The growth of the internet, the ease and availability of ordering surfing products and buying allaboutshoppingtrends 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.