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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-30-2009, 10:51 AM Reply   
I was on a mass mailing list from the folks at Shred Stixx. I'm not technically savvy enough to fully understand the operations of it all, but from what I can tell if you navigate to this site:

www.shredstixx.net

it redirects you to the Endless Break Wakesurfboards site. I'd guess not technically illegal, but it sure seems to be underhanded and an attempt to take advantage of the good name and many years of hard work that the folks at Shred Stixx have done.

I'd love to hear from Endless Break and others too. Does it seem underhanded to anyone else?
If it is just what it seems - shame on you Endless Break.

Inlandsurfer.net? Is it taken? Better jump on that before more of this pops up.
Old    Brock Landers (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-30-2009, 10:59 AM Reply   
Jeff,you might get a little of this in wakesurfing but me working in the streetrod industry I see it everyday.I spent over a year researching and developing airride control arms only to have a competitor buy a set and copy them.On top of that they out sourced them over seas and cut my price in half.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-30-2009, 11:06 AM Reply   
That is so awful Brock, I would guess that unethical business practices, no doubt, extend to the actual manufacturing practices as you point out. So sorry that you were knocked-off like that.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-30-2009, 11:15 AM Reply   
So my understanding is that the redirection has been taken down. I do hope in such a small community, with so few manufacturers that we don't see continued behavior such as this.
Old    Johny Utah (dadof4)      Join Date: Apr 2009       04-30-2009, 12:47 PM Reply   
I don't feel it was under handed. Many companies buy up domain names all of the time and use them this way. I look at it as how did a well known company like Shred Stixx not think some thing like this would happen based of the explosion of the industry. There are rumors of a new company hosting the Worlds. Any known facts about this? IF so please share.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       04-30-2009, 2:57 PM Reply   
Welcome to the forum. I don't mind the investment aspect - I have your .NET domain, wanna buy it? IMO, it's the intentional misleading of the buying public that is underhanded. I hate when I get jerked around by a company, like that. I certainly would question their other advertising practices.

I just noticed that ASCBoards.net wasn't taken. I can imagine that if someone selling cheap imported boards redirected from ascboards.net to cheapchinajunkthatbreakswhenwet.com Billy wouldn't be too understanding.

The intent of grabbing up a few of those .NET domains and redirecting was to mislead the buying public, and that Mr. Utah is unethical im my book.
Old    Johny Utah (dadof4)      Join Date: Apr 2009       04-30-2009, 3:25 PM Reply   
Unethical? When I pull up slayshblog.com shred stixx pops up. Its the same principal. A site owned by shred stixx.
Old    R. G. (norris_laker)      Join Date: Aug 2006       04-30-2009, 3:42 PM Reply   
Just because it isn't illegal, doesn't make it right. This issue is about those who put money ahead of integrity. I'm all about making money but not at the expense of my integrity and credibility. I would never do business with a company that displays a lack of integrity.

This might have been just a bad idea that wasn't well thought out. How a company responds to mistakes also tells you a lot about the company's integrity. A few years ago there was a problem with stickers being placed on boats. The company owned up to the mistake, apologized and rectified the situation.
Old    Jerry Price (stixxmon)      Join Date: May 2006       04-30-2009, 4:18 PM Reply   
"How a company responds to mistakes also tells you a lot about a company's integrity" Great chime R.G.
This is , for sure, the biggest blunder by a board company, I have seen since I started Shred Stixx in 1999. If you think we are pissed, Just wait till Jeff Page finds out there is/was a inlandsurfer.net also. Hope Endless Break made many sales before this went public.
PS, If you look at our latest mag ads, we make no secret of who does the slaysh blog.
Old    DUCKDIVER (duckdiver)      Join Date: Jul 2007       04-30-2009, 4:52 PM Reply   
I'm surprised the sites had not already been bought by the companies who started them. Did they try and steal anybody's designs? That happened to Jerry Price last year with his shaper Vernor. I would say that was underhanded.
Old    Clint Smith (slayshtank)      Join Date: Apr 2009       05-01-2009, 2:34 AM Reply   
I registered for WakeWorld today for the sole purpose of commenting about Endless Breaks efforts to redirect purchased domains of direct competitors back to their own site. It absolutely blows my mind that someone associated with their company would have the audacity to come on here and defend these kind of business practices in such a small industry as wakesurfing.

I have been working with Jerry and Shred Stixx Wakesurf Company for the last 12 months and I discovered Endless Breaks attempt to re direct www.shredstixx.net back to their own site when our European distributor emailed me today and asked if we had gone into business with another company and why our site was being re directed back to another domain? I called the owner of EB and asked that they remove the link, and they did in a short amount of time. After a little research, I found that the re direct had been active since Feb 9, 2009.

This being said, I would like to address the fact that they still own ShredStixx.net and InlandSurfer.net (see attachments below). I stopped searching after these two, but my guess these are not the only two domains they went out and purchased. What I would really like to know is what your intentions are with owning our domains and others like them. I am the first to applaud and advocate creative business strategies but I cannot see any advantage to owning our domains and was hoping you could enlighten us.

If you are attempting to get more traffic back to your site, this may have worked up to now, but I think it is fairly obvious that this has blown up in your face and you have been exposed.

If you were making a proactive, strategic move to just keep us from owning the domains and maybe offering us an opportunity to purchase them from you, I think you know the answer to this one, we are not interested.

I could maybe see the benefit of such practices in a much larger, internet based industry such as online electronics retail. An industry where there are dozens and dozens of competitors with very little, to no, product and site differentiation BUT even at this level the competitive advantage of redirecting competing sites via cognizant consumer deception is still unethical.

The fact that you attempted this in an industry in its infancy, coupled with the fact that you yourself are new to the industry could be a permanently damaging mistake. If you were not previously aware, it does not take news long to travel in the wakesurf world, and there is absolutely no benefit to your efforts to redirect our customers to your site or own our domains.

Out of curiosity, I consulted our legal counsel and there are legal ramifications for the malicious intent to mislead consumers via these kind of practices. I have no intentions of following through with any kind action as I am sure you will have enough trouble attempting to rectify your damaged reputation in our industry.

In regards to this ridiculous comment by Mr. Utah:

"Unethical? When I pull up slayshblog.com shred stixx pops up. Its the same principal. A site owned by shred stixx."

If you honestly think these are similar principles you are either out of your mind or not old enough to understand principles at hand. When you go to slayshBlog.com, there is a board review post about the new comp I from Shred Stixx along with hundreds of other posts about skateboarding, wakesurfing, ocean surfing, base jumping, and everything in between. These posts change on a daily basis and there is not a single deceptive aspect to the blog, its content, or its domain. I am one of 12 authors for slayshBlog and yes, I happen to work with Shred Stixx. It is my job with slayshBlog to help expose the sport of wakesurfing and the professional riders within the sport. If you take a minute to look at the ďAboutĒ page, you can see that slayshBlog encourages people to submit their own news and information and are even looking for additional authors to help cover all action sports. Here are a couple examples of some wakesurf related posts:

A few posts on James Walker:

http://slayshblog.com/?s=james+walker&x=0&y=0

Here is a list of upcoming competitions:

http://slayshblog.com/?s=competitions&x=0&y=0

And, you might find this one the most interesting, its about Endless Break Wakesurf Company:

http://slayshblog.com/?p=2139

Here are the screen shots for the InlandSurfer.net and ShredStixx.net, both owned by Endless Break. I have also included the WhoIs screen shot for EndlessBreak.com if anyone is interested looking them up.

This very well could be the most expensive and damaging domains you guys have ever purchased. If anyone from your company has any questions, you can email me direct at clint@shredstixx.com or info@slayshblog.com, I get them both.

Upload
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Old    Clint Smith (slayshtank)      Join Date: Apr 2009       05-01-2009, 2:54 AM Reply   
And dude, it will take more than a re direct for people to confuse the bald guy mushing some white water on your homepage with anything about Stixx.



Upload
photo rSlack
Old    Carl Philippon (kernaltao)      Join Date: Oct 2008       05-01-2009, 7:22 AM Reply   
Not to hijack this thread (too much!), but I have to comment on that last picture. That has got to be one of the most impressive wakesurf pictures I have ever seen. The lighting and angle are outstanding! Not to mention the obvious skill of the rider. That should be on the cover of the next Wakesurf mag (if it isn't already being considered!).
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-01-2009, 7:57 AM Reply   
super weak.

Sorry Endless/Jonny Utah but anyway you slice it that was underhanded. This is still a small community and if you'd like to be apart of it I suggest you try building off the success of others and not undermine it.
Old    Loren Graham (liventhedream)      Join Date: May 2009       05-01-2009, 8:10 AM Reply   
Hey Carl, if like that pic, here is the video.

http://www.vimeo.com/4259674
Old    waterdog (h20k9)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-01-2009, 8:38 AM Reply   
EB at least makes his owne boardz in the USA, doesnt outsource and isnt just some board rep butt hurt about his profit margins.since it appears he is only doing it to companies who outsource their board manufacturing to china it really doesnt bother me too much.imo its like walmart mad at costco,i could care less.there was sorrow expressed by jw to bl about his streetrod ideas getting took to china and his prices cut in half,why doesnt this same sorrow tranfer over to the USA board manufactuers who have to watch outsourcing devalue our products over profit.i know from a bizz standpoint i had to lower my board prices from 550 last year to 380 this year just to compete with the china board companies.even though ive already doubled my sales for this year from last year,ive had to work twice as hard to make it.e commerce is a free market and just as unethical as outsourcing.get over itlet the games beginbuy local/Go USA
Old    wardovision (caskimmer)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-01-2009, 8:57 AM Reply   
I'm all about that one too, especially in these economic times. I drive & surf American made products along with not using foreign manufactured products at work.

...but unethical is unethical. Just because you don't agree with the victim doesn't change the situation.
Old    waterdog (h20k9)      Join Date: Aug 2007       05-01-2009, 8:59 AM Reply   
unethical is unethical...well said
agreed.
Old    Jason B (jason_b)      Join Date: Feb 2008       05-01-2009, 9:41 AM Reply   
I don't see a problem. Creative, forward-thinking, innovative. Just SMART. Inland surfer and Shredstixx should not have been sitting on their hands...they should have KNOWN better than to make such an obvious gaffe. I own several websites and all of the related .xxx sites associated with them. IS and Shredstixx should blame their business managers for such blatant blunders.

He re-directed---he did NOT mislead. He never made any representation about IS or Shredstixx in any fashion.
This strategy is common place. He is not the first, nor will he be the last.

Personally, I think it was smart. I would not have taken it down if it were my call.
Old    Ian Brown (wakereviews)      Join Date: Sep 2006       05-01-2009, 10:21 AM Reply   
if anything, this thread made me go pick up onlyinboards.net :-)
Old    4sher            05-01-2009, 10:35 AM Reply   
Sorry Jason, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. Endless Break is NOT being creative, forward- thinking or innovative. In my opinion being creative, forward thinking and innovative is creating successful wakesurfing companies from the ground up at a time when all anyone cared about was wakeboarding. When Jerry and Jeff started their respective companies, people looked at them like they were crazy. Who would want to do something dumb and boring like surf behind a boat. I'm not making this up, I'm talking from experience. I've been working with Inland Surfer since day 1. And, I can tell you it was pretty lonely then. A LOT of time, money, effort, creativity, INNOVATION has gone into developing both brands. And, I donít think you could find two more forward thinking companies.

Now that wakesurfing has been established by the hard work of others, coming in years later and trying to draft off of brands built by these companies is unethical and underhanded. Should both companies have tied up.net and other domains? Sure but thatís not the point. Iíve worked in internet marketing for 10 years and it doesnít matter what industry itís still unethical.

The really sad thing here is the lack of respect Endless Break has for their own products and brand. If you want to be creative, make a better board. If you want to be innovative, come up with a unique way to market your products. If you want to be forward-thinking, invent the NEXT new wake sport.
Old    Jason B (jason_b)      Join Date: Feb 2008       05-01-2009, 11:34 AM Reply   
Well put Mark. I don't disagree with you in regards to the products. However, I was speaking to the business/marketing side of the strategy. I was not taking anything away from Shredstixx or IS. There are a countless number of businesses with great products/innovations that fail to succeed as a company because the operational aspect is lacking. I know nothing of either Shredstixx or IS business models so I can't speak intelligently about them. They seem to have been handily outwitted in this instance, chalk it up as a learning experience.
It's a dog-eat-dog world...
I can think of numerous scenarios that would be nasty that EB could have done with those domains, instead they chose to simply re-direct. I stand by my assertion this was a bright thing to do. Anything more than that and I would not be defending them.

ps. I have absolutely no affiliation with any surf industry company at all. I'm as neutral as Switzerland.
Old    4sher            05-01-2009, 12:30 PM Reply   
True, it's a dog-eat-dog world out there. But in the TINY wakesurf world, it's always been a dog hang out with dog, have a beer with dog and go surf with dog world.

When we go to comps we see the other manufactures, we hang out with them, we ride with them, joke and have fun with them. Sure there are tons of ways to out-smart, out-maneuver, out- position the other guys. Some more above board (no pun intended) than others. We (Inland Surfer) would never think of doing something link this to one of our friends/ competitors, therefore, we never thought to protect ourselves from this.

At the end of the day, you have to feel good about your actions as a person and a company. If we had done something like this to Jerry at SS, we wouldnít be able to look him in the eye next time we saw him. We wouldnít be invited back to his house to surf with him and his crew. I guess some things are just more important than others.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-01-2009, 12:37 PM Reply   
Yeah...It's always been my experience that folks who defend "yucky" behavior do so to justify their own crappy behavior, elsewhere.

I would bet the use of the names by Endless is actionable as indicated by Clint. The US has "fair use" laws that attempt to prevent confusion in consumers minds. Everything from "truth in lending" to Corporate name registrations. The basic tenent being to protect consumers from being intentionally mislead. In this instance, Endless Break specifically intended to mislead - go to Shred Stixx and wind up at Endless without any indication of the swap. There is simply no confusion about that and it was intentional. I can't imagine that there is some argument that "gee we thought that was spelled "endlessbreak.net" :-)

Uninformed consumers would be confused, of that I am certain. In fact Clint noted that his European distributor was confused - prima facie evidence in my book.

"Fair use" laws allow comparative advertising because generally an obvious comparison of competing products (for example, "8 out of 10
dentists surveyed prefer Crest to Colgate"), there is little likelihood of confusion as to the source of the ad.

Because there would be no likelihood of confusion, comparative advertising, in and of itself, is generally not actionable. However,
when such advertising is false, or results in the disparagement, dilution or tarnishment of another's trademark, it is actionable.

When a consumer clicks on "shredstixx" with the expectation of arriving at the Shred Stixx site and, instead, winds up at the Endless Break site
I'd bet that is false advertising and in fact violates fair use of the Shred Stixx name. I know for a fact that it opens Endless Break up for a lawsuit and maybe THAT is what should be taken away from all of this. Did the redirection result in enough sales to offset the cost of defending against a civil suit or the damage to it's name?

I really believe that in cottage industries like this, as Mark and others have pointed out, you have to be careful how you compete.
Old    Anthonyv911 (tonyv420)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-01-2009, 12:38 PM Reply   
SIMPLY UNETHICAL PERIOD!!
Old    Jason B (jason_b)      Join Date: Feb 2008       05-01-2009, 1:01 PM Reply   
"However,
when such advertising is false, or results in the disparagement, dilution or tarnishment of another's trademark, it is actionable."

I saw none of that. Unless "Shredstixx" is trade-marked (I kinda doubt it but could be wrong) I strongly disagree with your suggestion that legal action could be taken. What they did was legal.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't know the inner workings of the companies. If my "friends" were to do this to me I would be pissed as well. If I invited them over for beers or to my house, I would expect no such behavior.

My defense speaks directly to the business accumen and not the general cohesiveness of the personalities included in these companies.

If indeed, EB management is "chummy" with SS or IS, an argument could possibly be made about the quality of their character. Legally....not so much.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-01-2009, 1:08 PM Reply   
Folks can sue for anything, the prevention is a frivilous lawsuit which allows the plantiff to counter sue. We're not not criminal law here it's civil. Use of the name alone is enough. I am sure that Shred Stixx could find an attorney to sue Endlessbreak. Then it becomes a business decision - is the cost of my attorney at $600/hr in court worth it? I'd have to sell 3 boards an hour to break even. DOESN'T matter who prevails, the cost of defense is still there and most likely would be settled out-of-court without a jury awarding attorney's fees.

Simply put, there is no way in my mind that the use of someone's name could possibly be profitable in this industry.
Old    Johny Utah (dadof4)      Join Date: Apr 2009       05-01-2009, 2:10 PM Reply   
Endless Break initiated its new web site in February of 09 and were advised by our design consultant that it is prudent practice to purchase a number of domain names relevant to our business to protect our site and maximize our exposure. We were called on 4/30/09 by Clint from Shred Stixx to our surprise shredstixx.net was being re directed to our site. Upon being informed of the situation, EB in good faith researched, acted and removed the domain from being directed to our site with in 30 minutes with the understanding from CLINT this would be the end to the issue. Endless Break is committed to producing a quality product and is looking ahead to the new surfing season.
Old    R. G. (norris_laker)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-01-2009, 2:57 PM Reply   
Johny, your last post would have been a great first post that would have put an end to this thread yesterday.

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