Wondering if this is a cheap, made in china surfboard?

This was my first board that I learned to surf on and I bought it around 7 years ago.  I haven’t surfed it in the last 5 years since I started making my own boards (thanks swaylocks).  I decided to clean the wax off it today and notice there are a ton of fractures and dent marks on it for the amount of times it was used.  I think they really skimped on the glass.   I looked up the logo name (Surfboard Australia) and it seems that it is most likely a pop out from china.  I think I over paid for it as well but oh well lesson learned LOL.   On the east coast of canada there really wasn’t a big choice in surfboard selection at the time.  What do you think?

It appears to be made in Australia lol.

Definitely a cheap import (probably cost about $100 to land in USA). The deception worked, you had no idea of the board's origins when you purchased. The law requires an origin label, but they do it with a sticker which somehow (accidentally of course) always manages to fall off before the board gets to the showroom. The other labels are under-glass laminates.

Another Tommy Sena POS distributed out of surf city ( NYC ) 

Here is an old list of China boards.  There are more labels now that aren't on the list but sure enough, Surfboards Australia is on there. 

Definitely a Chinese fake. Technically, not a popout.

Courtesy of Tom “Scumbag” Sena.

Thanks for all the replies.  I'm going to keep it as an example of how not to make a surfboard!  I had a funny feeling when my buddy and I both bought one that it seems kinda "cheap" looking and I asked the owner of the shop where it was made and he said he has them "shaped" and shipped from the states, I guess technically thats true, just not "shaped" part.  Should have went with my guy.  The other alternative he was trying to sell us a Bic board.

Sometime around 9 years ago… That was the first time I learned of their existence.

Rumor spread around the local breaks that there were selling REAL surfboards at the Costco stores for 95 dollars. “Aloha” was the brand.

It was months between hearing the rumors and actually seeing one of these surfboards for myself. I remember it clearly: I was surfing 2 foot slop at a popular small-wave break on a self-built experimental board, and one of the other surfers illustrated me with his hi-performance, potato chip, cleanly-shaped “Aloha” 5’11". We swapped boards for a couple of waves.

“This is one of the Costco surfboards. It was going for $95, but they didn’t last more than a few days, because a bunch of us went and changed the price-scan tags for those of nearby bodyboards, and we ended up cleaning up all of the surfboards at the store for about $35 a piece.” That’s what this guy said.

Wow! I couldn’t wait to check 'em out for myself.

And I happened to see them with my own eyes at the local Costco several months later, around Christmas time. Price was $149.99 now. I believe this was probably the 2nd or 3rd batch they brought into the local Costco chain. They were slowly but surely raising the prices, studying how the local market received them.

These were a different brand, though, “The Realm”. Models were 6’0", 6’3", 6’6", and 6’10". For $149 each!!! WOW!!

So I became infected with the bug, and I bought myself 2 boards, the 6’0" and the 6’3". Both boards served me well before they became gifts for two other boardless guys (one an old friend at home, another a local at Pavones in Costa Rica). I must say that I noticed their fragility, especially the glassjob. Shapes were pretty good, but it struck me pretty soon that they had used the cheapest materials possible and that the factory workforce was still in the process of getting good at glassing surfboards.

The Pavones trip was in the summer of 2005, and that was the last I had to do with those boards for a while.

Summer 2008… I see in the Isle Surfboard website they’re liquidating the 7S Superfish 5’6" for $199. So, the bug bit me again. I bought the board.

Now I was absoloutely certain of two things: 1) This surfboard had very probably come out of the exact same factory as my 2 Costco boards, and 2) They were DEFINITELY using the cheapest stuff on the planet to build them.

I put stress cracks over the deck of my new 7S superfish within 2 or 3 surfs. Especially in the tail area.

That’s not the end of my experience with these boards, but suffice it to say that I have owned and surfed about 12 of them throughout the years (Anacapa, Webber, 7S being the latest).

Last time Costco brought a batch (around 4 years ago) I bought a few (they were now going for $249 each). I had to return them unsurfed because I noticed that the FCS plugs were not correctly installed, and would probably get knockedout of their sockets within a few surfs. These were “Counter Culture” brand.


The moral of my story is this:

  1. These surfboards are made with the cheapest (economical) materials available in planet Earth.

  2. If they were making a profit selling them to Costco, and Costco was making a profit selling them to us for $95, those boards probably cost somewhere around $30 to make in the Aisa factory each (probably even less than $30).

  3. As recently as this present year, I bought a 7S “Fuze” model through the local Global Surf Industries distributor, and STILL the FCS plus were installed incorrectly (not making the hole all the way through to the deck). I had to reinstall one of the side-fin plugs properly because it was easily knocked off.

  4. At least the Global Surf Insustries brands, as far as I know, are built in a factory in Thailand called the “Cobra Factory”.


I am in the process of shaping 3 new boards right now. No more disappointments with poor craftmanship for me (unless it’s my own fault, in which case I learn…).

At least for a while.