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.  Some are incredibly strong while others aren't worth the bubble wrap they're shipped in. Although they are a good deal initially, "Pop Outs" surfboards are known for being very stiff to ride and lack many of the performance characteristics a progressing surfer will need.

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 accuracy and high volume production.

HAND SHAPED: 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.

Degree 33 makes high quality hand shaped and machine shaped surfboards. Machine shaped or hand shaped both have their place which we will explain. 

For the discriminating customer who has the extra money to go custom and wants to control every feature of their new board (color, size, fin boxes, glassing) we make custom hand shaped boards here in San Diego.   We are proud to employ our master shaper Bill Minard as well as a dedicated glassing crew to build our custom shapes. 

Our higher volume production boards are designed here by Bill Minard and are precision CNC machine shaped, then they are hand finished overseas in an effort to keep them affordable for the average person.

No matter what your board style, experience or budget may be...Degree 33 has a board for every surfer!

Now watch this video of how our custom boards are made!

How Our Boards Are Made from Degree 33 on Vimeo.


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