Thanks for the kind words.
I haven’t been on Sways much this year, primarily on Jamboards these days… I introduced the BF Premium Build Soft Tops over there per my design and in conjunction with longtime friend/associate Clyde Beatty. It makes sense for this type of product but I gotta say they turned out beyond my wildest dreams and are very true to the design. Then again I suppose they should being that they come directly off my file design, are hand finished out, hand laminated and built exactly the same as any custom EPS/Epoxy build then the EVA is sanded, trimmed, vac bagged onto the decks and rails.
There’s actually MORE work on these than a regular EPS/Epoxy build, but they are competitively priced because of the Asian labor. All the materials except for the EVA is American made materials: high grade Surf Specifc tight celled EPS, High Solid Epoxy Resin, Hexcel Trevarno fiberglass, Futures Fin Systems. The workmanship is superb, and I imagine that is proobably because the workers there are lifers. They have a great gig, they live in dorms within walking distance of the factory, they share camaraderie and a higher stature having this type of job, and they earn TEN TIMES the amount that they earned working in agriculture.
Many of the containers go back empty. We lower the carbon footprint as much as we can by sending it back filled with American made materials for the builds. It’s a global economy now, and there’s a whole other set of logisitics involved on doing this product, but at the same time I have close to 200 blanks at Arctic that we will be busy here, bullding stacks of boards for my dealers and a new online store once I get it set up. In that way repeat customers and new prospective ones can go to the website and BUY NOW from a deep inventory and from time of purchase I will send domestic purchases out within 48 hours and International sales in about 5 days.
I realized this is the way I need to evolve my business plan if I’m not going to retire. Reverse Engineering isn’t for the many hobby guys or small volume builders here on Swat’s and elsewhere, but when it comes to supplying demand for popular models it makes total sense.
A MODEL IS A SPECIFC DESIGN THAT IS A PROMISE IT WILL PERFORM IN A SPECIFIC WAY.
The ability to accurately scale to size the same design features with precision and consistency is justified by using R.E. and I designed, handshaped the prototype in the first place.
At 69 years of age and handsha[ing on nearly a daily basis up until recently, it was a health event that I suffered through the last three months that opened my eyes to why I needed to be fair to myself and focus on BEING THE DESIGNER versus the equivalent of a Production Shaper. Merrick did it, Rusty, Biolos, and many others do it, so why not me? I have very respectable back ups like Jeff Svoboda and Allan Gibbons that have finish shaped for me in the past and if you saw my blanks at Artic, who does my machining, there are a lot of cuts that I pay a premium for to control consistency of the design while allowing deserving shapers some income while furthering their own lines.
I support other shapers and have always been supportive of our craft. I’m very fortunate in being in the position to continue the passion & satisfaction I find in designing and building surfboards for a global following.
Here’s a few photos of the new BF Premium EPS/Epoxy Soft Tops. I brought an initial order of 60 in sizes of 7’6" Tri Fin, 6’6" Five Fin, and 6’0" Tri fin… 15 of the 60 sold in two days and many others are pending either through direct shipping or bought off the sales floors at Wavefront in Ventura & Surf Country in Goleta.
We have to plan for next year now, and with the current craziness of containers escalating in price from $2k to $10k in ONE MONTH and coninuing to rise, we aren’t in a hurry until things level out again, we are told not until Spring of next year. I will then refill the ordee and willl also introduce a BFV8 Premium Soft Top with the wide back Deep Panel V which has steadily been growing in popularity year after year. Because of the way these boards are built, my Deep Panel Vee’s turn out spot on as well asthe rails and the rest of the design remains true.
I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be doing a Soft Top, but I guess it’s wise to NEVER SAY NEVER.