btard wrote: people buy boards from local shapers becuase it keeps the surfing economy in their area alive by keeping the money in your local economy,
because local shapers know and surf the waves you will be surfing and can build boards specifically for those waves, the shaper will actually be able to meet you and create a board for you instead of a voice on the other end of the telephone halfway around the world, and its often a lot cheaper than buying a new CI or other big name brands. Plus, its a pretty good feeling riding a board shaped by the hands of someone you know (even better feeling if you actually watch them shape it) I've had 3 custom hand shaped boards made by local shapers and they were the best 3 boards I've ever ridden.
Have you even tried to get a board from a local shaper? Most local shapers can't afford to be an ass to their customers, and seriously, do you even rip enough to notice all of the small innacuracies you could get in a hand shaped board? hell, my friend shaped his first board a while back and it rode fine.
An analogy I've heard before compares surfboards to bread. Would you rather buy a loaf of bread mass produced in a big factory somewhere around the world or would you buy a loaf of bread handbaked at a local bakery?
To second this, I buy only buy custom because they never have exactly what I want off the rack, close yes but not exactly. I like them short and stubby, with less rocker and single concave but with very hard rails and a slightly wider thum tail with slightly fuller nose but flatter deck. That is not easy to find. As you get better you start to discover what you like and don't like... but yeah the above is spot on, it will be a board made just for your size, ability and break you surf.