In the world of sports few activities require the depth and intricacy that surfing demands, and that’s only speaking in regards to choosing the proper equipment. Choosing the correct surfboard; weather you consider yourself to be a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider is not only one of the most important decisions you’re going to make but one of the the most complicated. There are a myriad of factors that go into deciding what board is the right one for you. From board size, to rider size, wave conditions and experience level, all of these factors will play a role.
Today’s focus is going to be on highlighting the main differences between molded surfboards, also known as pop-outs and other common types of surfboards that are in production today. The definition of a surfboard is incredibly broad, it refers to any buoyant board that is used for the sport of surfing. That however does not mean that any board you put into the water is going to behave in the same manner, the reality is in fact quite the contrary.
A pop-out surfboard is in essence, the cheapest way for a company to produce a large quantity of identical shapes. The technique of molding a surfboard completely eliminates any semblance of originality or craftsmanship, removing the process’ of unique designing, shaping, and glassing. The sacrifice of craftsmanship for greater board quantities also eliminates many of the performance aspects of the surfboard that benefit the development of the rider.
When a shaper produces a board, they’re afforded the opportunity to make tweaks to any shape or design based on different feedback they receive. Perhaps a particular board needs less rocker, or more width through the nose, or an entirely different tail. Any one of these can be altered on the next board done by the shaper, creating a more performance oriented product. When a factory using molds produce board’s, their specs and dimensions are finite, and the boards are produced in a large quantity. What this means is that if a particular shape is found to have an area that needs improvement to develop greater performance characteristics, it cannot be changed, the mold is already set and a large number of boards are already in production and hitting the water. Pop-out surfboards are the “fast-food” of the surfboard industry; quick and easy to produce but often unsatisfying and regrettable.