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

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Maraboutslim's picture
Joined: 05/08/2004

BTW, I know Greg said not to tell him about some "classic feel" the old (style) boards have, but they just do, don't they? I mean, similarly, some of us prefer to drive old cars instead of the latest modern cars because we like the way old cars, like my '69 spider, drive.

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llilibel03's picture
Joined: 04/21/2005

I have to say I'm with Greg on this one. I don't know about where other people surf but what really puzzles me is that the retro fish is IMHO just wrong for the kind of waves we usually have here in the South Bay of Los Angeles- usually hollow, semi closed out, often bottomless beach break. It's hollow and closed out at low tide. And usually becomes shore pound at high tide, but still tends to be hollow. It's not the Sunset Cliffs. I see guys heading down to the beach on those and shake my head- they must be slaves to fashion. Besides, didn't I read some time ago that Steve Lis himself has "been there, done that" , and has moved on to other things?

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lokbox's picture
Joined: 04/10/2004

Lis is still making fish outlined boards but most are quads. Gregg you still seem to be putting anything with a wider nose and wide swallow in the retro catorgory. What i'm trying to say is they're not the same old board. Some guys are just remaking the same old board but they are the minority. They are shaping them to fill a demand. Quit riding mine two years ago. My partner Kasey Curtis just got a two page spread in happy mag blasting a 5 foot air at a right in the metawaiis. A functional air. On a pavel quad fish with a lost sticker on the bottom because he rides for them. He's still getting paid to be a surfer, and friggen rips all over trestles/dana point on the thing IN CERTAIN CONDITIONS. He has 2 dozen thrusters, a retro keel fish (which he also quit riding a while ago) and a bonzer. If he goes somewhere with perfect peeling waves, especially point type waves, the quad fish goes in the bag. He says he's 205 lbs, and in weaker surf he can go way faster on the fish. He turns it almost as good as the thruster, and gets barrelled all over salt creek on it. Sometimes he takes out when it gets big just to see if he can.And trust me he does. Pro surfers are funny like that. Said it's taught him alot about controlling you board because the speed is rediculous. He'll only ride a classic longboard at doheny or san-0 so this board fills a void for everything between that and surf good enough to get his big frame going on his 6'3 thruster. Next time your out here look me up and we'll go surf. It seems like until you see it (and ride it) yourself your not gonna accept it. Most of his ripper buddies have added one to their quiver because of what they've seen him do on it...

Man this is fun!

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gregloehr's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

You guys still aren't getting what I'm saying. Let me be clearer. There are certain rules we learned about how to make certain designs work better. For instance, twinnies get vees. You can shape them other ways but you'll get mixed (and generally bad) results. Doesn't mean they don't ride, just means they don't ride good. Why is this just being discovered again now, after we KNEW this was right in 1980? Many of the shapers that are making twinnies now are still making flat bottoms and their old enough to know the rules. Does no one remember the basic rules? These boards SUCK!

With single fins, we found in the 70's that they work best with concave tails. More lift and drive for a design that lacks lift and drive. So when everybody came out with the new retro single they made them with vees. These boards are less than they should be. They SUCK! Is styrene that potent at erasing memory?

The modern version of the 70's single fin is the modern three fin. Many here say they couldn't ride a modern KS three fin. I'm right there with you. But I ride a 7'6" version that rides infinately better than the retro single. And how many of you have even tried this? Why are we building retro when we can go forward?

I've riden TONS of twinnies. After riding a Twinser I know how they should be built. How many here have ridden a Twinser? Why isn't enery manufacturer making twins making them Twinsers? It's more evolved. They ride better ..... WAYYYYYY better.

Why on earth do we have to continue to re-evolve designs? Is there no creativity left to pick up an older design and move it forward from where it was left off? Evolve a Twinser shape into the 21st century instead of picking up something from 1970.

Does this make what I'm saying clearer?

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speedneedle's picture
Joined: 09/18/2004

Hey Greg,

Its true, man...

"Retro"

In the dictionary:-

It basically means- " ...going backwards..."

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Swaylock's picture
Swaylock (not verified)

Quote:

Why on earth do we have to continue to re-evolve designs?

Does this make what I'm saying clearer?

Greg, that's easy:

The reason the design rules you talk about get ignored is because most consumers (and undoubtably many shapers) don't know them. You know the old saying about those who ignore history.

That doesn't explain why consumers are demanding "retro" designs. I believe that is a different discussion with many influences many of which are completely legitimate. Unfortunately I don't have time to get into them right now.

Swaylock.

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gregloehr's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

The reason the design rules you talk about get ignored is because most consumers (and undoubtably many shapers) don't know them. You know the old saying about those who ignore history.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'd forgotten that old saying .... makes the most sense of anything I've read here in a while. My other question remains; is styrene that effective at erasing memory? Perhaps it is ......

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Swaylock's picture
Swaylock (not verified)

Quote:


I'd forgotten that old saying .... makes the most sense of anything I've read here in a while. My other question remains; is styrene that effective at erasing memory? Perhaps it is ......

I don't know about styrene...but I can think of a few other things that do.

One of the things I wanted to talk about yesterday is "STYLE." Greg, back in your heyday (no ageism intended here) I believe many accepted the credo "style is everything." (Was it Rabbit that said that? not sure.) Anyway, I believe one of the reasons people are demanding retro shapes is that they want to see how it will impact their style. And I don't mean on their outside ala Donovan, but rather effect the way they surf.

You have to admit that with modern, progessive designs, it's damn hard to tell one pro from another. And the masses all tend to look alike. Thoses designs are definately limiting in the WAYS you can surf them to the greatest effect.

This is just me taking a crack at trying to answer the question of why people are demanding alternative designs, not why design rules are ignored.

Swaylock

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hiroprotagonist's picture
Joined: 08/30/2005

Is there a basic general rules set for certain shapes or effects? Like nose riding, you need weight, nose channels or concave . .. Compile a list? Thanks for letting us know about the fish, Greg. I'd always thought it was the keel fins and the flat bottoms, but with the v . . . now I know what to look for in a fish.


Since picking up surfing, I found it to be the most difficult thing I've done. Even flying a Cessna is easier than surfing.

One thing I've seen from the -er magazine . . . people are looking for ways to shortchange the system. They hope getting a 'touted' board will improve their surfing. But only practice will.

It's funny people there recommend bonzers for mushy, slow so cal waves. And they say retro twin keels for fast, beach break barrels. Their main editor swears by style, saying 'style never goes out of style'.

But style is perception, and based on some of the touted bonzers and fishes in the classifieds, ebay, and from lazy posters offering clues . . . they found out the hard way that your board doesn't improve your surfing.

They say fishes are very hard to surf, a quote, "I've seen guys that rip on thrusters humbled by the fish". My coworker, a long time snowboarder, and 7 year surf veteran said its cuz fish you have to ride like a longboard, mainly off your front foot. He said if you try to ride it like a thruster it will spin out . . .


One thing I've found about surfing (more than other sports), is 'being cool' over rules everything, even practicality. Even the mainstream public, the millions of people who ever don't or won't surf . . . has grown accustomed to 'surfing is cool' . And lots of surfers are the same. I first learned via college class (hey it's SD), half the beginners (rich kids) got thruster boards. I had a longboard. I've seen guys paddle out with two zinc lines on there cheek under their eyes, but not cover the rest of their sunburnt skin. Or in 6 foot surf last week, guys had Hawaii pintail guns with double leashes and gaff helmets for beach break surf at high tide. My favorite is the awesome pinlined and bottom resin tint swirl bonzer (with enough square inches of fin to go on three 60's skeg logs) big guy tri shape showing up at the beach break I frequent. It's 3 foot mush, and he paddles out to sit. All morning.

I think this mentality (and the problem is these are people that have money to spend) is part what is making difficult for people to listen up to what Greg is saying.

That and, 'This is they way its been done, so be it!' There was a guy I knew, way into competition Tae Kwon Do. I saw him at the club, said whats up. He said, 'Busy working the field,' and commented I need to lose the glasses to pick up 'chicks' (hey I love electronica dance to, and so do the girls). He could kick the ball out of Shaq's outstretched hands, jump kick over cars, do 10 punches in a second.

He upset some guys, and it went into combat. I debated about evening the odds, but the burly bouncer and his female terminator partner's look made me ease up and go back to my group.
He got beat up by two multi stylist guys (did brazilian jujitsu and some variant of jeet kun do from what I saw). A. High kicks in close quarters in a bar with slippery floor from drinks and 'chicks' vomit won't work (lower center of gravity = stable, learned that from surfing). B. He never learned how to fight or get out of multiple opponent scenarios. C. Grapple? Throw? What's that? Well if the other guy knows it and you don't, you're screwed. I'm far from being a martial expert, but even I saw the solution . . .

A week later, he's training very hard, still doing the same routine he thinks it was because his skills at his art. He never realized that he had to expand his martial repetoire . . . He wouldn't listen to me. I was just that guy in glasses that showed up to meet up my friend in kung fu class.

Anycase I'm just rambling . .. anyone know if there is a chance to demo Bert, or Greg's boards? Or those new carbon fiber jobs . . . surf shops are too stingy to demo. . . .

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Pinhead's picture
Joined: 03/19/2004

Why retro boards?
I think there are two things going on, one is function the other is about fashion. Function - we've had something of a boom in surfing in the 90's so a lot of learners are taking up the sport, at the same time we are seeing long time surfers getting older. Both groups want boards that paddle and catch waves better than the 90's performance shortboard. Older guys who want to ride shortboards remember they caught more waves on the fat wide flat rockered twins, or fat long singles they rode when they were young.

Then you get the fashion effect kicking in. Look around you, the 70's are being re-run in clothes and music. So 70's boards become cool - young guys who are learning, can be seen with them and look cool - older guys can ride them and get more waves - you get demand for these shapes created by the intersection of fashion and the need for boards that paddle better and catch waves better. Shapers are just meeting that demand.

How can you get progression? - the demand for boards that paddle and catch waves better than performance shortboards is still there. Lightwieght compsand boards with perimeter stringers can meet that demand. With this type of construction you can go wider and flatter and still have performance. How to make them fashionable? who the fuck knows.

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MarkSpindler's picture
Joined: 03/21/2004

I just found this quote in the current SURFER MAG NOVEMBER 05.
Article called DESIGN FORUM by Brad Melekian page 176.

The discussion is about what makes a shaper successful or popular. The premis is that "success is equal parts fashion and function". To wit Mark Johnson of Hobie Surfboards says about the Kane Garden keel-finned fishes explosion in popularity; "YOU look at the Kane Garden guys and I think they've done it in a way that's more grassroots, so that they have this word of mouth vibe. Do I think their twin-fins are better than anybody elses? Not really. But they have a very good underground buzz going."
Which totally supports my claim! Underground vibe is not necessairily the key but one key to success in the surf industry. That doesn't mean experience is not part of the formula. It is just as important and part of the overall balance.

The article goes on to say, "The grass roots buzz is par for the course for the Kane Garden crew who started as an underground crew of Fish riders in Sunset Cliffs. They (Pete Johnson and Larry Mabile) never stopped doing what they do, and so they're pouring decades of experience into each craft, but still (Mark) Johnson's point is well taken:
You've got to wonder if the end consumer knows the knowledge that goes into each board, or if he is just taking a look at the scores of KG logos washing up leashless on the shore and following suit."

Which supports both Greg's position and the fact that maybe the Surftech explosion (80,000 boards this year) is because of beach exposure. And if all else is in tune, that too is an underground form of advertising.

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hiroprotagonist's picture
Joined: 08/30/2005

Rhino, I know. I like to know that the board I buy is done by someone who know the local condition, they can shape for it. And by someone who can surf, or have surfers close by for feedback.

Mark, I've seen that too. I remember this one time in classifieds for surfer a year after the fish hype. I'd see KG's being sold in there, some really new . . .. Lots of people fell for that 'underground vibe' but then probably realized after their purchase that the retro twin fin fishes were not their thing.

Whats weird is Matt B of lost swore up and down against imports, building boards overseas. He told everyone to go local or hand shaped etc. He was the champion against surftech and chinese made surfboards. Now he's doing it also.

Rusty . . . I remember few of their ads are 'foam fiberglass fun' to bank on the pu backlash against surftech.

Kinda the hypocritical thing to do. Stand for one thing, but switch as soon as the market demand swings in the other direction . . .

Ah well . . . going to start to gear where I can equip myself . . .

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AKA's picture
AKA
Joined: 06/11/2005

Quote:


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


No offense intended but I thought Linden had a line of Boardworks boards for a few years now.
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abezat's picture
Joined: 06/06/2004

I bought a pair of shoes, made in china.
A DVD player, made in china.
A tee, made in china.
A car, made in Korea.
A coffee machine, made in china.
A plate, made in china.
A bed, made in china.
A computer, made in china.
Some tires for my bike, made in Thailand.
My bike, made in china.

Then I went to buy Surfer journal, and saw the ad of this R’ guy, telling me all
About personalized equipment…………………………………………….

How the hell on earth I gonna send my size to Thailand ?

Please advise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Progress, my A*&^&, they progress, we regress…….or regret.

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johnmellor's picture
Joined: 03/17/2004

"Then I went to buy Surfer Journal"
__________________________________________________


Any idea where it's printed?

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sickdog's picture
Joined: 06/21/2005

Oh boy, looks like you were riding in the time machine late last night! John, did you have the control knob on the 2 years ago setting?

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easternpacific's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004


I had the same thought. who's going to cancel

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hiroprotagonist's picture
Joined: 08/30/2005

Surprised no one has brought this up . . . this is from the surfermag forum, nonetheless. Sometimes that joint has a few jems. I didn't find this, I was surprised

http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/06/05/china-schou.php


here's the other link: http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB1&Number=834167&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1



Now Lost is in. Merrick has gone Euro. Let's see if he goes Asian too.

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rhino's picture
Joined: 01/27/2005

That's just rediclious. Outsourcing is purely evil I must say. I wonder if these people in China, Vietnam...ect. know that the boards they are working on for $0.30 an hour are being sold for $300+ I bet they don't, and I bet they'd shit themselves if they did. Personally, I am more then willing to pay the extra $50 or so that it cost to make a home-grown board. I don't know why people have to be so cheap. I don't have unlimited funds, in fact, I mostly have no money most of the time, but I do have standerds...too bad the majorty of us don't.
Cheers,
Austin

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surrfdaddy's picture
Joined: 08/20/2004

Hello Sickdog,
I don't want to burst your bubble, but I personally know for a fact that Linden has other people shape his boards who don't surf. I also know for a fact that Greg Noll son Ryan also has the same person shape his boards. It's a sad fact to know that shapers have to go outside the USA to have boards made at 1/2 the cost. I have spoken to a surfboard foam company and they state that they may be pulling out of the market due to the fact that he could buy a truck load of finishedsurfboards, then he could just by making the foam.
I am not trying to put down Linden or Greg Noll, Its just that people should really watch what they say. I personally know the shapers that do the boards they are great guys they don't surf but they do good work.

Aloha
surrfdaddy

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oahushaper's picture
Joined: 05/26/2007

I agree it's a shame the way the surfboard industry and especially the shapers are heading. It's truly about the dollar and not the product. If it's a superior product I don't really care were it's made as long as it's also a responsible company. Surftech has a great marketing campaign and the money and resources to sell it's product. But the technology is not new and as cutting edge as they make you believe (atleast 25 + yrs. old). P/U is also aerospace technology. Surtech and many molded boards use PVC sheet foam in the sandwich process which except for in the U.S. and a few other countries, PVC is banned because it is so toxic. Epoxy has it's own problems too, they say it emits less voc's than poly, true, but they don't tell you it kicks alot slower than poly and in the end emits more voc's because of it's long gel times. Also it's not from a organic compound and the body can't process even small amounts, over time you will develop a allergic reaction to epoxy, that's also a medical fact. On top of that which is not even scratching the surface, I have personally seen pictures from a few of the overseas factories from the major manufactures and in all of them none of the workers are wearing masks. Everyone from lamenators to sanders and airbrushers no one is properly protected. Some did have throw away masks and t-shirts though. I guess if you move your production over to China you won't have to worry about air scrubbers or how you dispose of your toxic waste. They don't and their country is on the verge of a enviromental catastrophe, that's real responsible. I'll gladly spend the extra dollar on a board built by real boardbuilders than on cheap overseas mass-produced surfboards. But that's just me, support local economy, support your countries economy, support responsible companies & products.

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wavecraft's picture
Joined: 08/19/2010

My point exactly. Well put.

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Mitch (Wavecraft Custom Surfboards)

DEADSHAPER's picture
Joined: 03/23/2007

Good discussion. 

...without getting into who sold out how, surfer dave brings up a point about who/where is willing to buy what at a price that is agreeable to them and objectionable to someone else.

But this scenario happens every day with people living in the same neighborhood, regardless of where that neighborhood is.

One guy wants cheapest as possible, another guy a Ferrari.

As far as Asian products, they make some really good quality stuff, and they make some really cheap crap...... just like every manufacturing country on the planet.

As a domestic manufacturer who used to have thousands of square footage, half a dozen plus employees at one time, and the bills to prove it, I can be a lot more realistic about what I now make, what to charge, and who is willing to buy it.

The custom market is still alive, and I have order blanks tacked on the wall to prove it. If I do m job right and deliver those customers what they asked for or interpreted their needs correctly as they expressed them to me, those orders will turn into more orders.

The bottom line is a concept called "perceived value": That can involve charging a fair price for a good quality product and the ability to deliver it quickly or an acceptable amount of time.  What is good delivery? If your orders grow you probably will know the answer. It's not rocket science to know this stuff. Figure out what minimum per unit you are willing to pay yourself and how much it costs to make it, then stack that up against how much it costs you to operate your business, and you will know exactly howmany units you need to make each day, week, month, year to make a living or better. Can you do it? Or do you quit. Or do you get a job and do it part time? The answer will be on paper staring you in the face.

How do you determine what is working for you? That's called NET profit. If you don't sit down and crunch numbers on what it cost in materials, overhead (rental space, utilities, etc.) and your labor, then you're just out for a leisurely drive and not really in business. If you never have to worry about arriving upon cost of doing business and bottom line profit, then I'm happy for you because you probably have one big ass trust fund. Do I respect you for doing it this way? That's another matter.

We can also choose to sit and cry in our beer all day long about the economy, big corporate greed, monopolies, how the middle class isn't spending on discretionary items or how "there is no money in surfboards",  

If you want to do that, that's your perogative, I'll make a few more boards while you're 'busy'.

You control your own destiny. If you want to be a professional victim, have at it. If you want to get out of the surfboard business and study law, sell shoes, paint houses, become a dentist, a baker, a nurse or some other respectable occupation,  that's for you to decide.

Water follows the path of least resistance and will level due to the gravitational pull of the earth.

Cream rises to the top.

Yin Yang........................... are you water, or cream?

Momma always told me "can't never did nuthin".

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wavecraft's picture
Joined: 08/19/2010

Like I say. If your an American shaper in America, support your local surf industry (Glasser). No matter what the cost. If someone thinks your boards are to expensive do the best for them you can. If there still not satisfied, Let them go somewhere else or Chinese. People buy my boards because they like my designs and they keep coming back to me. I give every one the best price I can. I am one that can't make my living just by shaping boards so I have to work as a finish carpenter. Some times I'll sell someone a board and just break even on it and I'll let them know that. Then when they come back for another board in the future (which happens alot) I'll tell them look I need to make something on this one OK. They always say OK I can understand that. Nobody has ever said no. For the most part I try to charge cost + $150.00

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Mitch (Wavecraft Custom Surfboards)

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