What do surfers know about surfboard shaping?

February 7, 2011 | Surfing
Shape room: more than a just a surfboard factory

What does an MBA and surfing have in common? Nick Traboulay, MBA candidate at the College of Business Administration of the California State Polytechnic University, is studying how surfers think how design theories affect surfboard shaping.

Traboulay wants to determine the demand for hosting evening classes on surfboard shaping, design theories and manufacturing materials.

So, the MBA candidate has posted an online survey and invites everyone to respond to his questions. The "Shaper’s University Potential Customer Interest Survey" is available online.

In 10 minutes, surfers answer 50 simple questions like "How often do you surf?", "How many surfboards do you currently own?", "Have you ever tried to shape your own surfboard?", "A surfboard’s bottom contours are very important to my decision to purchasing a specific surfboard" and more.

The surfer from Huntington Beach tries to investigate how deep is consumer demand and knowledge for the important moment of buying a $400, £400 or €400 surfboard.

Quite often, surfers buy expensive surfboards based on the style, brand, color and general look. Traboulay believes there are roughly 20 variables that actively interfere with the surfboard's performance.

Human shaping is being exchanged by industrial size businesses, as computers help modeling the mass scale production of surfboards

In the future, Nick Traboulay would like to boost the relationship between shapers and potential customers by bringing them together and setting up workshops.

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