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.
My point exactly. Well put.
Mitch (Wavecraft Custom Surfboards)
...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".
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