Stab Magazine | Is Buying A Surfboard Online About To Get A Whole Lot Better?

Is Buying A Surfboard Online About To Get A Whole Lot Better?

New tech to help you avoid those pesky surf shop lines.

hardware // Mar 4, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shopping online for a surfboard is no way to, well, shop for a surfboard. There’s no fondling of the rails. No balancing under the arm. No shop rat that thinks he knows more about what you’re looking for than you do.

Worst of all, you don’t get a free bar of wax when you buy it.

Alas, there is now a new technology that appears capable of improving the online experience and helping you pick out your next sled without leaving confines of your couch.

Huntington Beach shaper Jeff ‘Doc’ Lausch, who whittles under the label Surf Prescriptions, has been working with a company called Augmented Island Studios to make surfboard shopping as easy as pulling out your phone. Swipe down to keep reading…

Based in Portland, Oregon, Augmented Island Studios describes itself as a “creative AR/VR development studio…which serves the retail, entertainment, industrial, publishing, food and beverage and creative industries.” The CEO of the company, Enrique Sánchez-Rivera, is a former Surf Prescriptions licensee.

Using Google and Apple WebAR tech (still not sure what that means), Doc and Augmented Island Studios have bent the matrix to offer a full virtual reality, 3D view of the board you’re shopping for, without the use of those expensive head sets (all you need is your phone). 

Strictly for mobile devices, the prospective board buyer goes to, selects the board they want to look at, and using their camera’s phone, a 3D rendering comes up right in front of you. You can walk around the board, check the rails, check the bottom contours. You can pretty much do everything but touch it. You don’t have to download an app or anything, it’s pretty much as easy as clicking and waiting for the image to load. 

The video shows Doc holding up one of his boards in front of Huntington Surf and Sport and it is pretty dang impressive. There’s another shot of a board hovering in a backyard patio…as if the user was bragging to his bros about the new stick he’s got on the way. There’s even a dog in it! Dog’s love surfboards.

I played around with the technology at home. I was skeptical at first, but the more I got used to using it the more the real-world applications became apparent. I actually had a lot of fun with it. I could easily see other big board brands like Firewire, Channel Islands or HaydenShapes picking up on this tech.

I’ll always relish the feel of resin and getting foam dust up my nose when I go in to order a board, but for those that do their surfboard shopping online, Doc and Augmented Island Studios are definitely onto something. It beats a few static photos of a board and offers a more accurate representation of what may actually show up in the mail. 


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