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Old 18th October 2007, 02:47 PM   #13
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 329


I would agree if it was really like that!

At times changes are worth, other times for some reason some people's feeling is that they are just for changes' sake, which is why we are here talking. I am not much into wave sailing so I understand my view may be inaccurate, but I still don't understand why the Evo line was changed by incorporating some better "pure down the line" features when there is the PA line there. Net result seems to me just that the two lines are closer now, and the Evo XTVs sizes are no more so nicely assorted (again, that thread about the two boards quiver...); did I have to buy a wave board now, it could no more be an Evo 83/80: just a bit too small now! And a 90 would be too big and a 75 too small and a PA not so suited to mushy conditions and a K not enough rangy for higher winds and really good days... goodbye Starboard...

Another example. When I bought my S95 I discarded "brand x model y" because I wanted proven performance from #1 manufacturer, and the S95 was descending with slight changes from the glorious S100: easy choice, despite "brand x model y" was already there, with perfectly competitive (better?) performances. Now I am changing, and, guess what? There is a manufacturer, "brand x", that is still keeping his "model y" in production, with only very very slight shape changes and NO graphic changes, and it is still credited of extremely high performances, perfectly competitive (better!) to those of the last iSonics. Good for me, choosing is easy this time too.

My ideal manufacturer does not make mistakes. It just makes good boards, well tested, proven and refined. Shapes are kept year by year unless there is really something new going on, and even then older shapes are available for traditionalists. Lineup objectives are consistent so that purchasing mistakes are kept to a minimum. No marketing tricks, no "new" trendy graphics, just plain white or single colour with logos. Logos may change a little bit every now and then, but not so much that older customer are disappointed. A lighter, no paint, "gray filler" lighter pro edition is allowed.
Now I don't mean Starboard is supposed to behave that way: I am sure that a big manufacturer simply needs to adopt other strategies in order to succeed. But I also think that my "ideal" manufacturer is the one that will never disappoint his customers, and that a different behaviour implies the risk of making customers unhappy, which is why we are here talking about changes for changes' sake.

By the way: I remember when, at last, refined production sandwich boards (Cobra) hit the market and made custom boards almost disappear (now many former custom boards builders are shaping for the big brands). That was also because the production quality gap with custom boards was filled to a good deal. Now it seems that production sandwich boards (Cobra) are loosing some quality, and this could mean better chances for small (custom) manufacturers. Those who don't (need to) make continuous changes, who paint in plain white or with subdued graphics...

Last edited by geo; 18th October 2007 at 03:33 PM.
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