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Old 19th October 2007, 01:38 AM   #14
steveC
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639
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Hi Ola,

With all due respect, I think that one's outlook relative to change plays an interest role here. Frankly, I think much of the changes the industry makes is more related to fashion and trends than real ground breaking innovation, particularly if it gets down to the yearly cycles. Now, I don't want to suggest that yearly development cycles are simply a facade or sham, because I understand that all the hard work that designers, product development and testers invest does yield results. Yet, I still serious question whether doing things a bit differently all the time leads to vast improvements.

If one was to contrast design differences in boards over the last 8-9 years, there are obviously significant changes that have been made. But, when it comes to performance differences, I think that the actual improvements made are really not that great, particularly in some areas like classic waveboards. Quite frankly, this is clearly arguable, and I'm sure that you could highlight some areas, like maybe the development of the EVOs, that spawned a different approach to the waveboard concept.

Really, I think one thing that might be overlooked here is how a rider's style and approach affects things. Right now it appears that the twin fin concept will have a growing influence on the market, especially since some of the top riders are using the concept to create a new style of riding. One only has to look back at surfboard development over the years, and I think that you can clearly see what I'm saying. At one point in time, it was a virtual given that longboards were dead, but history proved that to be clearly wrong.

Yet, despite new trends, does that mean that single fin waveboards are on the way out and no longer as good? I would argue no. Much depends on the style and approach that a rider wants to focus on. So, I think that a new door will open for a new waveboard model, but the single fins (EVOs and PAs) will most likely live on. However, will the yearly changes in a given model yield ground breaking differences? Again, I would argue probably not.

As time moves on, change is here to stay, but I think that magnitude of change will be quite subtle in nature. No reason not to incorporate design and construction updates as they're realized, but I feel that the simple fashion updates could be toned down a bit for customers to realize better value and less instant obsolence. Like I pointed out earlier, an emphasis on construction improvements would be a more desirable focus point for investment.
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