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Unregistered 21st September 2010 02:58 AM

Cobra Monopoly ???
Isnt it time so called manufacturers actually manufactured something ???

We`ve reached point now where Cobra are almost only actual manufacturer worldwide and that surely can not be healthy for prices ??? We`ve seen board prices shoot up recently; I wonder would this have been case had there been more healthy "real" competition . ????

nonopr 21st September 2010 05:19 AM


viking 21st September 2010 04:02 PM

It is not the cost of manufacturing that makes the cost of the boards, Cobra sells the boards to the brands at about 20% of their final cost. So even if they increase their rates by let's say 10% from one year to another (which is huge), it is only 2% of the final price already, so it is not because of them if we see the prices increasing so much.

The main responsibles of this situation are us the customers! If we would not buy the boards at those prices, they would not sell them, that's the law of the market! When Mr. Starboard produces an Isonic in Wood and a Full Carbon one more expensive; guess which one he sells better: the full carbon!

We are all fashion victims!

Unregistered 21st September 2010 04:12 PM

Cobra build
Starboard ; Tabou ; Fanatic ; F2 ; Mistral
They are responsible for 90% or so of boards manufactured ???
Their pricing structure has got to have a massive impact on end price ???

viking 21st September 2010 04:45 PM

It has an impact of course, but as I said not so massive. The price of the board is made also of R&D, marketing, transportation, benefit of the brand, benefit of the importer and benefit of the retailer, you add above all a lot of taxes and you get the price of your board! Cobra price: not more than 20%!

Unregistered 22nd September 2010 12:25 AM

Witrh all due respect your argument does not make much sense.

Production of boards was originally started (successfuly) in Thailand because they coiuld manufacture both up to a standard and equally important down to a price.

Had your argument been of prime importance manufacturers wuld not have moved away from Europe in the first place.

Fair comment lots of things influence retail price but all manufacturers have these costs in common.They all have the same manufacturing cost now because Cobra is the only facility capable of producing boards to the correct standard /number/price. They have a monopoly !!!

Its becoming clear that other "manufacrurers" just cant afford the investment to compete ; thats why we are seeing board prices go up at way over any ones inflation rate. (Just look at prices of JP boards over last 5 years.(Or Cobra boards sold as JP to be more correct !!!)

Its a shame but we`ve reached point where manufacturers are simply "marketing" tools.

Starboard/JP/F2/Mistral/Fanatic are no longer manufacturers. (Admitedly some never were)

Unregistered 22nd September 2010 03:13 AM

Are windsurfing boards expensive?
I agree that the "close to monopoly situation" most likely will cause higher prices. But from my point of view windsurfing boards are still relatively inexpensive, both when compared to other types of sports equipment (e.g. bicycles) and when compared to windsurfing boards 10, 20 and 30 years ago (actually, the price have been relatively constant in spite of inflation and a much higher quality today).

Peter R

Ola_H 22nd September 2010 04:31 AM

I'm not involved enough to know the facts about what Cobra charges, but from what I've heard from various parties "at the beach", Cobra have rather used their position to _dump_ prices, keeping other factorys out of the equation. Remember, building a board is still involve a lot of human labour and you can pretty much reverse the argument above and ask yourself how much the workers at Cobra makes and if that is decent or not.

From what I heard, a large part of the increased prices has to do with the workers at Cobra getting payed better which, in the big scheme of things, is a good thing (remember the strike a few years back?). Maybe Cobra as a factory takes out a bigger profit as well, but that's just not what I heard.

And since there in fact ARE other factories (Tunisia, Taiwan, China, SLovenia if I remember correctly) the monopoly argument does not hold. AHD, Mistral, T1 and Witchcraft are some brands manufacturing outside of Cobra. Moreover, if we look back 15 years, boards were more expensive than now (if you include the inflation.

Unregistered 22nd September 2010 01:50 PM

Haven`t AHD gone bankrupt !

Leaves Mstral and T1 ???

viking 22nd September 2010 03:10 PM

AHD is not in bankrupt, the brand has been sold to their former chief developper Bruno André. They have actually a pretty good success in France with their SeaLion board, a lightwind waveboard/SUP. They still make the board in the Tunisia factory which is still the property of the former owners of the brand (and produces mainly seats for commercial planes now).

As #6 said, most of our brands has never been manufacturers. On the actual market, only BIC manufactures its ASA boards I guess.

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