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Old     (surfdoggy)      Join Date: Dec 2009       04-23-2010, 6:25 AM Reply   
Should I go forward with trying to sell a product to keep the rope off the boards, racks and bimini?
Last year, several of us who ride together got irritated throughout the summer when the rope was repeatedly getting caught in the board racks, the boards, or rubbing on the bimini top. After spending nearly 6 months working on prototypes, I finally have made a product that works well and that I really like. The question is, if we start making it and marketing it to the wakeboarding market in general, will anyone buy it? The basic product consists of an aluminum clamp which attaches to the tow ball on the boat, and a 72-inch long collapsible carbon fiber rod which rotates and supports the rope (a home made quick compilation of video and pix of prototype in use is at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL74m...=youtube_gdata ). Estimate retail price at a little under $200. So what do you think? Is it marketable to enough people to be worth trying to sell? What if any other advice would you offer? Any input appreciated, as we are at the point where we either have to commit to this in the next several days, or let it go. Thanks. Rob
Old     (mc_x15)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-23-2010, 7:33 AM Reply   
Not a bad idea. I feel alot of people will think its not worth the money and just pay attention to the rope. When i first got my boat the rope would always end up in the rack. After a few months we learned to watch for it and now its not a problem. But it is a good idea and i think some people will be into it.
Old     (colombiansurfer)      Join Date: Sep 2008       04-23-2010, 7:34 AM Reply   
Looks good, but how strong is the "stick" part to keep it from snapping? $200.00 seems a little high, but some people might think that is fair. Nice concept, I have to place it in the same class as that rope winch that was put out a few years back and never did anything. Nice concept, but never caught on. I wish you luck in your venture.
Old     (scottnaz)      Join Date: Feb 2008       04-23-2010, 8:52 AM Reply   
Sorry, I won't be of much help, other than to say...
GO FOR IT!!!
I know, easy for me to say since I'm not the one investing the time and money, but, it seems like you guys have put a lot of time/work/thought in to your product and it would be a shame not to give it a try. You never know what products are going to stick and which aren't until it's put in to action, and a few years from now you don't want to sit back thinking, "if only we had given it a shot". Think of how big, bulky, and expensive cell phones were back in the day, and how few there actually were. Fast forward to today, and they're everywhere. I, for one, would have shot down the cell phone idea if someone approached me with it back then, "I don't need a phone, I have a beeper!"
Old     (jason95gt)      Join Date: May 2006       04-23-2010, 9:06 AM Reply   
The product is a great idea, but I think your price point needs to be in the $60-$120 range to truly get these sold. Is there any way to incorporate the attachment to the stock pylon instead of having that additional ball attachment? I assume that is the most expensive part and would save a lot of money in production.
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       04-23-2010, 9:36 AM Reply   
Good idea, and have thought about the same sort of thing. I think I have seen one in the past that someone or company had. My only recommendation is I think it could be made a bit simpler and should be able to connect to the existing tow point. I also think you would have to find a way to bring the cost down. keep refining, your almost there.
Old     (surfdoggy)      Join Date: Dec 2009       04-23-2010, 1:55 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrider View Post
Good idea, and have thought about the same sort of thing. I think I have seen one in the past that someone or company had. My only recommendation is I think it could be made a bit simpler and should be able to connect to the existing tow point. I also think you would have to find a way to bring the cost down. keep refining, your almost there.
Yes, the aluminum clamp is the most expensive part. We have simplified and improved it some since the one in the video. The current version connects directly to almost all tower balls, tightens with just two wing nuts, and is sturdy enough to hold up a 6' long carbon fiber rod (collapses to fit in the ski locker). Trying to make it all in the USA. If we shipped the production overseas, we might get the cost down some, but I was hoping to avoid it. If we made some of it out of plastic, we might get it down some too, but given what I have invested in my boat, I wanted it to look good, not cheap, and I didn't want to sell something that would fall apart (I hate that). That's why we ended up with a brushed aluminum clamp and connections, stainless steel parts and carbon fiber rods. I know it's a little expensive, so I am still looking for ways to make the product less expensive without sacrificing quality too much. Thanks for the input.
Old     (tuneman)      Join Date: Mar 2002       04-23-2010, 10:29 AM Reply   
I hate to burst your bubble, but Fly High has been selling that concept for years. I sell them here:

http://wakeskishop.com/index.php?mai...products_id=78
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Old     (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-23-2010, 12:09 PM Reply   
ouch....
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-23-2010, 12:57 PM Reply   
Next time it might be a good idea to check patents first.
Old     (surfdoggy)      Join Date: Dec 2009       04-23-2010, 1:41 PM Reply   
Hey Tuneman, I would love to talk to you for a few minutes about whether you have sold any of those FlyHigh products. When I saw them last year, I really researched them, and as best as I could tell they market them as fitting the Fly High tower (primarily the post style tower show in your photo which has the board racks mounted up high on the post). Our product does have a patent pending, but it is because it had to be designed completely differently to fit all the different towers out there other than the FlyHigh one. It had to have a much heavier and differently designed aluminum clamp in order to fit all of the different tow ball/post designs in use on towers now, and had to have a longer/stronger rod made of carbon fiber, in order to get out beyond side-mounted board racks on more modern, wider boats. If you have sold any of the Fly HIgh product, I would be interested, because it seems like they have been marketed to a much narrower and different group of people than we would be trying to sell to. PM me if you would be willing to talk for a couple minutes about your experiences working in this niche market. Thanks for the input. Rob
Old     (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       04-23-2010, 4:09 PM Reply   
I knew I had seen it before.

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