maunganui, and carefully explain that I want my favourite pintail back, giving him the nose and tail measurements (both 12 1/2") and other details. When the board comes back it is a roundtail and the tail has been widened by two inches. I gave up on customs after that and spent the next ten years riding old 70’s singles picked up in second hand shops. Now those old wide nosed singles are back in fashion, the same ones that I was told didn’t work in the 80’s. The waves haven’t changed.

Not getting what you ordered is a major delay!


Get used to it!!!

I’ve never had a board come in on time… only one came even close!

My latest now-humorous-near-horror-story…

I went to Micronesia this summer for a month (sorry, the exact island will remain nameless, as there is perfect surf, 3-5 surfers total, no surf camps, completely empty waves every day…).

I ordered a new semi-gun for the trip. Order was placed 6 weeks before I left. I was told 10-14 days (I never took that estimate seriously…even though I’m on the “regular customer” list…which is really a list of “these guys don’t mind when it’s late.”).

Waited two weeks…no call. I called; they said “Oh, yeah, uh, it’s almost done, maybe in a few days…” A week later, no call. I called the shop, they said “uh, man, I don’t know what the delay is, you should have it…”

Another week, no calls…It’s now been 4 weeks, only two weeks to go until the trip. I call the shaper directly and he says, “Randy who? We don’t have an order for you…What do you want? When do you need it?”

It turns out the shop never passed the order on to the shaper (even though the shop owner is the shaper’s boss and owns the glass shop…and he glassed the board himself! How did he not notice!!!)

They did get the board to me a few days before the trip…

Just one more reason to shape your own boards!!!

its all common… its one thing i always rebel against as much as i can help it. i pre order blanks in my rockers, i shape as soon as i can after taking the order so its fresh in my my mind. my customers dont wait much longer than 2 weeks occasinally 3. but never 4. blank supply is still my biggest hurdle…the glass shop is mine… my staff are all taught by me that the days production is most importantly finished… i was always taught by my my father to give customer service…even if it costs…