Should you buy a surfboard online or at your local surf shop?
With the growth of the internet, the ease and availability of ordering surfing products and buying surfboards of all types online has become an acceptable way to shop and buy a new board. However, buying a surfboard at your local surf shop may be preferable because you can touch, hold and feel it and talk to a sales representative face to face.
One downside may be that your local surf shop may have a limited supply of surfboards as inventory requires a large cash outlay. Most retail surf shops concentrate on clothing as their main product focus, thus reducing their inventory of surfboards to a few styles and designs. This is also true for most online surf shops, but they usually don’t have to carry inventory and source their surfboards from different surfboard models and manufacturers. There are likely to be a number of retail surf shops within 10 to 20 miles of your surfing community, which may give you more of a chance to purchase the surfboard you are looking for.
You have a very wide selection of surfboards online, probably more than you will at your local surf spot. You can search for surfboards by type and design and also by “online surf shops” and you will most likely be able to find several one-stop surf shops with a wide selection of good surfboards.
Over the years, many people have become too busy to shop for a surfboard, bodyboard, or SUP at their local surf shops. It takes a lot of investigation and time. Once you take the time to go to your local surf shop, most often the surf shop will have a very limited selection, meaning you will have to drive to another shop in hopes of finding what you want. Another downside is that sales people will pressure you and try to get you to buy one of their surfboards even if it doesn’t suit your needs. This is especially true for beginners and novice surfers.
If you go to your local surf shop, try to get in touch with a senior member of the sales staff with a lot of surfing experience. You need someone with experience to guide you. Many of the surf shop sales staff are young kids with little surfing experience and little knowledge of surfboards and what should be good for you as an individual buyer.
Most of the surf shops sell surfboards and other types and designs of surfboards that are made by their local manufacturers, so the choice for the buyer is limited. Some of these shapers make very good surfboards, but be careful because you might end up with a surfboard that isn’t right for you. Typically, these stores are limited by available funds and maintain a minimal inventory of surfboards. They have a wide selection of t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, tank tops and other clothing which is their main revenue stream. Surf shops today are mostly clothing shops, not surf shops as they were in the past.
Since the advent of the internet, online surfboard shops have come into vogue. It took a long time for this to happen, but slowly people began to go online and search for a surfboard of their choice. There are also many online surfboard stores that will give you a wide selection of surfboard types and designs.
You may also find a local surf shop that carries the surfboard you are looking for, which will allow you to save on shipping costs and actually see the board you are buying. Sometimes you can find a local surf shop that carries the surfboard you are looking for, so many buyers go online to find out what is available in their local shops.
If you know what you want and don’t need to see or touch the surfboard, go online where more often than not you can get a custom surfboard in the size, design and colors of your choice. You’ll be in a virtual surf shop, and the good thing is that while you’re shopping for your surfboard, you can shop for surf fins, strap, wax, and the clothes you might need, like a new pair of board shorts.
Since the security of online payments has become safe and not a problem, you can pay with your credit card when you make the purchase. It’s been many years since most people trusted the internet when ordering products, especially baby boomers who didn’t grow up with the internet. Now it seems almost everyone orders products online, ranging from vitamins to cars. Somewhere in between are surfboards and other surf products.
Just as there are local retail surf shops, there are online surf companies offering a wide variety of surfboard types, including soft and hard surfboards, stand up paddle boards (SUP), bodyboards, skiboards and custom surfboards. The excellent companies have a cross section of designer boards made by the better known companies and the best surfboard designers and shapers. They offer these surfboards in a variety of sizes and product lines to meet the demands of most surfboard buyers. If you want a shortboard, you can find it in any size you want. The same goes for bodyboards, skimboards and SUPs. If you want a custom surfboard, you can get it.
If you live in a remote area and are looking for any of the aforementioned types or designs of surfboards, shopping online can be a great advantage. Most companies offer a window where you can return their products if they don’t meet your needs or if there is damage in transit.
It is amazing how the sport of surfing has grown domestically and abroad. People surf man-made wave machines at surf parks, on lakes and rivers, and just about anywhere there is water. As the sport grew, so did the number of in-house surf retail stores, many of which were incorporated into local sporting goods stores. If these stores are not available, go online and find an online store.
If you choose not to purchase your new surfboard from a retail surf shop, you will find that online surfboard companies offer their products with a comprehensive explanation of each of their surfboards and surfboard products, giving the buyer a great sense of the board. Their pricing is usually fair and in line with industry standards and sometimes better for the online shopper. Shipping is easy and your new surfboard comes with a limited warranty just like your local dealer.
One thing that is very important when ordering from an online surfboard company is to ask questions if you have any. You should also be able to speak to an expert. Any good internet online company should have an expert on staff to consult with. Before contacting an online browsing company, do your homework before placing your order.
Wherever you buy your new surfboard, grab a great surfboard, bodyboard, skimboard or SUP and surf. Have fun and always remember to surf life!
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