Educating the unaware majority

We, as individuals, come in contact with .0001 percent of the surfing population. This isn’t real numbers, but you see my point. All of us have our own customer base and we try our best to get the picture across to them, but we come in contact with so few people that it is a meer grain of sand on the beach. So we stand with this word of mouth system that slowly grows with the satisfaction of those customers. We are almost all geographically isolated, with our cutomer base being from our immediate area, which in turn hinders outside growth. I, like Feral Dave, went for the big ad media blitz (which I couldn’t afford) several years back and had one confirmed sale, from Peter Rijk, he came from Holland to pick up his board. A one man operation can’t afford to advertize, business card size ad 350$. Since I first went on line, I saw this is where to go for us, six billion people with the ability to hear about YOU. I would love to have my ego stroked, with my name in big bold letters across the pages of Surfers Journal, but it’s only a dream, so until something different occurs, I’ll try my best to educate the customers I come in contact with on all the things it takes to build a really good custom surfboard. After all, I use the same glass shops as the top two builders. Oh, that’s right, I don’t have a full page ad with a world champ

love the input jim- the net definitely is the place for people like us- i appreciate your insight- good waves to you my friend. shaper out-

Didn’t I tell you my picture is in every mag. where I live Jim ? Let’s say at that time you needed a strong nose in order to pick the best out of all the ad’s in that magazine. Nowadays you might even need a better sense of smell to pic the right (best) one out off all the info/ad’s and other things on internet. Until now my sense of smell did’nt let me down. It was worth it, picking up the board, meeting da man and surfing all the spot’s in california, I had a great time then and would love to do it again. Regards Peter.

…I have to agree with Jim.I placed an ad in a mag back in the 70s and in the longggggggrun it paid for it self (about a year later).This however didnot include my time,effort or artwork to create this ad…so it was a loss. …The surf mags I think for the most part are a good thing,but in there struggle for financial survival,they tend to overlook the true meaning of “SurfStoke”.That coupled with repeated articles of places that most of us will never see,and a surreal look at pro surfing,gives me a dislocated feeling for it all.Kind of like what the sport fishing mags did for me = big boats,faraway lands, and or/fishing I really didn’t care for…so I stopped buying/reading them.The surf mags have done the same for me as well.The skateboard industry does do this as well,but seems to “not forget there roots” for very long,beening that things can change very rapidly in that industry. …For Jim an others in the surf industry that DO the work,it’s tough!!! I wish you all the best,most possible success you can achieve.For guys like me???Just remembering who you are on the food chain,and try not to piss off the fisherman too much, that are making a living on the sport.Otherwise they’ll hunt you down for the predator that we can be viewed as. …As for Swaylocks and other surf sites like it…the future will tell…As I see it, it’s what surfing mags use to represent to me in the past.Which basically tells me, this is where it is.Herb

There are two very distinct and usually seperate groups in our industry. Marketing people and craftsmen make up these two categories. Occassionally, they actually get together to their mutual benifit. But, like in other sports, the number that actually benifit from the system of promotion, is a very small percentage. It’s a numbers game that is becoming increasingly hard to afford. Ever since surfing reamerged as a life style marketing mechanism the icons of the industry have become entrenched. Prior to the mid eighties, many top brands came and went. After the legitamization of our sports and the entry of big clothing investment dollars, that type of dynamic reshuffling of the board manufacturers was to risky to attracked that money. Lopez and Lightening Bolt is a perfect example of marketing not mixing well with a master craftsman. Unfortunately, there are also many examples of drug related rags to riches to rags stories in our history as well. But, that’s a whole nother line of thought. I believe that inorder to break through the glass ceiling that the existing hegonomy has created, it will take more than just an incremental improvement on what has come before. But, this takes a huge amount of effort to affect this degree of advancement. It may be in building materials as Greg Loeher has been experimenting with. It may be in design. It could be in appendages. But, I think venues like Swaylocks will be instrumental in configuring each of these areas of development into the next great leap. I hope we all appreciate that history is in the making here on this site.l