There is something about a custom surfboard. I don’t know what it is about getting a custom, but the anticipation of something being hand-made for you seems to make it that much better.
Talking to your shaper and getting some feedback on what you need is a great way to find the perfect sled. Sometimes though, due to a variety of reasons, ordering customs online using an advanced surfboard volume calculator is the next best thing, especially when you’re connecting directly to the shaper online.
So what’s the best way to order a custom surfboard then? Let’s have a look at some important things to keep in mind when ordering one.
1. Be honest with yourself.Honesty goes a long way when finding the right board. We all get older, we all get rounder. It is just the way things go. Be honest with yourself and your shapers about your weight.
It’s a lot like buying a new pair of jeans. I used to have a 32 waist, and I could probably still have it if I ate right and worked out relentlessly. I have the intentions of working out every day, but in reality that is not going to happen. If I bought those 32 waist jeans with the intention of motivating myself to get back down to that size, chances are they would sit in my drawer until I finally gave up and gave them away.
Same goes for you board. Don’t order a board too small or with not enough overall volume for your current weight. There seems to be a stigma that with a lot of people that a smaller board makes you look like a better surfer, the reality is the exact opposite.
Nobody really cares what you look like while holding your board. The way you are able to surf will speak volumes (no pun intended). If you are constantly kooking out paddling into waves and going over the falls over and over again, your board is too small. Get something appropriate for youe height and weight and actually spend time ripping on it.
2. You’re not a pro… so don’t order the same as a pro.
Chances are, you have to buy your own boards. You’re not a pro surfer, don’t get boards for free, and more than likely don’t have a close personal relationship with a local shaper dedicated to dialing in your equipment for you. So, don’t ride exactly what the pro’s are riding.
For most of us (not all) professional surfers are in way better shape than us. They surf at a much higher caliber than we do, so don’t get the exact same board they ride. Sure, you can order the same model that they are riding, but order it scaled to suit your size and ability, and with a glass job built to make the board last.
Not all of us have the luxury of surfing perfect waves all the time.
Unless you are ordering a board specifically for the good days, look for one more suitable to all conditions and your size. If you want what Mick rides, a better all-rounder like the Skeleton Key in the right size for you with at least the standard glassing, 4+4×4 (two layers of 4oz on the deck and one layer on the bottom) instead of the team lite 4×4, which are much more vulnerable to snapping. 
3. Try before you buy
By “try before you buy” I don’t necessarily mean finding a demo model somewhere and surfing the exact same board you want to order (although that’s not a bad idea if you can). Instead, try a bunch of different boards before making you decision and placing an order.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are plenty of benefits of surfing a wide range of boards. Not only does it make a better all around surfer, but it really allows you to feel out different design principles.
You will quickly learn what attributes from different surfboards appeal to your surfing style. Take this experience and really think about what you are about to order to see if it will compliment your surfing… and ignore the marketing behind it.The great thing is, that not one style or model of board is perfect for you.
You should spend your life building a good quiver of boards that you could take out in any condition and to suit whatever mood you may be in. You may find that sometimes you are just stuck on a particular style or feel you want out of surfing. Run with it when you are thinking about ordering a new board and check out some different blank options. That particular stoke may fade into another in a few months or so, but don’t feel that your new board is wasted. You will feel the pull towards that board again.
4. Surf it
That’s pretty much it–after all, it’s not rocket science. It’s just common sense thinking that can, at times, be clouded by cleaver marketing appeal. Talk to people in your local surf shop or use the Live Chat function ononline surf retailer websites to get a better understand of what you need.
When it comes to dropping hard earned cash on a new stick, it’s pretty good idea to make sure you can actually enjoy surfing it.
Experiment with different boards, build your quiver, buy custom boards and have fun with it!