03 March 2006

Hope you weren't planning on getting into surfing this year.

A modern surfboard starts its life as a foam "blank." The blank is basically a large foam block that is somewhat molded in the shape of a board and usually has stubs at each end to aid clamping the board. The foam is carved into its final shape and then its glassed, sanded and painted. There's a little more to it than that but those are the big steps. The Calofornia plant that produces 90% of the world's surfboard blanks has been shut down by the EPA. Surf shops are going to have a severe inventory crunch this year until either a new blank plant opens or they move to injecting pourable foam into molds like every other watersport. In either case, the mom n pop surf shops that make their own boards will probably stuggle considerably (and even close in many cases). I wonder how this will affect shark attacks this year?

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