Surfer Shapers Scraping By - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Surfer Shapers Scraping By

Keoki Ching Keoki Ching
Bubbles appeared after the surfboard foam was shaped Bubbles appeared after the surfboard foam was shaped
Ching demonstrates defect in foam Ching demonstrates defect in foam

by Darren Pai

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Surfboard shapers are finding something's wrong with the quality of foam used to make boards these days.

"There's a lot of foam that came in that was bad," said shaper Keoki Ching. "It had bubbles, it was glued up improperly."

It started in december when Clark foam, the supplier for nearly all shapers in Hawaii, stopped making foam for surfboards.

"We weren't able to make surfboards for maybe the next three or four months," Ching said. "It really hurt the surfboard industry."

Other companies started to supply foam but so far shipments have been plagued by defects. Some are riddled with air bubbles. Others shrink when finished with fiberglass.

"People are getting angry because they need their surfboards," Ching said. "The guys on the North Shore the pros need their boards for the contests and we just couldn't provide."

Shapers are starting to work with new foams from new manufacturers but they don't expect supplies to rebound until the end of the year.

"We're still testing these new foams to see if they're good to work with or bad to work with," Ching said. "We naturally don't want to give our customers a poor quality foam or a board that's going to fall apart."

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