17 December 2006

Quiver Shake-Up (Part III)

So, here's what I've surmised after contacting the company and poking around on the internet: this Na Papa board is made from foam, but it's computer-shaped. Alan_M has explained to me (and everyone else who read his comment) that this isn't the end of the world, that some hand-shaping must still be done on a board that's shaped by a computer. Okay, then, I get that this board is not a pop-out. What makes me nervous is the attitude of the company that makes the boards. That alone will probably keep me from buying this board. (I'll just tell the guys at the shop that I'd rather get a different board—no problem.)

Why don't we read over their literature together?

We are suppliers of market demand surfboards. That is shortboards, retro-eggs, fun-shapes, mini-mals and longboards. With factories and offices in the U.S.A. and Australia, as well as Europe by the end of 2005, we are by far the largest supplier of surfboards in the world.

After 37 years of surfboard production experience, we found that we were able to production experience, we found that we were able to produce surfboards that were superior in design, quality and price than most of our competitors. It was only after we discovered that other major surfboard manufacturers were not interested in using us to outsource their manufacturing (and saving themselves millions) that we decided to offer our complete range of surfboards to the wholesale/retail industry.

No surfboard should ever be shaped until it has been designed to work. Our design team had simple parameters to work within: to design the absolute best board in each category. To achieve this goal, our design team had at their disposal every science, engineering and design resource available. The result achieves sheer surfing pleasure. Every board in every range must take any surfer to the next level of competency. These surfboards are shaped by a computer-controlled machine to guarantee the absolute integrity of our shapes.

We're in the business of selling surfboards. It's our business to help wholesalers and retailers sell our products. Sales assistance is imperative. We provide staff training to wholesalers and retailers covering the technical features of surfboard design and manufacture. We assist in training the retail staff in sales techniques and also provide promotional support to retailers.

Frankly, I don't like what I'm hearing. I can't quite put my finger on what it is I don't like. You know, I try to be an open-minded person; I try to see and understand both sides of a situation. Something is wrong here. I almost feel like these people are trying to take over the world so to speak. I am fine with the fact that the boards are computer-shaped. I'm not fine with the use of the word "outsource". I'm not fine with the feeling that it's only about the bottom line for them. It's all about the Benjamins. When you make a point of discussing how important sales are, you've revealed yourself to be a big corporation that's only in it for the money. That is an untenable position. I won't give a company like that my money. I know people criticize Tyler because his boards cost so much, thus leading the criticizers to assume only rich kooks/yuppies surf them. Say what you will. After he made my board, Tyler called me twice to get feedback and make sure I was happy with what he'd produced. If I'd said it sucked, he would have made me one that did work. That's the kind of person you want to give your money to—a shaper who cares. I will get something else. I truly like the design of the Na Papa performance board. And, frankly, I bet this company will eventually change the face of the surf industry. They just won't do it with my money.

Moving right along, what about a JC board? I know JC (John Carper) is well-known for his shortboards. I did notice a peformance JC longboard was at the shop. The only thing I didn't like about it, as usual, was the lack of color. It's a plain white board. Since I was willing to overlook the plethora of color on the Na Papa, I guess I'd be willing to overlook the paucity of color on the JC. Any thoughts on JC boards? (Obviously I'll take a good look at that before I make a decision whether to buy it.)


At 12/17/06, 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I respectfully suggest that perhaps you think about all of this board business way too much? Just consider how you surf, where you surf, what you would like to develop in your skill set and then buy from a local or regional shaper that makes really good boards. If it looks like the lines are clean and it feels good under your arm, it will probably work really well for you. The key is to give it a chance. Unless a board is way out of your skill range, you will be able to get very comfortable with most boards you put time in effort into.

At 12/18/06, 6:13 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Anon, welcome to the world of Surfsister. I am well-known for overthinking things. Can't help it. Because I'm not an impulsive person, I tend to go out of my mind about making certain decisions. Thankfully, I did do what you suggest when I got the Slick. I looked at it, felt it, thought about how I surf, and then took it. Easy. Why am I trippin' so hard now? I have no idea. Thanks for your input.

At 12/18/06, 9:26 AM, Blogger Alan_M said...

Your comment about Tyler says it all. Work with a shaper who is personally invested in making a shpae that works for YOU, whose reputation, pride , and stoke go along out the door with the board. Someone who knows how you surf, at least a little bit. Someone who cares. Someone who does not offer "marketing strategies" to make sure their boards "sell", but instead offers design theories to make your board surf!
P.S. - my 7'3" thruster gun is a pre-computer shaped J.C. I love it. I don't know if the same can be said about what he's selling now, but at least he's got the original hand design invested into the computer planshapes that are now being made...
I've said it before to other people who've asked for advice at the risk of sounding really weird - touch it, feel it, squeeze it. If the board talks to you, you'll know ;-)

At 12/18/06, 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


After posting the first comment above, I went through a ton of your posts for some history. I have to say, it was a good time. I love this whole surf-related blog thing, and I can spend way too much time going through peoples' posts. I hope you find the exact board you're looking for, and I have to admit that I can get pretty obsessive about the board thing too. It's just really fun to do, right? I understand wanting to have more boards for sure.

Have a good Monday, and thanks for the welcome!

At 12/19/06, 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Step 1. Drive to Seal Beach and pull up to Harbour Surfboards
Step 2. Pick any three fin longboard that you like the color.
Step 3. Whip out Visa card.
Step 4. Drive home with it.
Step 5. Surf it successfully for many many years.

OR - go through these same steps with any well known Southern California shaper.

At 12/19/06, 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Step 1. Or just buy whatever looks good to you and don't worry about it. If you're a barn, you're a barn. A well shaped well crafted board's not going to change that.

At 12/19/06, 5:13 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Nah, it can't just look good. Those rails and that tail have to feel good. Gotta fondle the merchandise, brudda. But thanks for the Barn advice nonetheless.

At 12/19/06, 7:11 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

(Sotto voce) Like he thinks we don't know he's trying to call us Barneys.


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