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  1. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mikerb View Post
    I think first off you need to be reasonably knowledgeable about board design in order to be able to specify exactly what you want, the board will be fairly personal to you so may not have much appeal to anyone else if you ultimately want to sell it and of course you will not know exactly what the board will feel like until you have paid for it.
    In my experience you tell the custom maker what you want to do with the board - he then designs the shape - you don't need to know anything about board design. a blog about looping

    UPDATED Feb 2016

  2. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I think there are those board manufacturers who actually advertise off plan boards in HDD construction such a witchcraft and those that don't. Whilst I have always loved fanatic boards the fact that I could pretty much nearly press a ding in with my thumb, never filled me with confidence that that they were constructed with longevity in mind. The going over the fronts are comical catapults and not done at high speed. Tend to be those annoying occasions when you have sailed for too long. Waterstart, hook in because your arms are spent, and then a gust hauls you over the front. All it takes is for the rdm mast to hit hard, and you have damaged the nose.

    I agree with what was posted regarding customs historically being more expensive, but now they are pretty much the same price, it seems daft not to explore.

  3. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by rod View Post
    In my experience you tell the custom maker what you want to do with the board - he then designs the shape - you don't need to know anything about board design.
    That is what I am after. I know how / where I sail and what my goals going forward are. If a shaper can take that and give me a board that works, then that is perfect.

  4. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by basher View Post
    Custom boards are great when they are fine-tuned to specific needs and certain sailing conditions. In the long term you can develop a good relationship between you and a shaper to the point where you start to get the right sort of board for you – albeit perhaps after a few tries. You can also design your own graphics, and the whole process then feels like something special and more personal.
    But don't kid yourself.
    All four custom boards that I have made for me (2xMoo 2xWitchcraft) all sail fantastically well*. The shapers got it right first time (each of the boards was a different design / volume and for different use).

    Which, contrary to Basher's suggestion, you'd expect really - after all they are making a board that usually isn't that removed from the hundreds/thousands that they have already designed and had feedback from.

    If you are buying from Witchcraft then you could also order the same board again (it's a CAD file after all).

    *not all were equally durable though... a blog about looping

    UPDATED Feb 2016

  5. #12
    People often laugh at bad jokes in comedy clubs or in wedding speeches because they are in the mood to laugh. Custom or not, when you buy a new board, you're in the mood to like it. Great if you love the board you bought, but there's a couple of things worth bearing in mind: 1) there are probably plenty of other boards you'd love too and 2) not everyone has special needs.
    Trying not to work too hard.

  6. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Sheffield sailing wherever there's wind and waves
    Another vote for custom (but that is obvious from my signature). I enjoy the experience of going custom but it will not be for everyone. However, you definitely do not need to know anything about board design. A good custom shaper will take on board your experience, where you sail etc and use their extensive experience to shape a board for you. It is only with my last board that I started to really influence Jon at Moo to get something a bit more special and my next board will be even more radical.

    Don't be afraid to go custom but be honest with the shaper. Alternatively go for what I would call semi-custom like Witchcraft or Flikka and get a tough construction (you could always go fully custom with them as well).

    Check out the article I wrote for boards

    Naomi - one of the Flikka sailors now lives in the UK and the boards are gorgeous.
    Support British - Moo Custom, 5 Oceans and K4 fins

  7. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Berkeley Ca.
    You guys all are missing the boat.
    1. Not all customs are built well, nor are they the same.
    2. Not all production boards are built well, nor are they the same.
    2a. Even boards made by Cobra vary in strength and duribility, depending on spec'd layup specified by the specific board company.
    2b. Production boards are currently being made mostly by Cobra of Thailand, but also in China, Algeria, and the Slovak Republic. Some say the Algeria/Tunisia boards are still being made.
    Back to customs, while most of the surviving board makers are all very good, there will be new companies, unproven, there will usually be more quality control problems, and there are less choices of models and sizes availible to the customer.
    Custom boards by Mike Zaicheck might be the best in construction, but might also 1/2 a year behind in design.
    If you continue to get catapulted by an expected gust of wind, you will break the nose off ANY board made by ANY make, custom or production, or custom-production. That 22 lbs rig slamming into the nose area of your board at 20+ mph will break any nose made by any maker.

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