Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy
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Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy

Edited by John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan

This interdisciplinary volume provides a critical and multi-disciplinary review of current manufacturing processes, practices, and policies, and broadens our understanding of production and innovation in the world economy. Chapters highlight how firms and industries modify existing processes to produce for established and emerging markets through dynamic and design-driven strategies. This approach allows readers to view transformations in production systems and processes across sectors, technologies and industries. Contributors include scholars ranging from engineering to policy to economic geography. The evidence demonstrates that manufacturing continues to matter in the world economy.
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Chapter 20: Manufacturing stoke: emergence, transformation and consolidation in the surfboard industry

Andrew Warren and Chris Gibson


This chapter traces the emergence, transformation and consolidation of the surfboard manufacturing industry. With historical antecedents in ancient Polynesian cultures, surfboard making has evolved from a small-scale do-it-yourself (DIY) activity into a formalized commercial industry. Since the late 1950s surfboards have been manufactured in industrial-style workshops located adjacent to popular surfing places. In these settings surfboard making combines a unique range of human skills: an eye for design, knowledge and application of hydrodynamics, manual crafting; and close relations between workers, tools, materials and local customers. Drawing from cultural economy theory, we focus on 33 workshops across three global hubs of surfboard production: Southern California, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i and east coast Australia. In these three regions surfboards represent functional products utterly necessary to pursue surfing.

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