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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-13-2006, 12:42 PM Reply   
I was chatting with Dennis yesterday and he mentioned that many folks seem to have difficulty with board selection. We thought it might be helpful to folks if they could actually ride on a specific board before comitting to order and also to be able to compare them to similar boards.

I can't promise anything, but if you could take your pick from any or all of the below listed board manufacturers products, would you go to a demo day and do you think it would be helpful? Would it benefical to have a manufacturer's rep present?

Inland Surfer
Trick Boardz
Walker Project
Calibrated Wakesurfers
Phase 5
Xtreme Boards
Shoreline Lakeboards
Shred Stixx
Awakesurf

I personally have older LF/HL/CWB wakesurfboards, but those manufacturers pretty much ignore me when I ask for involvement or input. So I'm doubtful I could get new boards, unless I find a local rep/dealer willing to ante up.

What'cha think? Worth the time and effort?
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-13-2006, 8:27 PM Reply   
Jeff,

You know with your assistance I'm working on putting together a wakesurf event in Ohio this summer. Im still working through a number of issues but things are moving along. One idea that weve been kicking around is a two day event. On day one wed have a wakesurf tourney and hold a wakeboard clinic. On day two wed swap the skills and hold a wakeboard tourney and a wakesurf clinic. It would be awesome to have boards to ride on clinic day.

My experience is with skim style boards, Id like to try some surf style boards. For comparison there should be a skim boards too, but I guess thats why youre asking the question.

As far as I know demoing near where I live is impossible. New boards from about $300 to maybe $500, that might not seem like much to some, but for me towed water sports is already an expensive hobby. I can get the kitchen pass to buy one or two new toys a year. Last year I lost some gear to thieves. I spent all of my good husband points buying the gear in the first place, and then had to take out a loan on future husband points to buy replacement gear. A demo program would be really cool.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-14-2006, 7:36 AM Reply   
Thanks for the input Ed, I know that when I read some of the comments folks make on here, they toss out high praise for a board and really haven't ridden anything else. It reminds me a bit of the postings prior to a boat show, I think as you have pointed out before, some unknown person starts posting "Brand X is the best boat EVER" and then disappears just as quickly.

I like your two day format and I think that having a bevy of boards to test would make it easier for consumers. But apparently, only you and I think that?! :-)
Old    moh2o            03-14-2006, 8:10 AM Reply   
I agree about the board recommendation deal. That's one of the reasons I don't like to tell people what to buy other than "shop around and buy something that SUITS THEMS"

But on the otherhand it also bums me out that the top brands seem to spending next to nothing on R&D and resting on their laurels with a product that just barely does the job.

BTW- I like the idea of a demo day but I think even more helpful would be a shop demo day like in Snowboarding/Skiing to help educate shop owners/managers about the high-performance alternatives currently available.

ASR and Surfexpo maybe?
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-14-2006, 8:24 AM Reply   
You can ALWAYS talk me into going to Florida or San Diego! So CA, you're thinking a collaborative effort of manufacturers at one of the trade shows? I went to surfexpo this past September and the only wakesurf manufacturer represented was Inland Surfer. It's certainly not cheap, and I wonder how likely a collaborative effort would be? Or am I missing the point?
Old    moh2o            03-14-2006, 8:34 AM Reply   
It definately would have to be a collaborative effort in order for it to work.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-14-2006, 8:47 AM Reply   
But...I'm playing devil's advocate here, so don't get upset. :-) Isn't this really what fair trade is about? Inland Surfer has fronted a ton of money, has gone to the trade shows for years and, as such, develops the distribution channels. There is actually a DISINCENTIVE for them to participate, from a competitive standpoint. It sounds more like a rep is needed for the smaller manufacturers, where he or she would go to a trade show or to dealers with a representative sample of each product. What is your vision?
Old    Show (bigshow)      Join Date: Feb 2005       03-14-2006, 9:01 AM Reply   
Could reduce return shipping costs by offering demo boards for sale at demo prices after the event?
Old    moh2o            03-14-2006, 9:06 AM Reply   
Yeah, I can see where it might not be beneficial for a company like that at this point in the game and I do believe smaller companies need to pony up and spend some money on trade shows... but I also know for a fact that the snowboard companies do much sales at the smaller regional demos as they do at the big trade shows. (use to be in the biz)

edit- a majority of shops don't travel to the trade shows because of the expenses and hassle involved
(I even know local shops that won't do ASR because it's a PITA)

(Message edited by Moh2o on March 14, 2006)

(Message edited by Moh2o on March 14, 2006)
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-14-2006, 9:37 AM Reply   
CA, how did the regional demos work? Just for dealers or were they like the tents I see up at Sugarbowl when they throw demos. The local ski/board shop owner talks about demo'ing equipment from the manufacturers, but I always got the impression it was just at the slopes where Joe Public could demo also.
Old    moh2o            03-14-2006, 9:55 AM Reply   
Exactly like the ones at Sugar Bowl (I lived on Donner Lake for 5 years). Some of those are private for retailers only and are set up like mini trade shows with the ability to "try before you buy" and some are open to the public. Both work extremely well in generating sales.

Old    Dennis (dennish)      Join Date: May 2005       03-14-2006, 6:21 PM Reply   
The logistics of snow demo's and wakesurfing demo's is all about boat time. You can send out a hundred boards on the slopes at a time, no problem. How many real demos could you have in one day where a boat is involved. You would have to have many boats or allow people to take boards and try behind their boats. Would work I think to demo to retailers so they know more about the products available out there. Could work with charging for the demo's to the public. Might keep the "not really in the market types" out. Just my .02 worth.
Old    Karen Nelems (knelems)      Join Date: May 2002       03-15-2006, 7:11 AM Reply   
I would love to have companies send a few demo boards while the Walkers are giving a clinic.Most dealers like me just get on whatever wakeboard companies dating program that offers their wakesurfing boards,it's just easier than stocking another line of a wakesurf board.
I wasn't impressed with the LF surfboard I tried last summer so I decided to get info from Jeff Walker about the other ones out there.I have a Walker board coming and have kiddos anxious to try it out.My advice to the companies interested in getting exposure is give Jeff a few demo boards to take with them on clinics and let the public decide.
Jeff you may have to get a RV and do a road tour!
Old    Buzz (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       03-15-2006, 10:00 AM Reply   
I really like the idea of a demo day. If it is anywhere near San Diego, I will offer up my VLX and a couple boards.
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       03-15-2006, 10:12 AM Reply   
Hey Buzz, CASkimmer wants to set one up down your way. Both he and Mike Walker are in the area. I'm trying to see how many of the manufacturers would be willing to participate. Thanks for your kind offer of the use of your boat, I'll add you to the American Wakesurf Association mailing list, if you don't mind. So that you'll be up to date on this event.

Old    Buzz (buzz_grande)      Join Date: Mar 2004       03-15-2006, 10:53 AM Reply   
Jeff,

Thanks a bunch. As I have mentioned before, surfing has become very popular here, and my crew is planning on really tearing it up this summer. I have a couple riders that are interested in competing (ametuer class). I have my new Phase 5's that I am trying to get hours on, and friends have a couple other brands. The whole demo deal sounds great.

THanks for adding me to the list.

Take care.

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