So I was at my local surf/skate/snow retailer and I picked up the most recent Transworld Business mag to find out what's really happening in the world... there I read that Firewire is going oversees for the majority of their production. Greg, Bert, is this true?
I was all stoked to see the 'franchise' idea take off that Bert mentioned years ago. I wanted a job at one of those factories. Should I keep planning on moving to China if I want to have a job building boards of any kind in the future? I know there are a few snowboard factories still ruling it here, but now that Bert and Greg have succumbed, my hopes for the profitable U.S.A surfboard/skateboard factory are out the door.
Maybe there will still be opportunity for the small time bussinessperson/craftsperson if they can appeal to every possible customizable aspect of surf design (including construction type) and produce a reasonably durable product with in a reasonable timeframe, for a reasonable cost, while somehow staying reasonably afloat in a sea of big businesses flooding the market with unbelievable numbers of copycat superboards. Am I up for the challenge...? While the idea of having "some" boards made here in the states, and "some (more)" boards made in Asia sounds cool and all, its completely obvious that Nev and Bert and Greg want to give Surftech some competition (Shoots, they're probably having pissing contests off of the Cobra Factory roof as we speak).
There's nothing wrong with a little good old healthy competition between two powerhouse companies, its usually good for an industry. I'm just worried that it will be a little too good for the industry once Firewire starts producing better boards for less money. Surftech was fine with me cause they rode like crap. Now I'm afraid that once we get something that works better out of Asia, there will be no going back. There will be no reason to go hunt down some small time living legend for a custom board. That makes me want to change careers.
Thanks for everything you have done here Greg and Bert. You've inspired a lot of people, like myself, to start making their own boards stronger, with better and cleaner materials and better design. I'd venture to say that you've inspired a lot of people to dream about starting their own small businesses making and selling these boards, like the blokes in the U.K. that everyone's been bagging on. I wanted to be a member of the Bert Berger knockoff generation too. Now I'm not so sure I can compete. Firewire won't be the last company to start making killer boards out of Asia...
Now I think I know what Luke Skywalker felt like when he found out that his famous warrior father had eventually turned to the Dark Side and become Darth Vedar. It's a bummer, I'm going surfing.