"et tu, Brute!" = Surftech Rusty @ ASR show

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sickdog's picture
Joined: 06/21/2005

I have been depressed ever since I saw the Rusty models at the Surftech & Rusty booths. The boards made by people who have never surfed almost outnumbered the surfboards built by surfers. BULLSHIT!
On a more positive note, Greg Noll, Lost, and Linden, say "No way", to outsource production. God bless America. Stand up for America, speak out!
et tu, Brute!: And you also, Brutus. (Usually given as the last words of Julius Caesar, when he saw Brutus among his murderers.)

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reverb's picture
Joined: 03/20/2004

...thats the problem...

in the rest of the world are more surfers, shapers, board builders, resin factories, foam factories, etc than in the USA...so if you live in a BOX, you ll f..ed..

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gregloehr's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

Rusty wouldn't be in the position of outsoucing if American glass shops would offer better technology. The aeroplane is being replaced by the jet age and the American surfboard industry is watching from the sidelines. The real danger is that we'll get so far behind that catching up will be more costly than we can afford.

I want America to win too, but America has to decide to compete. We have EVERYTHING that Cobra has at our disposal and many things they don't have. Our "leaders" have decided to sign overseas contracts instead of supporting America by helping to develop better tech. That's their choice and they'll live or die with that decision. In the short term I think they'll win. But long term remains to be seen.

I agree that this development is disappointing to see. I've personally outlined three or four products to Rusty himself and he hasn't followed up on one. A few bucks thrown the way of r&d probably wouldn't have killed him. Especially when it would have supported American industry and when you have someone right there feeding you the tech............ WTF?

Watch on the horizon though .... there are other things brewing. The playing field is about to be leveled in favor of domestic production. Not everyone is lieing down.

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boardbumps's picture
Joined: 02/04/2007

Aus is the same, as soon as you start talking advanced composites their eyes start rolling into the back of there heads.

It will take me about 10 hours to read the rest of the posts. Just let me say that my first vacuum epoxy wood skin was performed with a vacuum cleaner in 1979 on the bottom of a sailboard.

Boardbumps

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llilibel03's picture
Joined: 04/21/2005

You must remember that not everyone who follows this site is American. And here's news for you, not everyone in the world is American. I am, but I've lived 10 years overseas and believe my xenophobic box has been busted open.

Why is Surftech the object of such vehement objections? Instead of whining, people have simply to offer a better product at a better price. I remember when everyone was Japan bashing because of the import car invasion. well, that resulted in the American auto industry producing some better cars .We Americans are the ones pushing the market econmy on the world and yet have a hard time living up to our own ideals.

Finally, the fact that the person making my board doesn't surf doesn't really matter, if that person is a consumate craftsman. That's heaps better than having a (drunk/stoned/sleepy/careless/surfstarved) surfer who can't craft making my boards.

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speedneedle's picture
Joined: 09/18/2004

An actual surfer made these...

And, i'm only stoned some of the time...hehe...

Anyway, Greg knows...

18 months ago a customer of mine went from raving stoked about how good my boards went for him, to trading them in for Surftechs!

Yep, that hurt.

But I got up, with resolve to make a better product also. And I've ridden my new Epoxy EPS Balsa composite board. Oh, yeah, it works.

I never rode a surftech.

Speedneedle

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bbqdsunfish's picture
Joined: 01/23/2005

Pop out paddleboards (hollow fiberglass from molds) were the thing 6 years ago - still are in some circles, but some hardcore paddleboarders I know have gone back to the same shapers that provided the original shapes for the molded and have ordered foam boards.

I have heard this same scenario here on this board where as beginners people will buy a surftech/tufflite/etc and after learning the ropes moves back to the fiberglass/foam version. The shapers who have gone surftech often say the see increases in orders for customs after they have "sold-out" - just recapping what I've read over the months on this board.

Ultimately it's the consumer's choice on what board he/she wants to buy and as a capitalist society, the makers have every right to try and make a buck.

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gregloehr's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

Sickdog is exactly right ....... OK, replace American with "domestic" or "custom" because, in reality, that's what we're talking about. Whether it's American, Australian, French, English or Martian, the custom built, finely crafted, domestically made product needs to be seen as the best thing you can buy. This is what is at stake. This is what we stand to lose by remaining on the sidelines.

The "leaders", the ones with the marketing expertise, are going offshore because the domestic industries are failing to provide the products they need that will allow their businesses to grow. I personally would have liked to see them jump in and develop new product but the reality is they aren't going to because they aren't really board builders anymore. They are shapers ...... designers ..... marketeers. Getting ones hands dirty doing r&d isn't for everyone.

Something you brought up sickdog is something all people need to realize. Being from a place, California, Hawaii, Australia, Florida or anywhere else on earth DOESN"T MAKE YOU BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE!! There are people around the world that are just as smart, just as motivated, just as able as you are! If your thinking that because where you live is cool and that this will somehow insulate you from the rest of the world you have a very hard lesson in your very near future.

The demand is there for something better and if anyone needs more proof than Rusty's ASR booth, then we all deserve to be mowing lawns in the near future.

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blakestah's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Rusty's production has a very simple, straightforward philosophy. They'll make anything surfer's ask for, or anything the shops that carry Rusty ask for. They ain't pushin nothing - it is all about reacting to demand.

That is not an unreasonable philosophy for a player with a substantial marketshare, and growing in production. Presumably Rusty chose Surftech because he was sure it would lead to more sales. Also not an unreasonable philosophy.

I'm completely cool with the new technology and any doors it may open. But I find it hard to be super-critical of a major successful shaping outfit that decides what to pursue or not pursue based on demand. Businesses have to decide how they are going to survive, and R&D technologists that pursue excellence in the product will always fight the business people and their pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Two different goals, sometimes aligned, sometimes not. And sometimes people pursuing the two goals don't see eye to eye. Also a natural occurrence.

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Pinhead's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Quote:


The "leaders", the ones with the marketing expertise, are going offshore because the domestic industries are failing to provide the products they need that will allow their businesses to grow. I personally would have liked to see them jump in and develop new product but the reality is they aren't going to because they aren't really board builders anymore. They are shapers ...... designers ..... marketeers. Getting ones hands dirty doing r&d isn't for everyone.




How about the R&D guys getting their hands dirty with some marketing? Marketing is a bit of a dirty word here on Sways. But it shouldn't be, and its an area boardbuilders need to think about/learn about. I get the impression from a few posts that people think marketing is about duping the ill- informed into buying inferior products. Technology is important, sure. You can use technology to make superior products and refine processes so you can make them economically, but you still need to sell them. That's why you need to get a handle on the marketing side of things. Look at Dave Verral for example. He's worked on his graphics a lot and developed this post-modern punk style that really differentiates his boards, he's got onto the APS3000 and used it combined with a custom outlet to double his sales by really pushing customs.
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solosurfer's picture
solosurfer (not verified)

Quote:


Sickdog is exactly right ....... OK, replace American with "domestic" or "custom" because, in reality, that's what we're talking about. Whether it's American, Australian, French, English or Martian, the custom built, finely crafted, domestically made product needs to be seen as the best thing you can buy. This is what is at stake. This is what we stand to lose by remaining on the sidelines. They may not be seen as the best thing that can be bought because they get out hyped. Not because Surftech is some significant improvment or any improvment over poly. It's not an American vs the world thing. It's a look at reality vs bullsh. thing. The fact is this. Without human poverty...Surftechs and other outsourced products don't get made. My ancestors used slaves to further their wealth....Slavery being outlawed in most of the civilized world means greedy business folk need other means. Namely emerging countries with low income. There is no doubt we are standing on the sidelines...but for the wrong reasons.

The "leaders", the ones with the marketing expertise, are going offshore because the domestic industries are failing to provide the products they need that will allow their businesses to grow. I personally would have liked to see them jump in and develop new product but the reality is they aren't going to because they aren't really board builders anymore. They are shapers ...... designers ..... marketeers. Getting ones hands dirty doing r&d isn't for everyone. I mostly agree with this. The surf industry is still using a no float twig for kids as it's main way of promoting itself. Until they decide to grow up and get out of the fashion business they will be seen and rightfully so as a sport of punks. Nothing wrong with fashion either...it just has nothing to do with surfing.

Something you brought up sickdog is something all people need to realize. Being from a place, California, Hawaii, Australia, Florida or anywhere else on earth DOESN"T MAKE YOU BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE!! There are people around the world that are just as smart, just as motivated, just as able as you are! If your thinking that because where you live is cool and that this will somehow insulate you from the rest of the world you have a very hard lesson in your very near future.

The demand is there for something better and if anyone needs more proof than Rusty's ASR booth, then we all deserve to be mowing lawns in the near future. Rusty jumping on board means nothing. He sold out for money along time ago. I am not saying thats even wrong because most would like to switch places with him on the sucess side. However....he has proven nothing exept he has found in his mind a better way to make more jack. Not better tech. He has been shaping skinny twigs along with the rest as his main product. He is not innovative in the slightest only one of the leaders of the herd. The bull with a lounder bell so to speak.


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kendall's picture
Joined: 12/08/2005

I was talking to a friend the other day who's in charge of production for Levi. He has a different perspective on offshore production. He takes a lot of slack from people thinking he's promoting sweat shops. He says - the easiest job to train unskilled workes to do is sewing. He goes to impoverished lands and offers decent work conditions and pay for local workers. Sure... compared to US standards the pay sucks... but compared to what else is available to these people - this is an opportunity to have a better life. Places like Bangladesh where poverty is rampant, and there's not much to live for... no future... he provides jobs that support entire regions in ways not otherwise possible. Americans won't pay $100 for a pair of Levis, so making them domestically is out of the question. We want quality, and we want it cheap... we can't do that here. He employs 64,000 workers in third-world countries around the world.

The only real difference with surfboards is... we think of them as objects of art and desire. How can you lust over something that was made by poeple who have no real clue about what they're making? I can't. The popularization and commercialization of surfing has spawned the asian phenominon. Something for everyone is now available.

Surfing's popularity will fade (good luck with that), and no one will want popouts ever again (right). In the meantime, ride what works for you. You have "soul", so you surfboard should have "soul" too. We can all exist in the same world. The cream will always rise to the top.

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solosurfer's picture
solosurfer (not verified)

Quote:


I was talking to a friend the other day who's in charge of production for Levi. He has a different perspective on offshore production. He takes a lot of slack from people thinking he's promoting sweat shops. He says - the easiest job to train unskilled workes to do is sewing. He goes to impoverished lands and offers decent work conditions and pay for local workers. Sure... compared to US standards the pay sucks... but compared to what else is available to these people - this is an opportunity to have a better life. Places like Bangladesh where poverty is rampant, and there's not much to live for... no future... he provides jobs that support entire regions in ways not otherwise possible. Americans won't pay $100 for a pair of Levis, so making them domestically is out of the question. We want quality, and we want it cheap... we can't do that here. He employs 64,000 workers in third-world countries around the world.

The only real difference with surfboards is... we think of them as objects of art and desire. How can you lust over something that was made by poeple who have no real clue about what they're making? I can't. The popularization and commercialization of surfing has spawned the asian phenominon. Something for everyone is now available.

Surfing's popularity will fade (good luck with that), and no one will want popouts ever again (right). In the meantime, ride what works for you. You have "soul", so you surfboard should have "soul" too. We can all exist in the same world. The cream will always rise to the top.




Good post Kendell,

I think it would be nice if these American or other companies would really pay them well and actually increase their standard of living instead of paying just higher than the bare minimum so they can rake in the profits. It could be argued that the slaves in the early U.S. had it better than their African counter parts many of which were also slaves of other tribes, but I think most would find that absurd. Slavery is done and was done for the same reasons outsourcing is done....to get work done cheap and increase profits because it wouldn't be allowed in our own countries borders. It's not done to help anyone in most cases. The only reason that usually gets brought up is so the folks doing it will feel better about doing it. I don't down people for trying to stay in business either. Sometimes outsourcing is the only way to keep up with competition and stay in Business..but we know thats not why Rusty has done it I think.

I agree about the creme and I think Rusty left that level awhile ago. He certainly has the talent, but chose the path of riches and now riches at whatever cost. Like he does not already have enough. What the heck...maybe we all should join them.
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surfer_dave's picture
Joined: 12/08/2005

Quote:


Americans won't pay $100 for a pair of Levis, so making them domestically is out of the question.

Aha.. so that's why they sell em in europe for 100Euro and stuff the difference in their pockets.. LOL!!

Buy levis or give 15 bucks to Oxfam? Feed the same poor sucker for less..

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solosurfer's picture
solosurfer (not verified)

Quote:


Why is Surftech the object of such vehement objections? Instead of whining, people have simply to offer a better product at a better price. I remember when everyone was Japan bashing because of the import car invasion. well, that resulted in the American auto industry producing some better cars .We Americans are the ones pushing the market econmy on the world and yet have a hard time living up to our own ideals.

Finally, the fact that the person making my board doesn't surf doesn't really matter, if that person is a consumate craftsman. That's heaps better than having a (drunk/stoned/sleepy/careless/surfstarved) surfer who can't craft making my boards.





Surftech take some heat, because the production of those boards is about finding a way to make more money, by using fancy unfounded advertisment. They have turned surfboards into plastic playtoys that are nothing more than a comodity. Surftech is not a better product. It's a different product. I have seen hand shaped epoxy that fits the bill as superior product, but it's still because a shaper has a functional shape and knows how to apply new Tech in a superior fashion. The stuff surf tech is doing has been done on windsurfers for 25 years.

A person making my surfboard that doesn't surf does matter to me. I custom order, and I don't trust anyone that doesn't surf to be able to relate to what I am trying to order, nor some salesman trying to sell the product's greatness because of price.

I agree, American, Australian and other local board makers can fight it. They are the legends. They can turn the thing around over night, but not by joining the big money. In the end they will pay dearly for that one, because they will have given their designs, name and reputation to whoever the owner of the popout companies decides to sell to.
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Chicksav's picture
Joined: 07/19/2005

Dude, I totally agree.

Here is my question to you all. Has anyone ever walked into a surf shop and drooled over a NerfTech! I have lost much spit looking at a new Velzy (god rest), those great new Calvani Bings etc. You just can't touch those hand made boards. You can try to copy the shape 1 to 1 but the materials not the same ergo the feel (the weight, density etc) just is not there. It's like a scooter, or a fat girl...they are fun to ride until your friend sees you on one.

Nuff Said

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llilibel03's picture
Joined: 04/21/2005

I don't know anyone who hasn't talken religious vows that is not interested in making a buck!

I've seen a couple surftechs that I really liked. The Phil Byrne 6 channels are my kind of board. You never see them on the rack, I think because they're hard to shape and glass. But I couldn't stand the price, and didn't like the plasticky look. I've ordered my last custom board because I've decided from now on to make my own.

Like some mentioned I called every surf and glass shop listed in LA, one of the world's biggest cities, and could not find one that would glass in epoxy. Not even as a more expensive alternative.

Now I know this is really another post, but what saddens me is not the Surftechs, it's the fact that a few companies have monopolized the industry. It used to be that every shop had its own boards. Now every shop has Merricks, HIC, Lost, Rusty, and a half a dozen others. I grew up in Palos Verdes (don't hate me for that) and it used to be that even "shop" boards were looked down on and everyone rode Zen Del RIos, Angelo Ferraras, Joe Barks and J.Lessings, none of whom have ever had a shop. Now I see the groms on...Merricks, Lost, Rustys. OK great shapers, but are those boards really any less a mass produced pop out than a Surftech? Or does the fact that the guy making the board is some Asian guy trying to feed his family make it that much more disgusting?

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solosurfer's picture
solosurfer (not verified)

Quote:

Now I know this is really another post, but what saddens me is not the Surftechs, it's the fact that a few companies have monopolized the industry. It used to be that every shop had its own boards. Now every shop has Merricks, HIC, Lost, Rusty, and a half a dozen others. I grew up in Palos Verdes (don't hate me for that) and it used to be that even "shop" boards were looked down on and everyone rode Zen Del RIos, Angelo Ferraras, Joe Barks and J.Lessings, none of whom have ever had a shop. Now I see the groms on...Merricks, Lost, Rustys. OK great shapers, but are those boards really any less a mass produced pop out than a Surftech? Or does the fact that the guy making the board is some Asian guy trying to feed his family make it that much more disgusting?





Good points: Merrick, Rusty, and Lost are just as guilty. They continue to make and push inferior glassed boards that will tear up so customers will come in and buy another. I have seen good glass jobs on all of the above ( well, maybe not Lost) but most of the shop boards I see are light glassed.

Also, Merrick's good quality is that he has surrounded himself with good shapers more than being such a great shaper himself. I remember how his boards used to look back when they were handshaped. Not bad, but Many Many Many other shapers boards looked better. He obviously knew something about bottoms and rails though.

Merrick was smart though and saw where the martket was headed and got himself a couple of surfers that would change the way boards were sold. Without Curren's superstar status, which then followed with Slater, I serioulsy doubt his company would stand out as it does today. Rusty, on the other hand was one heck of a good shaper. He did have that magic touch, and his boards were highly sought even when he was with Canyon. It's funny even he ended up mostly pushing thin lightly glassed surfboards. Lost, nothing but marketing. Should not even be considered with Merrick and Rusty, both of which paid their dues and learned their craft for years prior to their sucess.

The difference between the mass production of these and Surftechs is that with the Merricks and Rusty's they are not making claims of superior product as much as they are saying ride us and you will surf like....

I suspect in the future they will do as I have heard Walden has done, and have production moved to China. Americans are an anything for a dollar cheaper society.


The real crisis is NOT the imports or the mass machine produced Merricks and Rustys, but the lack of young shapers learning a craft from true masters and learning it right. Not simply shaping easy to shape blanks and pointed noses.

I don't see any future Geoff Mccoys, Steve Forstalls, Terry Martins, Skip Frys, Jim Philips, Ricky Carrolls or many of the others. The master shaper of old is the last of a dying breed.

The soul of a surfboard comes from the craftmanship of it's builder and the interaction with the customer. When Merrick said there is no soul in shaping a board, he was partly right, but there is soul put into the craftmanship and there is soul in educating your customer. How do you think we got the varied culture we have within surfing. How is it that us surfers can meet anywhere in the world and pretty much relate when it comes to surfing. You can't bottle that, because the surfboard buying masses will never get it. They will only read about it and pretend as they are riding their poopout or chinese made comodity. The real deal means less today in mass, but most experienced surfers I know eventually end up back in front of a master.

That is why, I don't think this stuff will take over. It will eventually simply go out of vouge. Problem is, if all it leaves are the mass production places like Rusty, Lost and Merrick, what does that leave us?
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wavecraft's picture
Joined: 08/19/2010

If you're an American shaper/surfer in America. Then support  the American surf industry. Don't out source to a foreign (Asian) company. Keep it in America at any cost

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Mitch (Wavecraft Custom Surfboards)

Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

Quote:

On a more positive note, Greg Noll, Lost, and Linden, say "No way", to outsource production.

Seems to me that Lost is very involved in "outsourced" production. Seems they are signing deals with shapers from other countries, getting their plug into the computer, having the computer shape them in California, where they are finished by Lost guys. Of course this sort of thing has been going on since the beginning of foam boards. But it's a form of "oursourcing" no? I'm also wondering who is making the Lost composite boards: if they aren't doing it themselves, then they are outsourcing it. Not saying there is anything wrong with either of these practices: just calling for a clarification of Sickdog's comments in light of this behavior.

BTW, on the xenophobia topic, there are many reasons that one could be against Surftech that have nothing to do with xenophobia. One could simply believe any of the following: their environmental record is unverifiable because of their location, their profit ratios are pro-business man and not pro-craftsman (i.e. the people actually making the boards make a much smaller percentage of the profits than in normal board production), their boards feel weird to surf.

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johnmellor's picture
Joined: 03/17/2004

Sooo...

Let's just say that YOU are a domestic shaper looking for a contract glasser who does the full composite thing at a high level of quality control in large volume on a deadline.

Who you gonna call???

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mottola's picture
Joined: 03/10/2005

Quote:


Sooo...

Let's just say that YOU are a domestic shaper looking for a contract glasser who does the full composite thing at a high level of quality control in large volume on a deadline.

Who you gonna call???



Ghost Busters?
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Bart's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

John,

you and Greg hit the nail on the head. Where are the local high tech custom surfboard builders? Unless you live in 2 or 3 specific locations they just don't exist. So are more going to step up to the plate to compete with the changing marketplace or are they just going to fade away?

Let's face it. We are all busy and our time is limited. I don't mind spending time in my garage building the type of surfboard I want, but I enjoy surfing more. And if there was someone down the street offerring to make boards to the level I want, I would gladly pay them. If I had the choice, I'd rather spend more time in the water and less time in the garage. But right now, I don't have that choice.

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blakestah's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Right...there are few to no local composite custom builders. Even those that are around here only contract a few customs every year because at the price a local custom composite can be offered, few will choose it over a Pu/Pe board, even knowing the durability advantages. It takes too many hours to make them, a shaper makes more money using that time to make several Pu/Pe boards.

If Greg and/or Bert is hugely successful with the domestic composites, it will be because he has invented engineering methods to allow the composites to be built with a comparable number of labor hours as the Pu/Pe. And that will be a stroke of true genius.

BTW, our local hollow wood builder is making progress....15 hours per board now...8 pound shortboards and dropping....talk about environmentally friendly, his boards are wood, RR epoxy, and glass. He's started taking orders, I can re-direct anyone interested.

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wildy's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

The large volume seems to be handled by surftech types, even though they are not near the coast, and made by skilled yet relatively low paid, non-surfing workers.

I'm sure in most developed surfing and boardmaking nations there is a problem with finding legal, cheap, and experienced labour. The cost of living in these countries, and the legal workplace implications (minimum wages, conditions, etc) dictates the weekly paycheck necessary to survive in that environment.

The guys on this forum who are experimenting successfully with their own compsand boards are the ones gaining the experience. But I'm sure most of them don't want to, and will not, go into a production workforce. Like me they would rather be surfing.

The alternative is to train people correctly, a cost that must be brunt by the boardmaking company wanting the higher production done locally. I don't see too many people jumping at that, well no-one reading this forum anyway. I guess they don't like taking several steps backward, particularly financially, before they leap forward.

There could be a more localised production line with compsand boards, however the old mindset of shaper, glasser, sander, polisher would have to be reorganised. There would be designers of course, but after that I can see skin makers, baggers, finishers, etc.

Most need not be surfers, just people wanting work. Trained, supervised and quality controlled correctly, all in a production line system. If the compsand techniques are aligned correctly with a trained and controlled workforce, there is no reason for these companies not to attain a reasonably high output, both in time and quality.

But before it ever happens in these so called developed surfing nations, there needs to be lots of time and money involved in organising, training and supervising. If there are companies out there willing to do that then they will reap the benefits in the long run.

And to top it off, the new company workers will have to take a drug test before they have a chance of being employed. Sneaking a little cone in the sanding room before taking off for a surf in the middle of the day will be the legendary stories of the past, or the luxury of the freedom of the backyard builder.

Choices, choices!!

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rickholt's picture
Joined: 01/20/2005

Aloha! As for the "human resources" dept., I've literally burned up tens of thousands of samples in my company's drug-testing program! Aloha...RH

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Aloha...RH

Bert_Burger's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

WOW!!!!
so if im not mistaken , that means all the industry leaders have decided to brand generic pop outs ...

that would be like sticking your label in a supermarket range ...
short term profit , long term disaster ...

yep thats the price you pay for not pushing technology boundries , and being seduced by industry propaganda ....

how is the about face here ???

all these crew who for a genaration condemed the development of new concepts and showed no support for R&D are now climbing over one another to get the worst generic copy of technology that has already been around 15 years ...
all these developments show clearly just how far behind they really are ...

but what choice did rusty really have ??
i guess its just to easy when someone offers you a fat cheque and a contract to build your boards , short term profit , long term career jeopardy ....
shows where there interests really are ...

mow mow mow your lawn gently down the verge ... you guys know the rest ...

regards
BERT

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www.sunovasurfboards.com

dnickhawaii's picture
Joined: 10/21/2005

FHFey mr. Bert.... is it really the "new" material that you and Greg are so hot about that would have "saved" the whole domestic surfboard building industry?.... i think you fellows better go back to your international business class and take a refresher course on global manufacturing events of the last few years.....My international business class teacher said it was all about the dollars that are spent on labor here in the first world as compared to there in the 3rd world..... compare a shaper here in Hawaii getting $50 to say $100 per board to shape a 9 foot board ,,,,, to a craftsman in china getting $3 to $6 a month to work 10 hours a day doing the same labor? THAT is what is taking the surfing industry offshore.... not the materials that are used....... in my opinion danny

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Bert_Burger's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

no i dont need a refresher coarse ...
yes cheap labour is the reason the manufacturing went off shore ...
if you build something that is no different to that being imported at half the price , what have you got that is so special , ???

new technology keeps the industry one step ahead of imports ...
i have orders backed up for a year , while a lot of the guys my age with similar time in the industry are closing there businesses ....

i would say alot more crew out there would need a refresher coarse before i would ...
regards
BERT

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www.sunovasurfboards.com

dnickhawaii's picture
Joined: 10/21/2005

Bert, i think you've helped me realize what i'm trying to say..... the whole industry is heading offshore because of the capitalist business model.....that's it.... business,,,, pu/pe was the start of this industry for most of us,,,, or us old guys anyway,,,, it is easy to "create" with these two materials.....the mass of the business will go offshore, probably to styrofoam epoxy because of the cost,,, cost driven again,,,, not fun driven....i started building surfboards in 1969,,, i had been dissapearing from school, work, family,,,,, "where's danny?",,,,,,, he disappeared to the beach again,,,,,,now at the end of my career,,, still not making much money,,, doing the whole board myself still,,,, i'm disappearing again and will be making a few pu/pe boards for a very few people probably,,,, and still not making very much money!!!!,,,,,,,,,, cool! it makes me feel like a kid again!...... danny

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daddio's picture
Joined: 07/16/2004


Yikes, you sure about that?

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hdx's picture
hdx
Joined: 10/30/2004

Quote:


Sooo...

Let's just say that YOU are a domestic shaper looking for a contract glasser who does the full composite thing at a high level of quality control in large volume on a deadline.

Who you gonna call???


Call HDX 714-379-5533 I can do any layup glass kevlar carbon sandwitch vac bag you name it. Foams XPS EPS PVC PU I can make any blank foil. All boards shaped with cnc one off computer designed in 15 min right in front of you. Concave Vee Channels you name it up to 12' Epoxy or poly. One off custom EPS epoxy 6'-3" cnc shaped with 4 layers 450.00 in 30 days or less.
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Nels's picture
Joined: 05/21/2004

Quote:


Call HDX 714-379-5533 I can do any layup glass kevlar carbon sandwitch vac bag you name it. Foams XPS EPS PVC PU I can make any blank foil. All boards shaped with cnc one off computer designed in 15 min right in front of you. Concave Vee Channels you name it up to 12' Epoxy or poly. One off custom EPS epoxy 6'-3" cnc shaped with 4 layers 450.00 in 30 days or less.





When heat is applied the water begins to warm towards a boil...philosophical rocks chucked into the cyber seas create ripples which may turn to waves...anybody in the 714 want to buy a little gasoline to throw on the fire?
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Bert_Burger's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

for the new swaylopedia dictionary section ....
releasing a surftech model = im retiring ...

oneula ...
hey dude it doesnt happen over night ...
you think that 1 year back log just disolved into thin air???
slow and steady wins the race ...


so many points got made that were right on ..

right now with so much happening all at once , survival is probably the most important thing on most peoples minds ...
if board builders think aligning with cobra will ensure there survival , thats the choice they made ...

a feeding frenzy has been started , cobra was the first big fish in for a feed , all that did was alert the bigger fish to the action ...

everyone will look back and say , wow the good old days , remember when it was only cobra we had to contend with ...
rusty and merrick , are just pawns , the real players are on another level ..
sorry if this sounds cryptic ...
its just that i had no idea until recently how many players were out there looking for pawns ...

survival in this business in todays enviroment means your either doing something real different or your on a bigger team ...

randy just collected another playing peice ...
just as woraphan did when he picked up randy ...

ultimatly thats the price you pay for not developing new technology , survival means alligning with a bigger team ...

everyone who has joined the surftech team has sent out a strong signal ,,, we cant compete on our own anymore ...

its a sad day indeed when my 10 year old son could clearly explain to either rusty or al how to get performance out of a modern composite board and what it needed to make it work ...or what pressure to dial in the vacuum regulator so the desired flex is achieved for the resin ratio being used ....

like i said , retirement ....
let me put your face on my product and i will pay you to go fishing ...

the surfboard industry is just evolving to cater for the first generation of retirees ...
thats not where the future of the sport is ...

what anyone can do to a piece of urethane will have about as much influence on performance surfing as rubbing 2 sticks together ...


i gota get back to the kitchen ...
regards
BERT

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www.sunovasurfboards.com

rickholt's picture
Joined: 01/20/2005

Howzit Bert, Aloha! Soon to licen$e the technology= retiree= back to the kitchen. What's for dinner? Aloha...RH

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Aloha...RH

Nels's picture
Joined: 05/21/2004

Quote:


for the new swaylopedia dictionary section ....
releasing a surftech model = im retiring ...




;-)

Quote:

survival in this business in todays enviroment means your either doing something real different or your on a bigger team .




The trick there, as always, is to make sure you are part of the team and not the equipment! There will always be room for artists in any endeavour, but when the craft is lost to process the future becomes uncertain. Look no futher than NASA trying to put men back on the moon. It is going to take a decade to do something again that we already did over 30 years ago.
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lawless's picture
Joined: 05/21/2004

A picture to go with the thread.

Click attachment. Didn't want to put it inline with over a 1000 views on this thread already.

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Pinhead's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Quote:


the surfboard industry is just evolving to cater for the first generation of retirees ...




There's a big threat/opportunity right there in that statement. How many small local surfshops are owned by "Baby Boomers" looking to retire? I can see a cashed up retail company sweeping down the East coast of Australia buying them all up and building a chain (if it isn't already happening) So then you'll have another powerful player joining the game.
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big localised markets like japan will swing toward mass produced composites i think.the irony of large labels signing deals with cobra is that ski and snowboard and clothing/adventure companies will be signing there own deals as well.so bye bye rusty hello burton or the like.
its possible because theres always a new generation with different attitudes.i was reading an article on the net that japanese generally only buy snowboards and skis from japanese companies with emphasis on purchasing seasonaly. More and more boards with less and less producers. With surfing more and more being associated in a generic outdoors extreme image led industry.. the writing could be on the wall for some big players ..a top 16 could end up riding a board produced in thailand with a big budget label from an unrelated industry.

ps excuse my rant i dont normally post on stuff like this (its a pretty vague observation on my part)
more interested in design stuff
honest

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Nels's picture
Joined: 05/21/2004

Quote:


With surfing more and more being associated in a generic outdoors extreme image led industry.. the writing could be on the wall for some big players ..a top 16 could end up riding a board produced in thailand with a big budget label from an unrelated industry.

ps excuse my rant i dont normally post on stuff like this (its a pretty vague observation on my part)




Far from being a vague observation, I think it's absolutely going to happen. Pro surfing is about surfers being paid to endorse products. They can be competition surfers or whatever they call the guys who just go on photo trips. If the whole point of being a pro surfer is to make money, what difference should it make where the money comes from? Moral and ethical concerns are limited to ancillary issues. Younger generations will never have known any other mindset than to sell out to the highest bidder. While that might be a horror show to those from earlier eras, that might be normal to younger people.

Cha cha changes...
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Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

Quote:

big localised markets like japan will swing toward mass produced composites i think

What you mention may happen. But I suspect it will happen in the USA way before Japan. In Japan, surfboards are seen as treasures. They don't mind paying high prices for custom boards or boards shaped by famous shapers. Japanese surfers do not seek or value low prices when making a surfboard purchase (nor any other product for that matter). On the contrary, if a shaper decides to compete on price and lowers his, surfers will begin to look down on his boards and think 'these boards must not be as good as the others that cost more'.

Although it is a trendy market, it is a terribly brand conscious one. For them to swing to mass produced composites will only happen if famous American and Australian and Japanese shapers push their popouts as their main boards and only if pros start surfing them. Otherwise, the Japanese will hold out for what they feel is the authentic surfboard. The need to have the "proper" equipment and clothing for any activity is a halmark of Japanese culture. For "sporting goods", the definition of "proper" is largely determined by what the "pros" are using.

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MarkSpindler's picture
Joined: 03/21/2004

The Japanese market is far more sophisticated than that.
Japanese surfers are far more sophisticated than their US counterparts. Japanese surfers are far more sophisticated gearwise than American surfers.

They have pure respect for our shapers. They fly them in put them up buy them their meals and pay top dollar for the blanks they shape while there. And the lucky shapers that have these deals go 4+ times a year. That's love.

Plus the more underground you appear the more they want.
I have nothing but respect for the Japanese surfers.

Underground here means untouchable.

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Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

Mark, by more sophisticated than "that", do you mean more sophisticated than the way I described it or the way Silly thinks they might change to?

Because I don't think there was anything unsophisticated about how I described their surfboard market (taken from my years living and surfing there and interactions with the surf shops and magazines there). But if there was something you feel was inaccurate about how I characterized it, I'd be interested to hear about it. BTW, I'm not sure I agree with your statement about being underground. Your, basically contradictory, statement on the famous shapers being flown in jives with my experience though.

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MarkSpindler's picture
Joined: 03/21/2004

"the definition of "proper" is largely determined by what the "pros" are using."

"The need to have the "proper" equipment and clothing for any activity is a halmark of Japanese culture. For "sporting goods", the definition of "proper" is largely determined by what the "pros" are using."

That is what you said. Now I've never been there, but
my experience marketing a new product there was that underground connected with a big name sells. I stumbled on this combination, but the owners of another fin company confirmed it for me. Underground translates to the absolute latest undiscovered thing. They don't scoff at something new if it's been endorsed. And if you have a world champ to endorse it bingo. Their market conscioousness is far greater than just what Kelly rides. Though KGrip sells big there, so did MVGs till the bubble burst.

What about their wetsuits? How does that fit the endorsee model?

Ah, what do I know, I never lived there.
This is too heavy for me.

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Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

Quote:

Now I've never been there, but my experience marketing a new product there was that underground connected with a big name sells.

I think we discovered where our minor disagreement arises from: If a big name is connected to something, I don't consider it underground. If it has a big name attached to it, I agree that the Japanese will buy it. That's what I said initially.

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MarkSpindler's picture
Joined: 03/21/2004

Oh yeah, I'm big time.

You must be smoking crack.

Disagreeing with me using your opinion based on a guess against v my personal marketing experence is pure nonsense.

You're just guessing and no money at risk behind what you say.

Get back to me after you try and penetrate the Japanese surf market with your own original idea and marketing plan. With some succcess.

Otherwise.

You're just annoying me.

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Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

Dude, no disrespct, but didn't you say you haven't even been there? That doesn't mean you are automatically wrong of course, but you should at least be a little more open to the possibility that you don't have it all figured out quite yet based on marketing just one product there. I also wonder if you speak the language or if all your experience has been through mediators or in English. This will make a big difference.

What makes you think I've based my views on a guess? Nothing could be further from the truth.

To give you some idea of where I'm coming from, I spent most of the 90s living/working/surfing in Japan, my wife is Japanese, I visit regularly and still conduct business there (recent trip was on skateboard distribution/marketing for one of my side projects: http://dangersticks.com).

While living there I published a music and art magazine in Tokyo (and wrote for other Japanese and American magazines), played in several 'underground' bands, produced and promoted a few music albums of our and other Japanese bands' music. I know several surf shop owners, knew a Brazillian that published a surf magazine there, have met several pro surfers based in Japan (some Japanese, some Brazilian), and had the pleasure of meeting and getting advice on surf industry marketing from one of Japanese earliest surfers and the founder of its first ever surf shop.

I have done marketing for several products and services both while living in Japan and for the Japanese market after I returned here to California, worked for a Japanese-owned/managed internet startup building products for that market, have done several packaging design projects for the Japanese market, have localized websites for that market, done market research projects for Motorola on the Japanese cellphone market (including extensive testing of how the typical marketing phases here in the USA of innovator, early adopter, early majority, late majority, and late comers differs in Japan in regards to the percentage of sales and shape of the bell curve produced: directly related to what we are talking about here).

Oh, and for what it is worth, I am more or less fluent in Japanese (it's our language at home).

In other words, I'm not talking out of my ass like you seem to assume, and I'm not basing my views on a single experience, but on the last 15 years of business done in and with Japan. Perhaps I should have given my credentials up front (though my profile does in fact list "Designer, Skateboard company owner, Japanese business consultant"). Or perhaps you shouldn't have assumed I'm just guessing or that I'm smoking crack.

Either way, there is no need to get all excited about it. We should just post our experience and views and let people take it for what they want.

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johnmellor's picture
Joined: 03/17/2004

"You must be smoking crack."

Please check any personal attacks related to drug use, etc. at the door. Thanks!

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Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

Quote:

Underground translates to the absolute latest undiscovered thing. They don't scoff at something new if it's been endorsed.

BTW, this above is very accurate. The only thing I disagree about is that something can be both "underground" and "endorsed". Without the endorsement, you will have a very hard time getting anything shockingly new adopted by the Japanese market. They are much less adventurous when it comes to trying new products or wanting to be ahead of the curve than the U.S./European market. They need that extra push of the product being popular in the usa/australia/europe first to get them to try it. Then they don't mind being the first in Japan to try it, sure: that would make them cool. But they aren't open to the risk of being the first in the world to try a new product. (exception: technology products, especially those specific to Japanese lifestyle)

So my advice (normally I charge for this stuff! ha!) to anyone marketing surf/skate gear in Japan is to wait until your product is well received elsewhere, or you have pros using it, before you tackle Japan.

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MarkSpindler's picture
Joined: 03/21/2004


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MarkSpindler's picture
Joined: 03/21/2004

I can't help it if I know something you don't know.

Maybe I should charge for that useful information. Whatever your rate is mine is double. No triple.

Better yet, you don't have my permission to use my information.

As far as you are concerned endorsement automatically means big time.

There, happy?
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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