Rough surf
A key supplier closes shop, and many board shapers and small retailers now face choppy waters.
By Maggie Overfelt, FSB contributor

NEW YORK (FORTUNE Small Business Magazine) - A surfing icon for more than 30 years, Clark Foam supplied nearly 90% of the foam cores used domestically to make custom surfboards.

So when the Laguna Niguel, Calif., company suddenly closed shop on Dec. 5, blaming government agencies for trying to shut it down, many independent board shapers and small retailers faced choppy waters.

"People are scrambling," says Brent Hudson, owner of Neptune Surfboards, based in Pacifica, Calif. "Overnight, our No. 1 source is gone."

Shapers who can't afford imported foam are out of business or unable to fill orders. Many retailers are limiting sales to one board per customer or doubling prices, anticipating a shortage until spring, when new U.S. suppliers are expected to emerge.

Randy French, founder of Surftech in Santa Cruz, Calif. (see Wave Maker in the September FSB), among the few manufacturers using resin rather than foam, has seen a temporary spike in sales. "Hopefully there will now be room for a variety of new boards and technology," he says.

---------------------------------------

To write a note to the editor about this article, click hereTop of page

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.