Hypocrite Alert: Parmenter goes to China

Dave Parmenter has epoxies being made for him in China…


Yeah, I know, welcome to 2007. But I thought this development was particularly hypocritical, given what Parmenter has written in the past.

Here’s a taste of Mr. Parmenter’s opinions on the boards he’s now endorsing:

“In this instance I feel that troops have marched into Poland and that I must not be silent…you know that you have never met an individual less concerned about wringing money from this quaint little cottage industry than I. I have no desire at all to be the next Rusty or Al Merrick; nor do I want to branch into some megalomaniac surfwear company.

That being said, I still care deeply about the historic traditions of the custom surfboard industry, and always will. As a shaper firmly in control of that destiny I can say with some assurance that any future innovations I enjoy will stem almost entirely from actual design refinements that I concoct or borrow from another shaper, and not from materials changes or surf media hype.

I am deeply worried that the current trends will profoundly affect the evolution of future surfboard design, and feel a certain responsibility -as one of the few remaining present-day surfer/shaper/designers - to face and counter these threats.

…If I ever see a surfer that has one of these Chinese Costco boards with a Surfrider Foundation decal on his car I’m gonna let the air out if his tires….

I say this to all those surfers who - for whatever reason - applaud the ideology of the molded pop-out board a’la SurfTech/ Cobra: If you have somehow lost the thread of progressive surfboard design in your middle years, fine, go ahead and ride one of those Hasbro surfcraft - it’ll look nifty in your garage next to your other emblems of faltering commitment gathering dust there, such as your Tupperware kayak and Chinese-made mountain bike…

All you good and experienced surfers out there who are trapped on a stamped-out, look-alike surfboard that is someone else’s idea of what a good board is, I offer you this: Once you have decided that you would surf better with some design changes you will want to take your spiffy pop-out board to a custom shaper and ask for, say, less rocker or a wider tail.

However, if the doors are chained up and the shaper is now cleaning pools for a living or there is a Starbuck’s where the shop used to be - well, you’ll know who to blame. …And you can go down to the docks and sit there to wait for the container ship to bring you - on the slow boat from China - a business man’s idea of the “hot new” model you will soon be riding.”

Taken from an E-mail rant Dave Parmenter wrote to a “friend” who had the audacity to say positive things about the performance of epoxy composites. Way to stand by what you believe in, Parmenter! What a sorry kook.


get over it mate

bert and others are there too

if the board works , RIDE it and have fun , without ANALysing everything.


… is there anything worse than a xenophobic seppo ??

You’re missing the point - I agree that if the board works, ride it. Just thought it was classic that Parmenter would get so far up on his high horse, only to change his tune and “sell-out” as he puts it.

I too was appalled to see this ad. To think that Parmenter of all people has not only sold out, but sold out using the worst of the breed, Boardworks.

Way to go Dave, I can’t think of a better way to marginalize yourself in your own profession.

But as the second poster said, I think that people should ride whatever they like and feels good to them.

Taken from an E-mail rant Dave Parmenter wrote to a “friend”

That’s cold man. Go flame elsewhere

PS -

Thanks Dave, I cant wait to run out to a Mall and pick up one of these 50lb+ lemons.

Is anyone actually surprised? The two words that come to mind are:

Money Talks.


Yep, Money talks alright. Heard “Mr. soul” Joel Tudor has signed on with Surftech. Also been hearing lately that ST is up for sale.

hype = concrete=


excelent for weighting feet

to slowly sink to the bottom

of the inlet where the freight

passes overhead…

smoke em if you gottem

this here revolution

will lose some along the way

the vociferous fall from on high

to silence further below

yet the ageing radicals

turn to comfort

and ease

it aint their fault

its just the shadow

of their former selves

putting a worried look

on their faces

you will recognise yourself

as you walk by

just an opinionated kid

with a log in his eye

looking for splinters.

I’ll take …


i’ll give…

Yup everyone here is a superior shaper and human being to Dave since boardworks started making his boards. Wasn’t this all ready a topic about a month ago? Get over it. People change their minds all the time.



yet the ageing radicals

turn to comfort

and ease

it aint their fault

its just the shadow

of their former selves

putting a worried look

on their faces

Very well put, ambrose. My question is: do you also speak in verse all the time? I bet customer service reps love you…

Seriously, though, I love how so many ideologs all of a sudden seem to lose their ‘passion’ when they are finally acknowledging and facing an impending retirement with a paltry (if any) retirement fund in place…

They finally find out (usually in a cruel manner) that they will not live forever, and that aging for the most part sucks, except for the appreciation one develops because of the process which slowly takes away what you once took for granted…


Deja vu all over again. Yawn.

The so called custom surfboard industry is a thinly disguised global franchise popout industry anyway, now it’s getting munched by a more efficient version of itself, that’s just progress from one kind of mass production mass marketing driven plastic board industry to the next… . . .



This is fairly key: I don’t like money actually, but it quiets my nerves.

I know a guy. He shapes a few surfboards. Other guys shape more, some a lot more. A very very very few are global franchise popout mass production mass marketing driven plastic board whatever. Now Global Surf Industries, that’s what that is.

Why do you care? Why do you flame it here? Most of us make our own boards anyway, what do I care if Parmenter makes a popout paddleboard???

Go through the archives and you can see that what really gets us going is when Chipfish has plugged more fins into his board and got action shots of Popeye, or when Lob has made a new quad that challenges the cutting edge of artwork surfboards, or when Balsa has a 10’ Burford blank in his torture chamber ready to make the next classic longboard, or the boys have a new resin swirled epoxy, or the compsand crew have made the next step into the future… and Carve Nalus SUP’s ride 10’ north shore waves… and…

so who cares about dave parmenter’s pop outs? Go troll it on smurfer…

I own a SURFTECH long board!!!

Rag on me all you want. Make sure you check the archives to see what else I’m up to.

Bah Humbug. Where’s my Gorilla glue?

Still having fun


i just had a thought. I’ve got a softop…and it’s from surftech, guess that makes me a sell out too…it sure helps clear the crowd on crowded town swell though. For some reason people always seem to want to be out of your way when you have one…go figure.

I sell Bics in my shop as an entry level inexpressive board. Made in France…does this make me a sell out, or is France O.K. ( By the way, I sometime take the 10’ bic out because it surfs great! Does liking a popout make me a sellout?)

Sheesh. Doraspawn was only pointing out some blatant hypocrisy, not deriding popouts’ merits. I have to agree. This is much more than changing his mind. Here’s a guy who goes out of his way to criticize Surftech and Boardworks on a deep, soul vs crass commercialization basis, and then signs on with one of them purely for commercial reasons. Is it OK to make a deal with one of those companies? Sure it is. What smells is his public stance regarding people who do that, followed by his doing it. Someone with real ideals behaves in accordance with them. Some people are just talk.

I agree with Epac on this…It was a private e-mail…

I’m good friend with the recipient of the original e-mail, and we talked at length about Dave’s change last week when I was down there (in Cal)…

My friend’s take on it was this: for the kind of boards (SUP) that are being made, it makes sense to build them that way…Who among us would want to mow out gigantic blanks day after day…???..Use the right tool for the job…Welcome to the future, or go back to non-close-tolerance blanks and get creative…Anyone here ever done that…???..

You can call me a hypocrite too, albiet without the media stature of DP, and I never wrote a “manifesto” expousing my stance on custom vs. mass produced…But I felt the same way that Dave did…

For decades I was against surfboards being use to sell things…I still have that core belief, but I had a reality check…

When Bloomingdales Department stores put $8,000 in front of me for four used boards, my rationalizations began…

  1. I made the boards for me to ride, and I did, and I learned from each one…
  2. As an “artist” I want my work to be seen, and a place like Bloomingdales has a lot of exposure…
  3. Money gives me freedom…

You might be surprised how you’d react in a similar situation…

Everyone has a price…And rationalizations…