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 purchase a new board. However, buying a surfboard at your local surf shop may be preferable because you can touch it, pick it up and feel it, and talk to a sales representative face to face.
One disadvantage may be that your local surf shop may have a limited supply of surfboards because inventory requires large cash outlays. Most retail surf shops concentrate on clothing as their main product emphasis thus reducing their surfboard inventory to few types and designs. This is also true with most online surf shops, but normally they do not have to carry inventory and drop ship their surfboards from a variety of surfboard shapers and manufacturers. There a probably a number of retail surf shops within 10 to 20 miles of your surfing community, which can give you more of a chance to purchase the surfboard you are looking for.
Online you have a very wide selection of surfboards, probably more than you will have from your local surf area. You can search for surfboards by type and design and also by "online surfboard shops" and you will most likely be able to find several one-stop surf shops with a wide selections of good surfboards.
Over the years, many people have become too busy to go shopping for a surfboard, bodyboard, or SUP at the local surf shops. It takes a lot of investigating and time. Once you take the time and go to your local surf shop, more often than not, the surf shop will have a very limited selection, which means that you will have to drive to another shop in hopes of finding what you want. Another disadvantage is that the sales staff will put pressure on you and try to push you to buy one of their surfboards even if it doesn't fit your needs. This is especially true for the beginners and novice surfboard riders.
If you go to the local surf shop, try to hook up with a senior member of the sales staff with lots of surfing experience. You need someone with experience to guide you. Many of the surf shop sales staff are young kids with not too much surfing experience and not much knowledge about surfboards and what should be good for you the individual buyer.
Most of the surf shops sell surfboards and other surfboard types and designs that are produced by their local shapers so choices for the buyer are limited. Some of these shapers make very good surfboards, but be careful because you may end up with a surfboard that is not suited for you. Typically, these shops are limited by available funds and keep a minimum inventory of surfboards on hand. They have wide selections of t-shirts, board shorts, sweatshirts, tank tops and other clothing items, which are their mainstream of revenue. Surf shops today are mainly clothing stores, not surfboard shops like they were in the past.
Since the advent of the internet, online surfboard shops have come into vogue. It has taken a long time for this to happen, but slowly the public has become comfortable going online and searching for a surfboard of their choosing. 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 feel the surfboard, go online where more often than not you can get a custom surfboard of the size, design, and colors of your choice. You will be in a virtual surf shop and the nice thing is that, while you are shopping for your surfboard, you can shop for the surfboard fins, leash, wax, and the clothing items you might need like a new pair of board shorts.
Since security of payments on the internet has become safe and not a problem, you can pay with your credit card when you make the purchase. It has taken many years for most people to trust the internet when ordering products, especially the baby boomers who didn't grow up with the internet. Now, it seems that just about everyone is ordering products online ranging from vitamins to automobiles. Somewhere in between are the surfboards and other surfing products.
Just as there are retail local surf shops, there are online surfboard companies offering a wide selection for surfboard types including soft and hard surfboards, standup paddleboards (SUPs), bodyboards, skimboards, and custom surfboards. The excellent companies have a cross section of designer boards made by the better known companies and top of the line surfboard designers and shapers. They offer these surfboards in various sizes and the product lines to meet the requests for most surfboard buyers. If you want a shortboard, you can find it in any size you desire. The same is true 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 above mentioned surfboard types or designs, shopping online can be a big advantage. Most of the companies offer a window where you can return their products if they do not suit your needs or if there is any shipping damage.
It is amazing how the sport of surfing has grown to the interiors of our country and those overseas. People are surfing on manmade wave machines at surf parks, on lakes and rivers and just about anywhere there is water. As the sport has grown, there are a growing number of inland retail surf shops, many included in the local sporting goods stores. If these stores are not available, go to the internet and find an online store.
If you choose not to purchase your new surfboard from a retail surf shop, you will find that the online surf companies offer their product with a comprehensive explanation of each of their surfboards and surfing products, which gives the buyer a great feel for the board. Typically their pricing is fair and consistent with industry standards and sometimes better for the online shopper. Shipping is easy and your new surfboard comes with a limited warranty just as it would at your local retail outlet.
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 talk to an expert. Every good internet online company should have an expert on their staff for you to consult. Before you contact an online surf company, do your homework before placing your order.
Wherever you purchase your new surfboard, get yourself a great surfboard, bodyboard, skimboard or SUP and go surfing. Have fun and always remember to Surf Life!