Custom-made surfboards are making a comeback after a two-decade nadir, but many people don’t know that much about what goes into making them, or understand the amount of time involved.
Since a truly custom surfboard begins with a special-order foam blank, which must be processed and cut and glued and then shipped to the shaper, most custom orders will take from 2 – 3 months from the time the order sheet is written up to the instant the new surfboard is slid into a box for shipping to the customer.
That’s the bad news (aside from the fact that you have to pay for the board). The good news is that it is a collaborative and even fun experience to dream up and design the surfboard you imagine in your mind’s eye. We start by filling out the order form (here) and providing as many details as possible. Beyond the order sheet, anything that can benefit the telekinesis between your mind and my planer is good - photos of boards you like, dimensions of your ‘magic’ board, references to other makes and models on the market, anything.
All sorts of details will be discussed relevant to the surfboard’s design, foam type and density, as well as glassing details and on to shipping options. Based on these a time and price estimate will be supplied. A standard $200 deposit is required to begin construction. This can be remitted via PayPal or personal check.
All Aleutian Juice Surfboards are designed and shaped entirely by myself. I draw up the orders, order the blanks, pick them up at the delivery point, cut the lams, sweep up the foam dust after shaping — everything.
Any and all questions can be answered via e-mail or by browsing through the below FAQ link.
Are shaping appointments available?
Unfortunately, no. While many surfers find it interesting to watch their board being made, having company in the shaping bay is generally not conducive to the shaper’s quest toward building the best board possible.
What are some of the details I will need to decide on in a custom surfboard?
A truly custom surfboard can involve countless details just in the materials and glassing alone – aside from the myriad options in shape and design. Most customers find the process of customizing their surfboard is fun and informative, with a series of back-and-forth emails or phone calls chock full of questions and ideas and answers. Some of the components and specs other than actual shape and design that you would be considering would be:
•Foam brands and densities
•EPS or polyurethane foam / epoxy or polyester resins
•Stringer type and thickness
•Fiberglass types, weights and number of layers (schedules)
•Colorwork, art, resin tints, airbrushes, pinlines
•Glass finishes, i.e. Sanded Hotcoat, Wet-sanded Gloss, or Polished Gloss
•Fin arrays, including whether glass-on or box(es) or plugs, as well as removable fin brands and templates.
How will my surfboard be delivered to me?
Shipping of expensive and fragile surfboards can be, as many surfers know, problematic. However, just as the design and shape of each surfboard is customized, so too will the various options for shipping and delivery. Shipping options and their prices will be estimated on a board-to-board basis. Boxes and packing materials normally run at about $25 per board for standard-length surfboards.
NOTE: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SOME COUNTRIES SUCH AS AUSTRALIA ENTAIL PROHIBITIVE SHIPPING COSTS, APART FROM CUSTOMS DUTIES, AND SO INTERNATIONAL SURFBOARDS ORDERS SHOULD ONLY BE ENTERED INTO AFTER INQUIRIES ARE MADE INTO SHIPPING AND CUSTOMS FEES
What do I need to do to order a custom-made surfboard?
Whether this is your very first custom surfboard ever or you are an old salt with foam dust in your hair, you are sure to have lots of questions about how the surfboard you envision is transformed from raw slabs of foam and buckets of resin into the board of your dreams. Glance through the following series of frequently asked questions, and you will find illumination.
How long does it take to get an Aleutian Juice Surfboard?
Typically, custom orders will take 2 to 3 months to fill. This varies of course depending on where you live and whether or not the completed board will be shipped to you. If you live in California the process might be shorter since most of the surfboards are shaped and glassed there. Certain types of boards will necessarily take more time, but an estimate of both price and timeframe will be provided in the ordering process.
Is there anywhere else I can buy an Aleutian Juice Surfboard?
At present the only place where surfboards shaped by Dave Parmenter are available in a retail store is at Mollusk Surf Shop in San Francisco, California.
There are also a range of stock models at Moondoggie’s Beach Club, 837 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (805) 541-1995
How much do the boards cost?
Aleutian Juice Surfboards begin at about $600 (clear, sanded hotcoat up to 6'8") and ratchet up according to a number of factors, mainly size of board, color designs, glass finishes, and other extras. I also offer sale of shaped blanks if you have your own glasser and/or can pick up the shape locally (by special arrangement).
What about fins?
Custom fins for certain proprietary board models are available at extra cost. Generally, for glass-on fins and side-fin boxes or plugs, the fins are included in the price of the board. Center box fins, i.e. single-fins or center fins are available in so many varieties that it is standard in the surfboard industry to offer them separately at added cost, or let the customer find their own fin. Aleutian Juice proprietary fins will be available to custom surfboard buyers at our wholesale cost.