I'm really happy with WNC foam. Really nice guys too.
I should say that I shaped a fish about 80% and then waited a month--a hot month, mind you--but by the end of the month the stringer was all twisted. I called them up, told them, and they told me to pick out any blank I wanted, which they definitely didn't need to do. I picked up my new blank and it's nearly flawless.
They've changed their foam formula slightly and the result is very good. It's light and strong and can finish with a real tight surface. You hardly need to seal it (which is the step I hate most about EPS).
So, yeah, WNC is a good option especially if you live in SD.
Good, good and good.
If we can envision it that is the beginning of its reality.........
I said that.
perfect rockers????? I dont know about all that,,.... but.... most shaper,... old school style are looking
for nice final screening. USblanks at Home Blown Foam got the formula goin on in the PU's.... Period
Yea if you don't mind soft foam which does not hold up and even snaps easy! There's heaps of better foams out there!
Mybe thats why the e mail address on the Bennett sight is no good. E mails are returned to sender just like their blanks. I think its a gonner but no one knows it yet!!!
In all fairness Bennett made some good blanks at times and they do have a good formula when they pour correctly.
Bennett is going through a bit of a re-organization and so we will have to wait and see the out come?
Being is the blank business is Brutal. The Clark business Model was as good as it gets. Unforunately for some investors they did not look at their spreadsheets correctly. There where many equations missing from the formula. By the end of this year we will see who will still be standing. I think in the case of US Blanks they are more organized and best suited to run a blank company as their management was trained under the leadership of Grubby Clark. They still manage to be substainable even in California were it's not easy to do business. Mexico is not an easy place to work either and is actually more complicated.
Just pu'd some Blair only shaped one so far and it's really nice. Even cell structure, no pukas, not too hard and not soft like a few of their competitors. I would say right now the best I'm using is Surfblanks America (a little hard but holds up and flex's nice), the previous King Mac & Bennett were good but have not shaped any in months, Texcel great but too expensive, and now Blair.
if you want to try some great foam try Blair. very good stuff. you won't have a complaint. 5-7 day turn around spot on rocker no vopids pukas what not excellent price 3 wieghts . blair is were its at
Going back to the inception of this thread............."I don't see how some of these blank companies stay in business".............
Well, I don't see how some shapers, glass shops, and surf shops stay in business!
Dropping everything and flying out the door to go surf the perfect storm is one thing, lacking a work ethic is quite another. Can you deliver the goods?
Ask yourself, are you a professional and this is your career.....are you a part timer and this is your side job.......are you a wannabe that doesn't know as much as you think you do.....are you a hobbyist that enjoys learning from the real guys?
If you are a true professional relying on supply sources for your livelihood, 'Business 101' includes having alternative supply sources in case one breaks down, burns down, financially vaporizes overnight or becomes unacceptable for some unforseen reason.
In the sense of blank suppliers, there are many vying for a durable position in this marketplace. If you are someone that wants to try every new foam that hits the market, you are probably going to end up bumping into some great, not so great, okay.........and terrible foam.
This is reality.
If you find a blank company that listens to your remarks, and you see noticeable changes from that blank company (i.e. "I don't like slippery finishes on blanks"), then you are probably well positioned. If you did have a problem, did the blank company offer, and compensate you for an obvious problem they had?
Compensation is a touchy issue, especially if a blank related problem shows up after shaping, painting, glassing, sanding, glossing, polishing a surfboard......even worse if it was a time sensitive custom order. There is no reasonable accepted standard currently in place although Clark offered a policy that replaced the problem blank with a new one. Currently, any compensation above that, is regarded as generous.
The problem the blank companies are faced with is who did what to their blanks. Do you have many years of expeience in shaping and all other facets performed on their blank? If you use a glass shop, is Homer melting down the foam when he puts in the leashcup or fin plugs? Are the blanks gassing or delaminating because of the foam or is it because Jimbo used some new cheap paint that he got at a yard sale? Are the blanks "super weak" because Sharky oversanded the living crap out of the single 4 oz. bottom?
Did the blank company compensate you for legitimate reasons or due to your inexperience or someone along your production line (that maybe got hired last week)? Did they compensate you while shaking their heads, just to shut you up?
Here is a good example of how sh-t happens. I currently do my boards start to finish. Most of you regulars know that I am a handshaper. This doesn't mean I won't go to Spencer at I Shapes in Ventura if someone orders a container of my boards to be sent to Argenina. (I once was, in fact, asked if I would supply a container of custom sailboards to South America, and if I would put Bruce Jones logos on them......they said they would pre-pay and the deal would be hush-hush. I responded with offfering to make a container of sailboards with NO LOGOS on them and no signature and whatever they did with them was beyond my control. I respect BJ big time and there was no way in hell I would ever do that.)
Anyway.....sh-t happens deal. Okay, so I just made a custom quad for Pro Beach Volleyball player Todd Rogers.....he and his partner are almost a given for Bejing Olympics with their recent 3rd place down in OZ. I'm wiping down the board and notice the last fin doesn't want to go all the way down. Upon closer review there is some white resin down in the blue FCS plug. I pop it out and the fin goes in. No how did that happen? I look it over and it appears that the corner must have cracked. I look over the other plugs (with a magnifying glass, have you) and there is another hairline crack on another insert. SHIT!!!
Do I bad rap FCS for this? Am I frustrated? Pissed? Sad?
Let's go back a step. How did I put those plugs in? Well, it is so easy to melt plugs from over-catalyzing that I do them in 2, not 1, cool batches. This takes time and is a pain in the ass... but I spend all the time setting everything up and have protractors for my degree sets and finally get out my little squeeze bottle and do the deal.....then hurry up and wait for the stuff to finally go off. Then once the exotherm goes off and the heat dissipates it gets the 2nd (and hopefully final fill) so there isn't a compounded heat build up from two batches of catalyzed resin and milled fibers.
.......and now of the 8 fin plugs, I have 2 that look to need replacing.
So will FCS offer me a couple new plugs? Throw in a few more for my trouble?
Hope so........I am not stoked to have to remove these but will do so. It takes my time and time as we all know is money, or at least robbing me of some time I could be doing something else.
But, I am not going to spend my life bad rapping FCS for an unfortunate event. Luckily 25% of the plugs had a problem and the other 6 didn't.
Now if this happened all the time, you can guess that I would be forced to take another direction regarding fin systems.
So in the end...........what is responsible behavior, by whom and what is fair compensation? I've tried to be responsible by taking the time to make a claim in great detail instead of blowing it out my ass.
I suggest all of us do the same.
i work for a huge company and all the blank guys are haveing probs..it like playing craps take a chance,,, eather the rockers are off or the blank is not cured or the list goes on.. it,s bad as well i herd that grubby is hanging the us foam guys too boot..quig