Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.
davehahn
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Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#1

Unread post by davehahn »

I want to let you all know that I'll be in SoCal next weekend for some demo days with the Bodypo.

May 21 — Huntington Beach at 9th Street

There's a BIA bodyboarding competition happening here, and I'll be there with a stack of new Bodypo to try. The event organizers say it's cool to try the boards during the contest, so come down and take one out. Look for the orange canopy tent and the California Surfcraft sign.

More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1034203713333061/

May 22 — Stokefest in La Jolla

The San Diego Surf Film Festival is organizing a paipo/alternative surfcraft meetup on the north side of Scripps Pier, and I'll be there with my stack of Bodypo. Time is TBA, but I'd assume its going to be early morning until the noon-ish.

More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1000284873389678/

The Bodypo I'm bringing down with me are two new designs that I've been working on for the last 6 months. I've got a new Bodypo that's thinner and stronger than the previous design, about 20% lighter and a total killer. Like previous Bodypo, it's part bodyboard and part paipo. A little more flex in these than in previous boards, and the orientation of the fiberglass has been changed from 0/90 degrees to a triaxial +/-45/90 fiberglass that is like a loaded spring. Very fun board — come out and try it if you can.

The second design I'm calling the Bodypo Blade. No fiberglass in this one - all carbon fiber. It's very thin, just 1/4" thick with a full rail-to-rail and nose-to-tail concave. It's about 3lbs — comparable to a foam board. Just above neutral buoyancy. Wooden paipo lovers are going to flip their lids on this board, it's super cool. It feels a lot like bodysurfing. Very fast and smooth. I haven't really released this board for sale yet, but people keep insisting on buying my prototypes. It's a pretty cool looking board with exposed cork on top and carbon fiber on the bottom. I'll have a couple of these with me for the demo days, so come check them out.

I'll attach some photos of the new boards. I've been really working hard on the Bodypo and California Surfcraft. I've sold about 300 Bodypo out of the back of my car and through my little website over the last year. Probably not a lot for a big board company, but for a little bodyboard start-up that doesn't sell bodyboards, ha, I feel proud. It's a challenging business, but I'm really serious and passionate about it and I'm really grateful for all of you who have been so supportive. I hope to meet some of you next weekend!
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bgreen
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#2

Unread post by bgreen »

Dave,

Did your boards ever get reviewed by that Oz mag you mentioned?

Those carbon bottomed boards look like flyers.

Bob
davehahn
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

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Unread post by davehahn »

Yeah, that was the editor at Riptide Magazine, Michael. He's been riding the Bodypo for like 7 months now. He said he'd write a review, and I bugged him about it for a long time. He said he liked the board, but he never wrote or published anything. I think I can characterize the vibe I get from the bodyboard industry establishment as...inaudible enthusiasm. A lot of pro and pro-am riders are excited about the Bodypo and its materials, and when I send them free demo boards they are privately effusive about how much they love it (to me over email). But I find that they are reluctant to say much publicly. The riders are worried about losing their sponsorships (or potential sponsorships) with the foam board companies if they say something nice, and I think the magazines and websites feel similarly about losing the advertising support of the same companies if they throw their support behind cork boards. I hope that doesn't sound like sour grapes, this is just how it's been.

So, instead of trying to change the minds of the industry people and pros (and begging them for reviews), I focus on my customers and the every day riders that support the company. I've had a little luck with former pros, like Lilly Pollard in Australia, but my best photos and videos and reviews come from my customers. I'll attached a photo I got yesterday from Jesse in Oahu.

There are 27 customer reviews here: http://bodypo.com/corkcrew-reviews
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#4

Unread post by SJB »

Interesting Dave....although just looking at that photo made me want to put a chiropractor on speed dial. :D
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#5

Unread post by davehahn »

Agreed. The photog told me that Jesse "made it" on this wave, but man, I can't imagine what success would look like in this scenario.
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#6

Unread post by Nels »

No kidding on the Sandy Beach Chiro ride...

The bodyboarding world...you might as well forget about general recognition until you can afford to buy into whatever media is left...is that just Riptide in Oz now? The big bodyboard companies seem to be semi-deep pocketed corporations for whom bodyboards are just a part of their product lines, or are small businesses scraping to keep going. No formal sub-culture ever developed, certainly nothing with any structure like the surf industry had, and even they are struggling now if they are too tied to the surfing image. I think Bodypro is on the right track seeking grassroots support. Serious hardcore bodyboarding still exists, just outside a coherent observable framework - truly underground. I suspect that is the direction mainstream surfing is destined for as the sheer volume of participants has obliterated the "sub culture" aspect.

Age of the Internet...

You might consider getting info or product to Outside Magazine out in Santa Fe, they always were interested in new things back in the day. Might be late in summer production cycle though to get in print; they need online content though (unpaid in my experience, but that's another story). Men's Journal also used to be pretty good for that stuff.

Nels
davehahn
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

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Unread post by davehahn »

Getting in Outside or Men's Journal would be so baller. I reached out to both of them over the winter, but I didn't really put in the hustle that I'd need to get in front of them. For awhile there I really had only the most tenuous grip on production and supply chain problems, so getting in a magazine and getting a bunch of orders sounded like a horrible scenario. It really took me a couple years to figure out how to manufacture the Bodypo efficiently and to understand my supply chain. I solved a lot of those problems with these new designs, which I'm stoked about.

One of the big bodyboard companies keeps reaching out to me. I think they want to be involved, or something, but it's always kind of cryptic and I don't really know what they want. At first it was encouraging, but sometimes lately it feels like just a distraction. All I'd really like to do is keep my expenses low and sell, like, 1,000 boards a year through my website and just mostly ignore the greater bodyboard and surfing industry. I talked to a few other (foam bodyboard) companies recently - one well known and one well unknown - and they are selling 1k-5k boards a year, a lot of it through their websites and our price points are not that different. So it's not unreasonable. I don't really know how to get from where I am to where I want to be, but I guess my plan is to just keep going and hope that more will be revealed.

Sponsoring a BIA comp obviously isn't aligned very well with this, ha, but I'm still just trying things and seeing what works. If some of you are able to come out and try the new boards, then it'll definitely be worth it.
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#8

Unread post by Pes78 »

Dave,

I was at the Sacred Craft in Del Mar today and there was a talk about where the future of surfing is headed. The guy that runs Sustainable surf was there talking with a couple shapers about this topic. Basically you would have to get the best in the world to use the more sustainable equipment. And then have the general public be demanding a different product. Like you said it is in the big bodyboard companies best interest to not support what you are doing and if you do get a top pro to ride your boards out in the open it could be troublesome for that rider. Maurice Cole had also said he will be writing to the wsl to see if they can get on board with the top pros riding more sustainable boards. I mean we are using the same stuff for 50+ years and there have been some movement but it could be awhile before we see anything making a dent into the standard construction whether it be foam and fiberglass boards or bodyboards. Not sure if anyone has seen clips of Taylor Knox riding a Bonzer but man wouldn't it be something if he rode one at Jbay during a contest. Hopefully you can get a top pro to try your board and then win a contest on it. I think it would take a special pro to take that risk.
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#9

Unread post by davehahn »

That's the top down approach that FireWire and others are attempting. I don't see it working out for me, so I'm focusing on bottom up. Every day riders on the Bodypo. One of the ways I'm doing that is organizing a "Bounty Hunt" competition this summer. Any Bodypo rider (read: my customers and their friends) can compete. I publish a list of tricks and scenarios that I want video of, and whoever sends me a pro-quality video first wins the cash bounty for that item. For example, be the first to send me a video clip of you doing a spin on a 4'+ wave, you win $100 cash.

This is money that a top-down company would pay a pro rider/photog to do for them. I'm saying that my customers can do it - and if I'm going to spend money on that, my customers should get it.

I think the problem at the top is a little bigger than you even heard today. Sustainable Surf, a non-profit, 3rd party validator for sustainable best practices in the surf industry, is funded by the surf industry. You can see it on their website - sponsored by FireWire, LOST, Stretch, Pearson, Hobie, Marko Foam, and more. It is, I can't help but think, also in Sustainable Surf's best interest to see cork boards fail. I have my workshop just a few miles from their NorCal founder. I've spoken out before, in an article on The Inertia, about how their programs seem to deliberately fail to move the needle on sustainable best practices. I'm don't think that I'm on their Christmas card list.

Article on TheInertia: http://www.theinertia.com/business-medi ... -vehicles/
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#10

Unread post by Pes78 »

And that just maybe the best approach. It seems to me that they push these lighter boards because well they want you to buy another in six months. I'm not sure how long a bodyboard lasts but I would think it would be longer than your standard thruster. I'm starting to think the whole thing is a scam anyway but there are a few like yourself and others that are doing the right thing without an outside influence. Looking forward to meeting you this weekend.
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#11

Unread post by bgreen »

Dave,

In the paipo/bellyboard sphere if you've sold 300 boards you've done pretty well. In the bodyboard world 300 is peanuts. Jarratt's Salts in Suits is worth a read.

Regarding sustainable surfcraft, worth mentioning Tom Wegener who is doing a PhD on the topic. http://www.usc.edu.au/explore/usc-news- ... -up-at-usc

Keep up the good work. I look forward to seeing some of the results of your bounty hunt.

Bob
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#12

Unread post by kage »

Any chance of a Norcal Demo day with that blade style board?
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Re: Bodypo SoCal Demo Days - May 21 & 22

#13

Unread post by davehahn »

kage wrote:Any chance of a Norcal Demo day with that blade style board?
Yes, there's a bodysurfing meetup group here in San Francisco that meets every month. I'll always have boards there, including the Blade.

Here's info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bayareabodysurfing/

The next meetup is June 4th at Ocean Beach - the north end, near Balboa St.
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