Surfboard Guide - What is a pop-out?

Pop Out vs Machine Shaped vs Hand Shaped

There are distinct differences between Pop-Out, Machine Shaped, and Hand-Shaped.

POP-OUT: This is the cheapest way to make a surfboard. In short, what they do is make a mold for the hard outer layer (usually out of a plastic of some kind), fill it with foam and then mass produce it. There is very little quality control in these boards and as a result very inconsistent durability. Some are incredibly strong while others aren't worth the bubble wrap they're shipped in. They're typically known for breaking easily, and having a complete lack of any performance characteristics.

Identifying a pop-out can be a little tricky because the companies selling them don't call them pop outs. A well built surfboard is usually made out of foam, fiberglass, and resin. If there are other materials listed in construction we would recommend proceeding with caution.

MACHINE SHAPED: Machine shaped surfboards are becoming more and more common. It allows surfboard shapers to produce a board once and then have a CNC machine shape the boards from there on out. This can really make someone’s operation a lot more efficient allowing a quicker production time and higher volume... all with very little tolerance for error. The shaper finishes some of the fine details. This is the go-to method for big companies that need to meet a high demand.

While this may be the future of surfboard production, here’s how we feel about it. Surfing is an activity that has a true heart and soul to it. If you’ve spent any time in the water you know exactly what we mean. There are very few things these days that aren’t mass produced and even though surfing is moving in that direction, we’d like to keep it as pure as we can while staying competitive. So for now, if you have the choice, buy a board that has been shaped by hand.

HAND SHAPED: In our opinion hand shaped boards are the best way to go. They consist of a solid piece of foam shaped entirely by hand from a block to a masterpiece. The only variation in construction comes from the human hands and the slight difference they will make from board to board. This is where the master shaper shows their pure craft in creating a true piece of rippable artwork!

Think of it this way, any time something is built by hand, there is a certain level of finesse involved. Hand made furniture and hand built cars are two great examples. The craftsmanship, the attention to detail... it just takes it to a whole other level. It just feels better. You rub your hands over it and you can almost feel the passion emanating from it.

That’s why every surfboard you will ever buy from us at Degree33 is shaped entirely by hand by someone that has years of experience. Don’t let us confuse you, we produce a lot of surfboards, but there is a big difference between mass production of surfboards like we mentioned above, and having a dedicated TEAM of shapers that all they do is shape surfboards. Don’t sell yourself short by cutting corners... WE DON’T.

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