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Inflation rips into Hawaii’s surfboard market

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

A tsunami of pain.

Real world economic problems have finally but finally found their way into our idyllic surfing lifestyle. Hawaii’s ABC News affiliate, KITV4, is reporting that hard good prices have shot up so dramatically that surf shop owners are having trouble maintaining any margin for profit.

Alex Utal, owner of Used Surfboards Hawaii in Honolulu, told the station, “A board that was $350- $450 is now seeing a base at $500- $600,” and blamed the rise in oil prices, first and foremost…

“Everything with a surfboard starts with petroleum or oil based product. The polyurethane foam at the core of the board is petroleum based. The resin coating the board is petroleum based. Even the sandpaper used to sand the board is composed of petroleum in some way.”

…but also Covid VALs.

“You’re distanced from somebody. It’s an individual sport. So, folks that were normally playing tennis, canoe club, and high school athletes that were on the baseball team, they got into surfing.”

Prices are up 40% for resin, foam blanks 15% to 20% and on down the line all the way to shipping costs.

“It’s hit us, it’s hit us hard. I’ve seen prices in the industry creep up. I think prices are the highest prices I’ve seen for a surfboard,” Utal sighed.

But who is to blame?

Do you know?

Will Smith maybe?

Chris Rock?

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