Sharing is Caring...unless it is with Asia

I’d like to start a debate that will probably show my ignorance.

Since my first post a week ago regarding “demystify flex
patterns”, I have gotten several emails that indirectly or
directly stated that I am not being prudent with sharing information
about surfboard design, suggesting that there are people who just
ripoff ideas, then mass produce them in Asia.

My current position (which I am more than willing to change), is
that if I hold a piece of truth that others do not, then I should
share it. And if someone takes or steals the truth, and makes it
available to everyone, so that everyone benefits, then that is a
good thing. I am not a fan of intellectual elitism; I believe that
the internet is an excellent tool to break down barriers of
educational and informational inequities, created by the old system.
Was it my birthright to receive a superior education? Am I more
deserving of knowledge or money than someone in Asia?

I don’t even want to imagine how shitty my existence would be if
somebody didn’t share surfing with me. Or imagine if Hawaiians
somehow kept surfing a secret, and none of us ever found
surfing…what a miserable existence that would be.

To me the reason why surf breaks are crowded is the same reason
why labor is so cheap in China. The problem is NOT that too many
people want to surf or that too many Chinese want to work. The
problem is that there are too many friggin people. People need work,
and people love to surf, so neither of these can be stopped.
However, we can control population (without war)…which China is
trying to do. So my opinion is that China is actually being more
proactive about addressing beach crowds and cheap labor than any
other region of the world.

By the way, I am confounded by shapers that sell their boards
abroad in Japan, and complain about imports from China or Thailand.


PS- I’ve obviously oversimplified the issues, so please bring in the other arguments!

In the field of study that you are in, sharing by others past and present got you to where you are at, so naturally you would share. The progression of scientific ideas is brought about by sharing and Asia has contributed immensely on this front. Continue sharing it will spurn progression with surfboards or otherwise.


I love how, a few years ago, a certain world famous longboarder wasn’t going to jump on the “mass produced pop-out bandwagon, as that would be stealing work away from my friends”. That same person now has several surftech models proudly bearing his name! Everyone has their price. 

The problem I have with mass producing surfboards is who are you going to sell all those surfboards to? The market is small at best.

Hey Benjamin,

There's a lot of hypocricy in the China-domestic debate.  Might get to be a hot thread.  My problem with China and population control is their method, among other things. 

Are you related to Ben Thompson, the frontier gun fighter and gambler?  Mike


the problem is once you give in to it all

where does it stop?

the parallel experience to me is when do hawaiians stop giving aloha?

we gave and we gave and all that ever has happened once there was western exposure was that people took and never gave back

till there was nothing left and perhaps no one left 

so do we give up on our concept of aloha just because we’re taken advantage of all the time or do we try and maintain what is the mainstay of our culture

some say yes beat the pain by inflicting your own

but the wise kupuna(elders) say no you stay the course and somehow it will be worth it

those who lives are based against the good fortunes of others eventually suffer their own course of unhappy lives in one way or another

the western world has always been dog eat dog, based on the never ending western expansion manifest destiny somewhere else you could become king

most enviromentally dependant and restrictive island and native populations have always understood the need for living togethor for the good of the community

some didn’t like those on Easter Island and they paid a the price od abusing their resources

every native culture that has abused their resources to the point of extinction has become extinct themselves except the western ones.

I choose not to give up on what our culture believes is the core goodness of people so I suffer the course

sometimes its difficult to help folks rediscover want is buried so deeply behind what is means to be human

most of the time it’s not 

you can always choose the course to take 

be it stealiing billions from others by lying

flying a plane into a building to make a statement

or giving what little you can to bring a smile on a face if not for a brief second

you choose your course and then live with its consequences

just remember there’s no limit once you justify taking for your benefit at the demise of others.

just a thought i guess



I think the point is, if you are seeking to make a living as a result of your work, (deservedly so), then just be aware that there are those out there who may misappropriate your ideas and use them to grab a slice of the pie that you may otherwise have captured. Whether this matters or not, is surely dependent on the situation…

If you’ve done the work, you deserve the reward.

If you are not seeking monetary reward, then share as you like!

As timely and unique and unprecedented (?) as your frequency test was, I doubt you could patent it and retire off the proceeds.  I, for one, am glad you shared. It becomes a tool.  I don’t see how it being in the hands of Chinese builders is going to damage the sport or industry or you personally.


I’m in the middle of build which is my interpretation of Steve Pendarvis “Pendoflex” idea, combined with Greg Griffin’s 5 fin set up.  Aware of the presence of industry lurkers, I explained to him what I was doing, the possible presence of industry lurkers and asked his permission before I posted anything.  What I do may have little in common with his actual methods but out of respect for him and his ideas I felt I should give him the opportunity to censor my post.  His response was, “Do whatever it is you do.”


I think people should just be aware of the presence of industry lurkers.  I think Rachel’s trunk board was/is a good example.


My current position (which I am more than willing to change), is that if I hold a piece of truth that others do not, then I should share it. And if someone takes or steals the truth, and makes it available to everyone, so that everyone benefits, then that is a good thing. [/quote]

Unless of course that 'truth' is what puts food in your childrens' belly, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads.

I couldnt care less about sharing truths bro, its about survival and anyone who tells you othewise hasnt been on the wrong side of the deal.

I was on the wrong side, i worked my ass off working days and going to college, paid my own way by working. no one gave me free shit, i got loans and paid them off. i kept working hard after college, then when i became too expensive for the man, i got laid off, replaced by some one else in hong kong working for 1/3 the cost.

I have no interest in the kumbaya sharing bullshit. and anyone who thinks so aint making a living off it and feeding their kids. 



Sadly, there will always be opinionated yet paranoid people out there. Don't take them too seriously.


Or is it some people are afraid of someone else making money, or glory, out of an idea they may have had, but didn't have confidence, means or motivation to get off their arse and prove it to themselves and the world, and take the glory and make the money themselves.


I never begrudge anyone who makes more money than me, they probably work a lot harder than I ever did. Thing is, I usually surfed a lot more than they did, and they didn't like that either. Yep, sad.



some career choices are immune from the affects of globalization. a lawyer is one example.

i chose engineering. i got burned, im not paranoid.

some of you live in sheltered bubbles. some of you have packed your bags and moved your lives and careers across oceans. if you cant beat'm join'm.  

some of you dont have mouths to feed other than your own.

and yet you judge and call others 'paranoid'.


are you feeding your family by selling fins?

do you have kids? mouths to feed?

You can expose ever detail to making a board here on swaylocks and it won't have any impact whatsoever. Everyone is an expert so if a good Idea is presented it's disregarded anyway. It's all about branding anyway. Sways has no impact whatsoever. Do you really think some guy in China is using Swaylocks to build a business plan?


. Do you really think some guy in China is using Swaylocks to build a business plan?


he doesnt need to. he just needs to make an equal or better product at a much cheaper price. he just needs a connected distributor that already has a biz plan. 


ok, here is my thoughts …first of all 99% of asian cheap imports have an american or an aussie or a englishman or a (insert non chinese countryman here) behind them. they went to access cheap labour and a loose environment control/ taxation system. thats the greedy @#$%s that is the culprit!

 yes i have kids and a family  and loans to pay… i love to share information up to a point! once i have invested time and resources into something that im needing to recoup a sum of my expenses, im keeping it close till i can get some benifits!  dont see how else i could make it pay…


I definitely sympathise with Crafty, if not quite so assertively :slight_smile:

Crafty comes from a section of the engineering industry where Intellectual Property is EVERYTHING.

When your livelyhood depends on the ideas you generate, suddenly they become a helluva lot more precious.

No, its not selfish to keep ideas to yourself, not if you have done the work to generate them.

Yes, almost every “new idea” is based on work that came before it… 

To share or not depends on your circumstances!