Ask a Local

| posted on April 28, 2011

I often see this bumper sticker around local surf spots. What does it mean? —Stanley Jenkins, Del Mar, CA

In literal terms, a pop-out surfboard is one that is built in a mold where the shaper (or more likely, the factory worker) actually “pops the board out” of the template, hence the term. Strongly associated with mass production and distribution in outlets like Costco, the term evokes incendiary connotations among shapers and connoisseurs of the craft of surfboard building. “Generally speaking, I think the term Pop-Out refers to a generic surfboard built in mass quantities for mass consumption with very little personalization,” says shaper Jeff “Doc” Lausch, founder of Surf Prescriptions in Huntington Beach. “It’s completely opposite to a hand-crafted surfboard built by an artist or craftsman in a local factory who creates one-of-a-kind custom boards, made to order. It’s a generic board made without custom specs.” Viewed by many as antithetical to the craft of surfboard shaping, pop-outs strip the art of board building from the hands of artisans and, instead, empower the mechanical arms of Fordian assembly lines. So when you see this sticker on the back of a car, you’re must likely breathing exhaust from a shaper or an opinionated surfer who supports his local board builder and the value provided by others like him.

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