Summary of post Clark manufacturing

Analysis by Andrew Hines sent to me in a fax then converted to PDF then converted into text which was really screwed up and I had to spend an hour fixing it…sorry for any screwed up spelling, text, paragraphs ar any other weirdness also I couldnt figure out how to include some of the tables and graphs at the end of the article.

12/21/2005 17:15 1-520-745-8875 POLYMER CHEMISTRY PAGE 01


A Summary of the Post-Clark

State of the U.S. Surfboard Manufacturing Industry


by Andrew Hines


i I have attempted to identify forward looking statements by

, terminology including “anticipate.” I believe,"“can,” “continue,”

: “could,” estimate," “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan” “potential,”

; “predict,”"should,"or"will"or the negative of these terms or other

comparable terminology. These statements are only predictions

and involve known and unknown risks;uncertainties,and other’

: factors.


Hi, this is the author, Andrew. I want to relate here at a more personal level before you

go on to read this. I wrote it formally because that’s how I’ve been trained to do it. I make no

claim to being an authority on the industry, although it may seem as though I’m trying to "tell

everyone what’s up". On the contrary, this should be subject to criticism and commentary _.

maybe it will benefit our understanding. '. , . .

In Clark’s analysis last year, he spent some time addressing our options for "Efficiency

Improvements to Compete With Imports’;, He talks about five things’in that section, One of .

which is ditching the historically shoddy management stye of our.industry. I strongly suggest

anyone who reads my analysis to read Clark’s piece also, available online at It looks like we need to get lean and buckle down,

start doing things efficiently and with sound strategy-If we are smart about this, many

opportunities will be found and our surfboards will be the better for it. .

12/21/2005 17:15 1-520-745-8875 POLYMER CHEMISTRY PAGE 02


The Post-Clark State of the U.S. SurlboardManufacturing Industry.

Interpreting Gordon Clark’s 2004 Projection.

In Octoberof last year,gordon Clark disseminated a 33-pagedocument containing his

analysis of the future of the surfboard industry" . entitled AnAnalysis of the Future of the

Surfboard Industry. The analytical document is preceded by a letter which champions Matt

Biolas for his efforts in lobbying the government to levy a tariff on imported surfboards. This, of

course, is in violation of multiple free trade agreements (FTAs) including those accorded in the

Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Addressing the implications of Ftas

in the U.S. surfboard manufactUring industry is oUtside the range of this study, although this

should be made clear: FTAs are established to expose poorly managed and inefficient industries

to foreign conipetition, with the intention that those industries might become more efficient and

more competitive.

In Clark’s anaiysis, the foremost dedaration is that the prospects of the domestic industry depend

upon the sophisticated buyer. Clark defines the sophisticated buyer roughly as (1) the surfer who

wants a custom.board built to their specifications, (2) The surfer who can pick out a surfboard

with little or no help, and (3) the surfer who makes the purchasiug decision based upon technical

knowledge. On the.flnal page of the document, Clark relates his conclusion as follows:

My conclusion is still based on the ‘sophisticated buyer’ as defined in the introduction to this

document. If this type of buyer disappears, which is highly unlikely, then our market will

evetltually disappear. If this buyer exists in large numbers and we can both service 'sophisticated

buyers’ and develop mOre ,‘sophisticated buyers’. then I believe we will remain in good shape."

p.33 …

Throughout his document, Clark makes substantial reference to the commodity-type surfboard.

Often~he relates the commodity surfboard to his mythical" Asian producer (presumably

intended to represent the companies who do, in fact, manufacture in Asia) to whom he attributes

the derogatory name YingYong Foo". He states that surfboards produced overseas are the

same and therefore. commodity-like, He goes on to.explain that "concentrating on the servicing

and development of the ~sophistcated buyer’ will serve as a strong barrier to an oversupply of

more or less’commodity’surfboards. Clark Foam failed to realize its role in the

commoditization of thc surfboard. industry.


Clark Foam Commoditized the Surfboard Jndustry

For nearly 40 years, Clark Foam supplied an estimated 80-90% of the entire U.S.

surfboard manufacturing industry with their key upstream input: polyurethane (PU) foam blanks.

Clark’s prodndtion volume has been estimated at 1.000 blanks per day reaching more than.

300,000 per year. Excluding fin systems, surfboards essentially have two components: core and

skin. Skin construction was standardized to a fiberglass/polyester. (PE matrix shortly after the

advent of foam (i.e. Clark Foam). The standardization of the two major components of

surfboards had resulted in the.commoditization of the surfboard.

Indeed, mauufacturing operations had been standardized for the use of Clark Foam PU blanks

and PE resin. This presented significant barriers to entry for other blankproviders because any

new core material would require a restructuring of the manufacturing process. This is evidenced

by the inability for expanded/extruded polystyrene (EPS) to penetrate the market; EPS is

incompatible with PE resin and manufacturers could not bear the switching costs. Moreover,

Clark was keenly aware of his monopolistic position and leveraged his authority to squash.

attempts to introduce alternative manufacturing technologies. Consider this statement addressing

the possibility of new manufacturing technology as an efficiency gain Deve1op neW

manufacturing technology. Good luck on this option. Since I have been in this business there

have been a staggering number of people thinking and working on a new surfboard.'" p.27 Here

we see that Clark aCknowledged the homogeneity of surfboards, stating that since he entered the

business, then~has been no “new surfboard”.

The structure Of the industry and the standardization of processes and materials have prevented

fIrms from realizing any substantive value-added from their production processes. The adoption

of CNC macMnes have enabled some fIrms to add value by gaining efficincies. not by

differentiating their product. This supports the assertion of a commoditized surfboard industry

where the main competitive advantage is derived from a low cost strategy. However,several

more establisHed and well recognized firms have added value through their marketing and brand


Thereis an argument that claims that manufacturers realize value added from a shapers designs in

virtually everY case the difference in design is negligible and no value is added. It is not to say

that producers’can not realize value-added in this way. only that they have not. In most cases. the

perceived value of a shaper’s design is developed by marketing and brand sttategies not, in

fact, by any substantive difference in design. This is evidenced across the industry by the

homogenization of basic design elements. .

Clark Foam developed its competitive advantage by offering an extensive line of "close-

tolerance" blanks. By definition close tolerance implies the blank is designed to be as

close as

possible to its final intended. shape. It follows that variation of design was prevented, in large

part, by the close tolerance nature of Clark foam blanks. In both design and constrUction, we see

the compreherisive commoditization of surfboards.

Commoditization and Firm Strategy


Accepting that tbe surfboard industry was commoditized under the Clark Foam

monopoly, it .is important to identify the effcct it had on firm strategy. A manufacturing firm

could not develop a diffetennation strategy (outside of branding) without shifting manufacturing

technology, which carries a heavy cost penalty. Switching to an altemative manufacturing

technology requires R&D and operating capital outside the reach of most producers. As with all

commodity-type industries, a low-cost strategy dominates and drives down profit margins. This

is exactly what the surfboard industry has eXJrerieuced. Contrary to popular wisdom. outside

investors have not been. averse to the surfboard industry because of its small size, but because of

its poor profitability. Top line volume is immaterial if there is nothing on the bottomline.

Clark Foam’s almost violent cessation of PU blank production should enable surfboard

manufacturers ,to explore differentiation strategies, at least in the short term. The differentiation

strategy, in fact, may be forced upon manufacturers by the simple unavailability of PU blanks

and the destabilization of the surfboard retail market. Alternative construction technologies may

enable manufacturers

to pursue a. differentiation strategy in the long run as well.

The Hole in the Supply Chain and Excess Demand

As stated previously, the closure of Clark Foam has created a 1,000 blank-a-dayhole in

80-90% of the collective supply chain. This is the supply-side change; there is also a demand side

change. The demand-side change is more complicated because’it includes several markets:

(1) the industrial market for blanks between Clark Foam and direct customers (either distribution

centers or larger manufacturers), (2) the wholesale market for blanks between distribution


centers and smaller manufacturers, and finally (3) the retail market for fInished surlboards

between manufacturers/wholesalers and retailers/consumers.


It will take sometime for the full effects to be felt at the consumer/retail1evel. As of Monday

December 13th, prices were raised in many retail shops by as much as 30% in an effort to retain

inventory until production increases. Quotas are also being used as an inventory-control

mechanism ( board per customer per month). Killer Dana O’Neill,and Wise SurfShop

have employed this control device.

Presently, the quantity of excess demand in the industrial and wholesale markets is the loss of

ClarkFoam’s production volume intended for the u.s. market. If 90% of Clark Foams

production was for U.S. markets, the excess demand will be 900 blanks a day. This quickly will

translate to an /900 surfboard-a-day excess demand in the retail market for finished surfboards.

Thc excess demand is multiplied by purchasing behavior during supply shortages: purchasing

increases above normal levels in expectation of tittle or no supply in the future.

As the blank shortage experienced by manufacturers continues to become a surfboard shortage

experienced surfers, retail prices will rise further. It would be iInprudent to predict the future

equilibrium retail price, but indicators suggest that equilibrium price almost certainly will

stabilize somewhere above. its previous position. The equalization of the market will depend

uppn the four major methods of servicing the excess in demand: (1) the importation of foreign

PU blanks, (2} the ramping-up of domestic PU blank:producers, (3) the increase in production by

alternative construction providers, and (4) the increase in production of EPS blanks.

Increase in Foreign Import.of PU Blanks

The aggregate foreign production capacity of PU ,blanks is nowhere near that of Clark

Foam. Communication with Australian, South American… South African, and European suppliers

has provided little concrete information. One telling fact is that Clark Foam was a global

supplier; therefore the foreign markets may also be feeling the shortage. Australia is in peak

production with their summer demand siting squarely on their shoulders. While Australia

surely has thelargest capacityof all the regions aforementioned. their domestic demandis large

enough to occupy most of that capacity. ShapersAustaIia recently reported: "At the presentwe

are at full capacity until around mid next year, as you can appreciatewe have all the demands of

theAustralian summer firmly on our shoulders. We would certainly like to help as many people

out as we can and if the situation arises where we can, then we will look at ways to assist."

On being contactcd, several other Australian PU blank manufacturers reported that no further

container loads of blanks could be exported to the U.S. within the next three months. The

current import volume has not been established, but surfboards made with foreign PU bJanks will

continue to gain market share until domostic PU and EPS production ramps up.

Increase in Domestic Production of PU Blanks

The following is an excerpt from a memorandum released on December 12thby SIMA’s

Bill Bahne, concernilig southern California blank suppliers Walker Foam and Just foam: "We.

are hoping tbese two sources combined will be able to produce and deliver approxcimately 2,000

domestically produced blanks per month within 45-60 days. In addition, Walker Foam is

negotiating with a production facility in China to manufacture btanks under licence for

distribution in America." Neglecting the possible Chinese operation, a production volume of .

2,000 blanks-a.-month translates into about 90 blanks-a.-day. This would reduce excess demand

by less than 10%. .

Another report suggested that Wa]ker would reach levels of production to provide "'foam for

everyone" within 90 days. The credibility of this claim. has not been established. .

Notwithstanding, those 90 days would represent 90.000 blanks absent from inventories

(neglecting imports), and it will take production at levels of excess supply in order to replenish

that loss of inventory. The loss in aggregate blank:and finished-surfboard inventories. however.

will be replenished most likely over the long-run by a some combination of imported PU blanks,

EPS blanks, and domestic PU blanks.

Increase in Production by Altemative Construction Technology Providers (ACTEPs)

This group cODsistsof firms like Surftech, Boardworks and Salomon. While there

certainly are domestic and custom ACtEPs, the term will be used to refer exc1usively to

overseas molded-board manufacturers. Their supply chain will remain unaffected by Clark

Foam’s closure -as they do not participate in the market for blanks-and they will continue to

be able to produce finished surfboards without any disruption. They will capitalize on the excess

demand and increase their production accordingly. The excess in demand will ensure that.

ACTEPs quickly gain retail market sharc. It is important to note that of the four:'major methods

of servicing the excess demand, this is the only one that services it at the retail level

immediately; the other three will service it over time. This is a distinct advantage:for ACTEPs.

Increase in EPS Blank Production

The combination of extrUded or expanded polystyrene cores and fiberglass/epoxy skins

has been.proven extensively by innovators like Greg Loehr. It has been prevented from entering

the market for blanks (and finished boards) by Clark’s complicated barrier to entry. At this time,

that barrier to entry has been eliminated. The PU blank shortage has rendered EPS switching

costs irrelevant in comparison to costs of remaining with PU. For most surfboard manufacrnrers,

adopting EPS blanks and epoxy resin will require a fairly marginal restructuring period.


is positioned to gain a substantial share in the market for blanks and consequently,

substantial retail market share.

A Santa Cruz-based company in the business of providing CNC shaping services, Marlin

Cybershapes. is one such entrepreneurial company that will undertake the capital investment.

required to begin high capacity production of EPS blanks. Assuming there are other fims like

Cybershapes, significant capital may be invested in the production of EPS blanks. Epoxy is

readily available and virtually no investment is necessary to use this material aside from

.relatively simple oven s.ystems~oensure a.funy cured matrix. The capital investment made by

entrepreneurial firms implies a long-term commitment that will compete against the scrambling

domestic PU blank producers, both in the short~ and long term

QualityIssues . .

Clark Foam dominated the industry for several reasons-one of which was extremely

consistent high quality. Provided that Clark Foam supplied 80-90% percent of the

manufacturing industry with blanks. finished surfboards were also of consistent high quality

(neglecting variations in lamination quality and over-shaping)-With the introduction of blanks

imported from. several countries, quality will be inconsistent. using the best of terms…Quality could suffer from the use of smaller and less-established

PU blank providers. This would result

in theproduction of higher-priced, lower-qualityPU/PEsurfboards.

Surfboards constructed with EPS/epoxy maybe ofvarying quality due to inexperienced .

production. staffs. This problem could be resolved quickly, though. Long-time advocates of this

construction technology argue that EPS/epoxy is a superior technology by nature. Assuming that

is the case, EPS/epoxy boards will be extremely competitive, facing ,resistance only by the tastes

and preferences of consumers. Coincidentally, the excess demand implies that consumer.tastes

and preferences will be skewed by the simple availability of finished surfboards.

Established ACTEPs will not suffer.from quality issues, assuming they do not make sacrifice*,in

quality in order. to increase production volumes.

Price Pressures

Price pressures are critically dependent on the decisions of individual suppliers and

manufacturing firms. Foreign imports will drive up the cost strUcture of the impqrting firms. A

40 foot container filled with PU blanks will bear a $2,000 to $3,000 shipping cost. This cost will

be amortized over each finished board. This could drive up finished PU/PE board prices by a

significant margin-anywherefrom 15to 30%.

If domestic PU blank suppliers raise prices, it will help equalize the market for PU blanks. If

domestIc PU blank producers do not raise prices, it will exacerbate the excess demand and

protract the recovery period. This scenario may be flawed, though, due to the introduction of

new competition from EPS blanks. Domestic PU supplers may be forced to keep prices

artificially low In order to compete with EPS.

The price of EPS blanks will have a significant impact on the competitive environment in the

market for all surfboard blanks. EPS blanks wi11 be relatively inexpensive, 'potentially priced

under the previous level of Clark Foam blanks. Any price increase for PU blanks will encourage.

surfboard manufacturers to make the switch to EPS.

Alternative construction technology providers (ACTEPs) will have a.significant impact on the

competitive price structure of the retail market. Their cost structure is unaffected by the PU

blank shortage,so their prices presumably will remain’unchanged .'This may drive down the

competitive price level and apply downward pressure on profitmargins!but othernon-price

.factors may enable higher priced non-molded surfboards to compete effectively. These factors

include the implementation of differentiation strategies, distribution efficiency (which is

intrinsically disadvantaged of overseas production and intrinsically advantaged in domestic

production), and the development of the sophisticated buyer.

Table of Factors Forejqn PU Domestic PU EPS ACTEPs

…Short-term mkt. share Up …down UP. .Up . … …

Long-term tnkt. share Down Down Up Up

Short-term price press. Up Up Up Down

Long-term price press. Up Up Down Down

Short-term quality trend Inconsistent Down Down Consistent

Long-term quality trend inconslstent Up Up Consistent

Appraisal & Outlook

The impJicatiOJJSof the Clark Foam closure are complicated and far-reaching. It is

important to distinguish between the different markets discussed previously: industrial,

wholesale, and retail. Precice forecasting is outside the scope of this study, but identjfying the

critical factors will assist in the prediction. of the future competitive environment of the u.s.

surfboard manufacturing industry, The exact quantity of excess demand (approximately 1,000

boards-a-d~y) is a critical factor, which will be exacerbated by purchasing at levels greater than

normal, but ameliorated by the following four major methods of servicing that demand:

  1. Increase in foreign imports of PU blanks

  2. Increase in domestic production of PU blanks

  3. Increase in production of EPS blanks

  4. Increase in production of established alternative constructions.

Each of these changes will shift up the level of aggregate production, which was nearly flattened

by the ClarkFoam closure. Blank and finished-surlboard inventories will fall dramatically to


minor fraction of their previous level and aggregate production reaches levels greater than

demand. inventories will remain low in production warehouses and.retail floors.

Importing of foreign. PU Blanks: is a costly short-term solution. Firms that import PU bianks

as an a1temativc to switching to EPS/epoxy surfboards will face debilitating inefficiencies. Their

cost structure will increase and quality will be inconsistent. If surfboards containing foreign PU

blanks jncrease their retail market share to 40% in the short-term, their share will fall to near zero

in the long-term.

PU/PE surfboards will lose market share permanently. The increase in domestic PU blank

production is the sole factor that will prevent PU/PE boards from becoming forced out of the

U.S. market. In the short-run. PE/PU boards will lose market share rapidly to established

ACTEPs. In the long-run, they will continue to lose market share to EPS/epoxy boards. If

PU/PE surfboards held an 80% retail market share before, they may hold less than a 40% share

in the future,

.ACTEPs will gain market share permanently. ACTEPs are gain market share

immediately. Their supply chains are intact and they will increase production immediately.

They will gain significant market share in the short-term and probably retain that share in the .

long run. Their only disadvantage is the inability to cater to the sophisticated buyer and this may

prevent them from gaining market dominance. If ACTEPs held a 20% markd share before, they

may hold more than a 35% market share in the future.

EPS/epoxy surfboards will gain market share permanently. Capital investment in EPS blank

production ensures that EPS/epoxy surlboards will not bc a shQrt-term solution. There may be

variations in the details of construction but the general method has been proven viable. PU blank

price and availability factors will encourage manufacturers to adopt EPS/epoxy processes. If

EPS/epoxy surfboards held a near-zero market share before, they may hold more than a 35%

share in the future.

Cost structures win increase in the short-term but decrease to previous levels in the long

term. This may have a profound impact on profit margins in me long run. Accepting the

commoditization of the surfboard industry. we can model the change in margins after other During asupply shortage, cost structures increase. so prices are raised;

but as supply increases to meet demand, prices are not lowered. Commoditized industries

compete with low-cost strategies that drive down their profit margins. After a supply shortage,

when prices have risen and cost structures are lowering, the indUstry does not decrease prices but

rather improves their margins.

The surf industry has suffered from poor profit margins and this supply shortage may be the

Opportunity to improve them. However, this may not happen, depending upon the following

factors: (1) the ability of the industry to collaborate and refrain from self-destructive competitive

price gouging; (2) the magnitude of downward price pressure from ACTEPs; (3) the ability for

manufacturers of non-molded surfboard manufacturers to execute differentiation. strategies and

develop the sophisticated buyer; (4) the extent of industry decommoditization and product


Contrary to popular wisdom, Surftech, Boardworks, NSP, Santa Cruz Surfboards, Salomon. and

other ACTEPs have not commoditized the industry -in fact. they have decommoditzed it The

monopoly of Clark Foam and PU/PE blanks established an ovelWhelming market dominance.

From the commmers’ perspective (and,indeed, the business perspective). that homogenized the

industry. The inevitable increase in production of EPS/epoxy surfboards will further

differentiate surfboards and decommoditize the industry.

Andrew Hines is currently an upper division student of international business and global economics at San

Francisco.state.University. He serves as a.performance analyst for a $150 million manufacturing company in .

northern California, He began surfing and shaping in Santa Cruz, California when he was 12 years old. He has

hand-shaped several hundred boards. developed computer-aided surfboard design methodologies and served as the

. coordinator of research and development for a hollow composite start-up surlboard co.mpany based .1nnorthern

California. Andrew continues to build surfboards and follow the industry closely.

ApexSurf 112/1412005

Aloha Jason…

My simple take on it is this…

Clark has three separate wrongful death suits from the families of his workers that are in various legal stages. Being a kingpin worth mega dollars a good legal team would’ve advised the elimination of all assets that couldn’t be seized with a big settlement or court judgement against him. Based off of what everyone has indicated about his personality I would guess that Grubby would rather get rid of it all under his own power than to lose it all under orders of a court judgement…

Pretty simple and a standard response from those with lots to lose…

… and by the way the big black munchkin elf Puni says hello (we did our Sandtracks buoy thing in the lineup togethor all weekend)

Ahh Puni AKA Mr. Aloha. Tell him I said Hi.

35 + 35 + 40 != 100

I think ACT-EPS are the ones who will take market share. They are ready, have product, and production capacity already.

The increase in EPS depends on the former Pu/Pe makers becoming proficient in EPS/epoxy rapidly. I wouldn’t count on that.

The exception are people like Ward Coffey and Stretch and Geoff Rasche, who have product and production capacity already. They will gain market share rapidly, because they already have proven themselves in the EPS/epoxy market. But if you add up the production of all the California EPS/epoxy boardmakers pre-Clark-closure, you don’t have a whole lot.

True enough but it isn’t as hard as it used to be. Turning a PU/PE into an EPS/epoxy shop takes just a few minor adjustments. Twenty years ago it was hell working with the stuff. I think most here would agree with that.

summary of post clark manufacturing.

  1. large industry manufacturers of polyurethane boards will continue to have a sufficient supply of blanks to meet the demands of the customer who wants a poly board.

  2. entry level customers will be “serviced” by overseas (read asia) manufacturers.

  3. epoxy composite manufacturers will access a larger segment of the market.

  4. epoxy builders (manufacturers) will access a larger segment of the market.

the era of the backyard/garage shaper providing custom shapes at reasonable prices in polyurethane is gone.

who benefits?

large established industry manufacturers.

who has lost access to high quality poly foam? and who has retained that access?

funny that the ing mag has had 2 features in the last 2 months on the epoxy revolution. it’s what 60 - 90 day lag time between conception and publication. what miraculous timing…to say nothing of ad placement.

the epa and the fire marshall say they were not pressuring clark foam at all.

if not them, then who?

yeh, fuck all them backyard guys driving down the prices. now the industry can get paid what they’re really worth. if you’re not IN the surfing business, you have no business being in the surfing business.

“it’s only my opinion…but i’m right”

 Howzit Peter, Some of us back yard builders produce better quality boards and charge more than the big guys and people pay since our boards are better. T&C charges less for their boards because they make more money on clothes. Their thinking is if there are a lot of their boards out there than more people will buy their clothing. This is straight from a surf shop owners mouth when I asked him how T&C can charge less for their boards than other big companies. Aloha, Kokua

“the epa and the fire marshall say they were not pressuring clark foam at all.”

I seem to remember reading somewhere that they said only that he was “in compliance.” I also remember reading somewhere else that he was having to spend a lot of time and money every year (and would have had to spend a whole lot more) to remain in compliance.

"the epa and the fire marshall say they were not pressuring clark foam at all."

I seem to remember reading somewhere that they said only that he was “in compliance.” I also remember reading somewhere else that he was having to spend a lot of time and money every year (and would have had to spend a whole lot more) to remain in compliance.

That’s the way federal regulators work. They go around en enforce rules. They also have some expectation of how the rules may change in the upcoming years, and as part of their job they mentally prepare the people being regulated about what may be coming. Of course, they’re never 100% sure about what is coming.

In the eyes of someone being regulated, you observe that

  1. the rules are not cut and dry, but rather ambiguous. You cannot read the rulebook and play fair. The regulator gets to interpret the rulebook, and you have to obey him. He OWNS you.

  2. The rules are not static. What is good enough in 2000 is not good enough in 2002, and what is good enough in 2002 is not good enough in 2005. So the planning stages for the business being regulated is tough. You draw up a market plan and may watch a third of your expected profit go down the tubes to the regulators

  3. there begins to be a certain feeling of helplessness about it. The regulators CAN enforce you out of business, they are eating your profits yearly, and there’s no reason why they will stop. You get the feeling they are trying to be as fair as possible from their position, but without any cut-and-dry rules they have to follow, your only clue about the “law” is what the “cop” tells you the law is.

From the regulator point of view, they are passed down enforcement rules from their superiors, which are often dramatically unfair from region to region, and they do their job. To someone being regulated, like Clark, the whole process might piss you off so much that you pick up your marbles and leave.

Then there are the pending lawsuits…

But when the EPA and fire marshall say there were no pending actions or compliance issues, that means Clark picked a good time. He has a clean slate and was getting out while it was clean, which will be a good defense if these wrongful death suits go through.

And, quite honestly, Grubby’s newsletters always appeared sincere, and informative, and anyone that took him seriously should have had an alternative plan ready. That people like Fiberglass Hawaii were caught with their pants down is the biggest surprise.


Then there are the pending lawsuits…

But when the EPA and fire marshall say there were no pending actions or compliance issues, that means Clark picked a good time. He has a clean slate and was getting out while it was clean, which will be a good defense if these wrongful death suits go through.

I don’t know…

but my experience is that anything consumer protection based or environmentally based going to court in California is going to go on the side of the plantiff if damages can be proven. Nothing worse than death as a damage…

Employers inherit all kind of liabilities for their employees it’s part of the fabric and belief of american society.

The other take on it is that Grubby felt os bad about hwat he did that he’s bailing…

It’s the glass half full or empty argument and you never know what the plaintiffs lawyers are thinking…

It’ll be interesting though if there’s not enough in the pot to go after Grubby alone that they don’t tie in the mega companies that supplied him all his chemicals although their MSDs must’ve transferred some of the liability to the business owner. Although that didn’t stop the asbestos, silicon implants, dioxin, viox class action lawsuits…

But again the keyword in those situations is class action…

Bottomline, depending on how the courts handle these cases, it could have an even darker impact on the state of the typical backyard industry…

It’s funny that no one is catching this from the sidelines…