Good advise. I started in the late 80s in my parent's driveway. I've made a lot of boards but its never been more than a hobby for me. Its just something I get a lot of joy and satisfaction out of doing. I took a serious look at trying to take it to the next level but the numbers just don't add up. Even renting a space instead of working under the radar in my back yard shed and hoping the neighbors don't complain doesn't add up. Perhaps if there was a strong second source of income and health benefits I could make that leap but that's not in the cards for me. I just enjoy making boards, enjoy riding something I've made and enjoy watching others surf on the boards I've made.
From a business model point of view surfboards should be sold for 3 times as much as they do now. Any other business professional would laugh at the amount of money made from making surfboards. Surfers/shapers from the very beginning have put themselves in this hole by trying to be everyone's buddy and get/give the bro deal. Basically, if you want to make boards, it probably should be your second job and you have to love doing it otherwise it's just a waste of time.
Take a cue from Ryan Lovelace:
No; It's not an ironing board.
Unclegrumpy, that link is really inspirational.
I think anything that combines art and manual finesse should be a path you fall into.
Jam5897, you may have had an indirect grilling because most people on this forum started with an interest rather than an urge to make money. BUT, do some shaping and see how you get on. You might be the next big thing or you might be self sufficient with your hobby, but just enjoy it. Learn from advice and mistakes.
I'll post today's royal f%*k up later. Lets just say I learned a hard lesson today!
No real barrier to entry, lots of people wanting to do it = no money. If you want to be core, learn to shape and glass. Then open a used surf shop, which people (the board sellers) literally buy shelf space from you to sell their own boards (25% comish). You can then direct customers to your brand of new boards, throw in a few cool shirts, leashes etc.
You will be poor, but you can open at 11 and surf everyday.
You will make twice as much money planing doors than foam.
Want a job?