During the summer months, I find myself riding a Wavestorm more often than my regular shortboard.

During the summer months, I find myself riding a Wavestorm more often than my regular shortboard.

The Inertia

While a guilty pleasure for most seasoned surfers, Costco’s Wavestorm is the go-to craft for most beginners looking to purchase their first board. On any given day, on either coast of the United States, you’d be hard-pressed to find a lineup void of those characteristic blue and white stripes. They’re ubiquitous; like the mass-produced, corporate fast food chain of the surfboard industry. And they’ve just become what we’ve all guessed – but perhaps were afraid to admit – the most popular surfboard in America.

Per reports from a feature story on Bloomberg, Wavestorm sells five times more boards annually than other leading surfboard brands. That’s staggering, a complete industry take-over, considering the fact that Wavestorm only began in 2007 while other established board brands have been in business for decades. But when you consider a few factors of the business model, it all starts to make sense.

First, the boards only cost 99 buckaroonies. That’s a steal! Compared to other soft tops, like Catch Surf’s 8-footer Odysea, the Wavestorm is miles cheaper. Add in the fact that Costco will replace the board free of charge if it breaks, and you’ve got an unmatchable champion of the niche industry.

And then there’s the fun factor. In the carefree throes of summer, nothing quite compares to soft top surf sessions. The beaches are usually crowded. The waves aren’t always good. And the water is warm. Nobody is taking their surfing too seriously, so why not play around on a forgiving, far-more-fun shred sled? I, myself, own the 8-footer model and during the summer months, that becomes my primary whip. (Although I prefer to call them “Babestorms”). Even the pros occasionally take a break from their traditional thrusters and hop on a softy. Take J.O.B., for example – he’s often seen riding soft tops and even in gnarly conditions, like at Pipe.

Surf purists and established shapers have cast a negative light on Wavestorms, dismissing them as corporate, mass-produced novelties that pilfer cash flow and the sanctity of the sport. But it seems that there’s another way to view their ubiquitous industry dominance, according to Wavestorm’s founder Matt Zilinskas. When people criticize him – You screwed the industry and brought prices down! – he has a ready rebuttal: “I tell them, ‘How many of the hundreds of thousands of people who bought our board have moved on to higher-end product?’ Ask any surfer in the water about Wavestorm. They probably own one.”

  • freerider

    I can gladly say I have honestly never ridden one pr plan to. But what this article says about the state of the–“art form”–is pretty sad…..

    • Anthony Arturo Leone

      why not ride one? i work at a surf shop and have access to multitudes of different boards, as well as a shaping room at my house. In the middle of an east coast summer these things are too much fun. Dont take your self so seriously its just surfing. I mean hell, do you not have a lunch tray or a hand plane in your quiver? how about a few sponges, skims, or surf mats? theres no point in not having a cheap soft top board in there especially for screwing around on or even breaking out on a heavy barrel day.

      • freerider

        Sorry man–I try not even to touch a sponge if I can avoid it…They are basically a big sponge……..

      • Gene

        It’d be a shame to ride, ya know, a real longboard…. That someone put their hands on and heart into building. P.s. Love to ride handplanes in heavy shorebreak

  • Makes the kooks easier to spot.

    • like Phillip answered I cannot believe that you can make $9890 in 4 weeks on the computer.try this website on `my` `prof1le`

  • Austin Yu

    This article sums up my surfing career so well that I feel obligated to confirm its facts by posting.

    Bought a wavestorm in 2007 after completing Junior Guards as a kid about to enter 8th grade. It was an “OG” wavestorm, 100% all bright blue and obnoxious.

    Took a nasty hit to a sand bank while body surfing that I gave up surfing (and going to the beach altogether) the same year I bought it, until junior year of highschool. My friend had shaped his first board and was eager to try it out, but wanted a buddy to go with cause he himself had not surfed for since JGs as well. I grabbed my wavestorm covered with cobwebs, went out in junk surf with absolutely no experience, caught a wave and got absolutely hooked.

    Compared to my friend’s handshaped 7’6″, my 81liter 8’0″ wavestorm nonetheless caught waves much easier than his board, and my surfing progressed way faster than he did.

    Fast forward to now, 4 official years of surfing under my belt, entering my third year at UCSD (and not Berkeley, wheres the surf?) and the 1 grand handshaped custom board I ordered 4 weeks ago is about to come this thursday. I ended up shaping my own board a year later after starting, and also took advantage of the unbeatable costco return when my board snapped at lowtide.

    I still love making fun of the ‘storm because of the kooky vibe associated with it, and also because JOB absolutely shreds with it. But looking back, it’s weird how much my life changed just because of this one, mass produced board and how it got me absolutely hooked to surfing.

  • like Phillip answered I can not believe that you can make $9890 in four weeks on thelaptop.try this website on !`my` `prof1le`!


  • craig

    Been surfing Wavestorm boards exclusively since 2008. This is my pic.on a big north swell back in 2010 @ La Jolla cove. Let the haters hate. I love riding the storm!

    • Warren Brown

      Think of how fun that would of been on a thruster!

      • craig

        I just think how fun it WAS on a foamy

  • freerider

    Thanks–I’ll try to…..

  • VoiceofReason14

    I’d much rather have a collision with a wavestorm than a standard board.

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