Can $99 Wavestorms Crash the Surfboard Party?

strider-wavestorm-by-dawson-web.jpg

Some call it a soft-top revolution and others call it a disgrace to the sport of surfing. Here's a look at why Costco selling 100,000 $99 surfboards last year should have everyone in the surfboard industry a little worried.

See, back in my day it was all about foam and fiberglass. I’d remember seeing Morey Doyle ads in the surf mags and never in a million years would I’ve ridden one. But then again, I was 13, just saw Fastimes, and knew damn well what I wanted in a surfboard. I wanted whatever the pros were riding in the surf mags!

Today it’s not like that. Ever since Jamie O’Brien and other pros added a soft-top into their quivers, the world has gone cuckoo for ‘em. Nearly everybody has one in their quiver now, if not for riding, for conversation, like, “Hey, wanna see what a 99 dollar surfboard from Costco looks like?”

If the boards didn’t work then I wouldn’t be writing this story. Had my own 13-year-old son not asked for one for Christmas, I wouldn’t be writing this story. If I didn’t see ten foamies in the lineup every time I paddled out, I wouldn’t write this. Had I not tried one myself and had a total blast, I wouldn’t have written this. But all of that did happen, and I don’t think the surfboard industry wanted it to. The question for many surfers in a cash-strapped economy is that if they can have fun on a 99 dollar board from Costco, why pay $700 for one off the rack?

Now I know a lot of surfers don’t like soft-tops. They are steadfastly against them! But they shouldn’t blame Jamie O or the groms asking for them for Christmas. They should blame the company producing them, right? For example, they could blame the company who makes the Wavestorm, AGIT-Global, Inc., who reportedly sold more than 100,000 Wavestorms in Costco last year. That’s one hundred thousand surfboards! Now I know it’s tough to swallow, and considering how much fun they are to ride, maybe we shouldn’t blame AGIT-Global at all. Maybe we should thank them. It’s brought a lot of stoke back to surfing. It’s brought surfing back from this serious thing to a fun thing. And that’s how it should always be.

The surfboard industry won’t tell you it’s furious about the soft-top revolution, but it is. It has to be! Now that kids are no longer glued to foam and fiberglass, what are they going to fill their quiver with? A soft-top, that’s right. Kids are a lot smarter these days. They can surf whatever surfboard they want and have as much fun as JOB.

So what’s next in this soft-top revolt? You will see more and more of them this summer. But will the surf shops actually try and compete by selling a $99 surfboard? Would Merrick or Rusty let them? Could they even afford to sell a board at such a ridiculously low price? Right now the ball is in AGIT-Global’s hand … whether or not they want to pass it to anyone other than Costco is still up for debate.—Skip Snead

Photo:13-year-old Newport local Strider Snead didn’t want a PS4 or any techy stuff for Christmas this year, he wanted a Wavestorm soft-top … a blue one. Photo: Dawson Maloney


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Some call it a soft-top revolution and others call it a disgrace to the sport of surfing. Here's a look at why Costco selling 100,000 $99 surfboards last year should have everyone in the surfboard industry a little worried.

See, back in my day it was all about foam and fiberglass. I’d remember seeing Morey Doyle ads in the surf mags and never in a million years would I’ve ridden one. But then again, I was 13, just saw Fastimes, and knew damn well what I wanted in a surfboard. I wanted whatever the pros were riding in the surf mags!

Today it’s not like that. Ever since Jamie O’Brien and other pros added a soft-top into their quivers, the world has gone cuckoo for ‘em. Nearly everybody has one in their quiver now, if not for riding, for conversation, like, “Hey, wanna see what a 99 dollar surfboard from Costco looks like?”

If the boards didn’t work then I wouldn’t be writing this story. Had my own 13-year-old son not asked for one for Christmas, I wouldn’t be writing this story. If I didn’t see ten foamies in the lineup every time I paddled out, I wouldn’t write this. Had I not tried one myself and had a total blast, I wouldn’t have written this. But all of that did happen, and I don’t think the surfboard industry wanted it to. The question for many surfers in a cash-strapped economy is that if they can have fun on a 99 dollar board from Costco, why pay $700 for one off the rack?

Now I know a lot of surfers don’t like soft-tops. They are steadfastly against them! But they shouldn’t blame Jamie O or the groms asking for them for Christmas. They should blame the company producing them, right? For example, they could blame the company who makes the Wavestorm, AGIT-Global, Inc., who reportedly sold more than 100,000 Wavestorms in Costco last year. That’s one hundred thousand surfboards! Now I know it’s tough to swallow, and considering how much fun they are to ride, maybe we shouldn’t blame AGIT-Global at all. Maybe we should thank them. It’s brought a lot of stoke back to surfing. It’s brought surfing back from this serious thing to a fun thing. And that’s how it should always be.

The surfboard industry won’t tell you it’s furious about the soft-top revolution, but it is. It has to be! Now that kids are no longer glued to foam and fiberglass, what are they going to fill their quiver with? A soft-top, that’s right. Kids are a lot smarter these days. They can surf whatever surfboard they want and have as much fun as JOB.

So what’s next in this soft-top revolt? You will see more and more of them this summer. But will the surf shops actually try and compete by selling a $99 surfboard? Would Merrick or Rusty let them? Could they even afford to sell a board at such a ridiculously low price? Right now the ball is in AGIT-Global’s hand … whether or not they want to pass it to anyone other than Costco is still up for debate.—Skip Snead

Photo:13-year-old Newport local Strider Snead didn’t want a PS4 or any techy stuff for Christmas this year, he wanted a Wavestorm soft-top … a blue one. Photo: Dawson Maloney

Image strider-wavestorm-by-dawson-web.jpg