Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick took to the columns of the surfing press back in 1975 to put the manufacturers’ case for an increase in surfboard prices. His arguments about economics, custom products and artisan producers probably still apply.
Surfboards for $200! “Crazy”, you say, “everybody knows boards have always been $100.” It seems the time has come for surfboards to go up, along with everything else.
The big board builders have had a series of bad years profit-wise and the shapers and workers want to make the same kind of money as any other skilled tradesmen. The world’s most famous shaper, Dick Brewer of Hawaii, has been selling his boards for $US300 and more.
Boards in Australia probably won’t reach that $US300 price for a long time, but they will get to nearly $200 before long.
There will still be cheap boards around. Everyone sells boards for lower than the established price when they first start making boards. Guys will make boards for just their wages with no profit while they are learning the trade.
There are two ways to learn to make boards, one is to start with an established manufacturer and the other is to start making your own.
The https://www.viagrapascherfr.com/sildenafil-prix-belgique-usa/ guys who start out by themselves usually just want enough bread to surf a lot. This is a great thing for a young surfer to do but, although their boards are cheap in price, they are nowhere near as professional as when these guys become experienced.
Boards have been creeping up in price about $5 or $10 a year for a few years. One reason for this was the increase in sales tax a couple of years ago. Now at 15% sales tax is one of the major components of the price of a board.
Of course, if you are just a beginner manufacturer, you don’t pay sales tax at all; at least I didn’t when I started out in the garage at home.
The biggest single increase in the cost of producing a board facing the established manufacturers is new legislation on workers’ compensation. The cost of workers’ compensation alone will increase the cost of each board by at least $5 for the average size manufacturers.
Most of the manufacturers in the Torquay surfing industry, the place I know best, are open to the public seven days a week and custom make boards and do repairs within one week. These people also sponsor surfing contests.
The traditional $120 or so for a board does not seem realistic anymore. Since the introduction of decimal currency around 10 years ago nearly everything you can think of has increased 100 per cent. In this time surfboards have increased from around $95 to about $120 to $130, an increase of less than 50 per cent.
In those days it took a young surfer at least three weeks pay to buy a new board, recently a young guy with a reasonable job has been able to get a board with a week’s pay. Working on the normal wholesale and retail mark-ups for other businesses, surfboards would be at minimum $225 already.
Surfboards. are a highly refined, high performance piece of equipment. Boards are available from true surfing champions and innovators. People like Wayne Lynch and Terry Fitzgerald who draw upon years of international experience in all kinds of surf to hand-shape boards just the same as they use to win professional contests or ride the classic waves of the world. These boards will cost around $185 this season. Top class boards by people who have also had great success with their designs like Geoff McCoy, Don Allcroft, Pat Morgan and Kym Thompson will probably cost around $175.
This is some attempt to explain the price rises in surfboards on behalf of the shapers, workers, owners and retailers of the surfboard industry by the maker of Victoria’s first cut price surfboard the $89 Rip Curl hot dog model.
BREAKWAY, AUGUST, 1975