The Oppression Continues

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by grainofsand, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    411
    Jun 26, 2014
    If your personal income increased 55% in the last 25 years then the inflation on board prices is legit. OTOH It's totally cost efficient to pick up a shaping machine and precuts and shapes consistent proven shapes, it'll pay for itself in a year, just look at the 40 toes on the nose guys that moved their operation from VB down to CFL while keeping their prices at a good pp. I think hh is missing the big picture. Firewires/Slater designs are in almost every surfshop, they're def at every break. Those boards are about $120 USD in Australia, landed. The underlying theme of this post, like many of my other post over the years, is why are you allowing mass produced overseas products to drive up the cost of surfing, and in some cases, drive local biz/shapers out of the industry. HH can type away all day, it's obviously helping him/her/they out somehow, cheap therapy, but if we're here to keep the topic about surfing, it's worth thinking about.
     
  2. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    There are more local, handcraft board builders in my area today than there were 10 years ago, and the local board economy is growing. So I don't understand your point about mass produced, overseas manufacturers putting local craftsmen out of business. The local guys who are any good price their boards competitively ($600 range, a few buck less than a comparable SD), and never miss a swell. Travel a lot, too.

    So I really just don't get it.
     

  3. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    I've never bought a surftech/firewire/boardworks, both because I don't like the overseas / cheap labor / environmental construction model, don't like the boards themselves, and don't like the fact that they are more difficult to repair (for me anyway).

    But I'm curious what you mean by "allowing mass produced overseas products to drive up the cost of surfing"

    CJSurf accurately pointed out that if you look at the cost of making a board here in this country by traditional means, having a retail price of $600 (lets say $450 of that goes to the manufacturer) is probably about as cheap as is sustainable. I think there is upward price pressure on the US shaper/boardbuilders but its more related to increased cost of materials, labor costs, overhead / insurance health coverage, environmental regulations.

    I'm not sure how any of us are in a position to "allow" it or not, and I'm not sure its the overseas massed produced boards that are driving up costs of boards either.
     
  4. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    411
    Jun 26, 2014
    there will be a cap on that too, it's like craft beer, all of a sudden they're everywhere and none of them have the time and exp. get good, before they know it, it's too late. Brick & Mortar's are closing and pivoting to digital everyday, if they can make it (it's a fact). Mass produced everything, leashes/traction pads wetsuits it's all the same.
    On your other point, EC Surf Supply and Green light both have board packages that you can make a whole board for ~$250, but when you have a relationship with a distributor, you get a better cost. shapers should make money. Large labels are super exp. because they have a team of shapers/glassers/distributors/managers/sales/team riders/ duh. but $785 for a PU off the rack, $1,700 for an Aipa, $1,200 for a Black Rose Quinny (um, I mean Ricky Carrol)....heck $800 for a Brazie "sea speeder?" More power to 'em
     
  5. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Based on this alone you have zero frontline knowledge of shaping surfboards.
     
  6. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Here's my fact based reply, based on personal experience, from the last time OP got on here to whine about how a free market economy works.

     
  7. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    411
    Jun 26, 2014
  8. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
  9. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    411
    Jun 26, 2014
    I'm not a math teacher but at today's retail prices and assuming you're making $300 a board $61000/$300= 203 boards that's nothing for most of the fellas on the EC to do in a year. At the end of the day hh there's a 100 ways to skin a cat, you do you boo.
     
  10. seldom seen

    seldom seen Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2012
  11. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Who is making $300 on a surfboard? You're pulling that BS out of thin air.
     
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  12. Carson

    Carson Well-Known Member

    593
    May 19, 2006
    The mass produced boards are only driving up the price for SOME people who choose to pay those prices. As others have stated here, you can get a custom, hand-shaped board from a local shaper for a lot less and chances are it will work better at your home break than something "designed" by Slater. I have a Sauritch board that cost $530. I tried to give him $540 and he insisted on giving me change. He is as busy as he as ever been right now because he's an honest dude and he makes good boards.

    I also prescribe to the same thought that Gary V does about the market. Stop thinking of it as a pie that there are a limited number of slices. There is plenty of business to go around-you don't have to take it from someone else.

    Your ROI calculations are severely flawed. You didn't even consider any of the other overhead that's been stated already on this thread. Once the dude pays all of his bills associated with building that board, he would probably be delighted to make 20% net profit, so probably closer to $100 per board if he's lucky. So, assuming that your machine doesn't break and you can consistently make 200 boards a year, your ROI is minimum 3 years and in reality is probably longer than that.
     
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  13. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    I don't think that the costs associated with shaping is what may or may not be putting local shapers or surf shops (brick and mortar) out of business.

    It's the internet, plain and simple.

    Everyone that wanted anything surf-related had to go to a surf shop. Want a pair of OP shorts? Go to a surf shop. Want a board off the rack? Go to a surf shop. Want a custom shape? Yeah.

    Now, probably 90% of the surfing population gets 90% of their stuff online...me included. My last 4 shapes have been internet orders from guys overseas (no popouts). All my wetsuits, online. Sometimes, I even get my wax online. I know, pathetic. But the shops are closed half the year here, so I'm not completely guilty.

    You know the end is coming soon when people start getting their boards and wetsuits from Amazon
     
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  14. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    I gave serious thought to buying a machine and giving it a go a few years back. I ran all the numbers. I figured I would need to shape, glass and sell a minimum of 400 boards a year in order to make what I'd consider to be a decent living. The key word there is "Sell". You gotta find buyers too.
     
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  15. grainofsand

    grainofsand Well-Known Member

    411
    Jun 26, 2014
    Yeah truly has changed everything and idk anyone who hasn't shopped around.
    I know it's crazy. A lot of the shapers down south actually share resources and use the same factory and glasser.
    And at the end of the day you all have great points, to hh point, no one's putting a gun to the head to shell out the money and it's absolutely a choice what and where you buy your gear. It would be weird to see repo-men knocking on doors to repossess boards though.
     
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  16. CJsurf

    CJsurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    The funny thing is the way that surfers are like golfers. So many sheitty golfers think that the newest, latest, greatest gizmo-club will unlock their inner Tiger Woods and they will no longer suck. Golf and surfing don't work that way. I'd rather be the guy who wears out the grooves on his clubs practicing and getting good than the guy who spends a bloofyfukking fortune buying clubs over and over in hopes of finding the holy grail that doesn't exist.
     
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  17. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    For the record... just so we're having a discussion that's based in reality... A shortboard kit at Greenlight is $300... $320 and up if you want a stringer to glue up yourself. Not $250. And there's a reason why Greenlight doesn't sell surfboards.

    Local board builders around here are thriving... or at least seem to be... and their boards are in the lineups and in local shops. Are they selling online? I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine yes.
     
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  18. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Speaking of repo men, this happened back in 2009: One of my close friends, the "biggest" shaper I personally know by volume of boards, had a repo man driving a flatbed walk right into his factory and hook up a chain to his CNC machine to drag it out of there. My bud told the repo man he could take it over his dead body in the most serious terms possible. Cops were called. He ended up literally sitting on the machine and the cops said the repo man can't legally drag it out with him sitting on it so we was able to keep it. Eventually he and the bank came to terms and he still has the same machine today. S*** get's real when you're talking about someone's livelihood and life's work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  19. headhigh

    headhigh Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    There are 2 sides to this coin. Instagram specifically has opened up a world of local craftspeople to me that I didn't know existed. In the last 2 months I ordered a board and a set of fins from different people that live less than 5 miles away, that I wouldn't know existed without the interwebs. Same with my wetsuit. I searched the web not for an online retailer but an actual surf shop somewhat close to me that had what I wanted in stock. Ended up buying from a shop down near Charleston SC and they mailed the suit to me. Not local-local but also not wetsuitconglomerate.com. It really comes down to effort and patience. I'll admit it is hard to wait when Amazon Prime conditioned me to expect things in 2 days.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  20. smitty517

    smitty517 Well-Known Member

    742
    Oct 30, 2008
    Good discussion. I've never seen a rich shaper so I dont think the margins are very good. They are akin to "starving artists". Some of the increased costs result from environmental laws/regulations. These impact shipping as well. I am not saying the environmental costs aren't reasonable - just saying they cut into margin. I mostly buy boards based on the shaper. If that costs me more than so be it. As an old dude, it is no longer acceptable to use equipment I am not 100% happy with. There are a bazillion items that all impact my ability to sneak in surf sessions so paying more for what I want doesn't bother me. Again, no hand shapers (other than a select few) are getting rich.
    Btw: I don't like the pop outs but one thing I've been told from several shapers is the pop outs open a funding stream that allows them to keep prices lower on hand shaped inventory.
     
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