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End of an Era

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:21 am
by nomastomas
I got the disappointing news today that my glasser for the last 10 years, has sold his business, and that the new owner will not be offering lamaniantion services. While there are are plenty of polyester resin laminatinators in my neck of the woods, there are no other epoxy resin laminators. Epoxy lamination is required for eps foam cores, and since all of my T-Bellys are eps-core, I will no longer be able to produced them. I could go polyurethane core, but why? EPS is magic for prone boards IMHO, and essential for the T-B's performance. I could try to do the lamination myself, but the quality I'm accustomed to would definitely be missing. If you own one of my T-Belly prone boards, I hope you continue to enjoy it. If not, I hope you get a chance to ride a G4 or a G5 Quad someday. -Thomas Patrick

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:01 am
by bgreen
Nomas,

Is this just the bellyboards you are no longer making or any boards?

Either way, sorry to hear.

All the best

Bob

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:39 am
by nomastomas
Just eps-core boards, of which belly boards make up the majority, followed by my kneeboards. EPS is also a personal preference; 4 of the 6 boards in my quiver are eps...2 prone boards, a kneeboard and a longboard.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:52 pm
by Nels
I don't know how I missed this one - so sorry to hear that. These are some times we're living in. Lots of changes. Maybe somebody else will pick it up. Nobody up in Santa Barbara?

Best wishes, regardless.

Nels

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:05 pm
by nomastomas
All of the big players like FCD, Roberts and CI do their own epoxy lams, but not anyone elses. Several months ago, there was a young shaper in the shop from Nor Cal setting up 3 eps LBs for lamination. He told me Lucke's shop was the only shop north of LA doing epoxy lams for the general public. That seems to be true.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:31 am
by Nels
I recall a time a half-century ago when The Bigs ruled everything in surfboards. They went down hard. The world around us has barely started to change. I read that the sporting industries can't keep up with demand in North American Summer this year, but the economy has been riding on hope. Other than the global Channel Islands behemoth the other guys might find themselves with excess capacity before too long.

Hard to know what to root for in this mess. A little sun and surf wouldn't hurt, though...

Nels

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:45 am
by nomastomas
Amen...

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:29 am
by Pes78
https://actionsportsexpress.wordpress.com/

not sure if you are aware of this service but if you can find a shop that does epoxy this could be a option.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:03 pm
by Thumper
I taught myself to glass boards many years ago I have only used epoxy after a couple it’s not too hard just time consuming,I started doing my own so I could triple 6oz top and double 6oz bottom my Mal’s the first one is well over 20 years old and still going strong.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:37 pm
by nomastomas
Pez --thanks for the tip. I'll keep it in mind

Thumper--I may be forced to do the same. Haven't glassed a board since 1967...ironically, that was a broken LB re-shaped into, you guessed it, a belly board!

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:35 am
by GeoffreyLevens
I've glassed a few and found it not very hard to do, both poly and epoxy. Sanding however...a bit of a bugger in my opinion, both to get it "right" and also just in terms of the misery.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:21 am
by belly rider
Thomas so sorry about the above news
The frustration extends out to us clients as well
It takes years to find a good shaper and then we get this kind of disappointing news and the uncertainty that the future might bring
I heard that during the covid shut down the government sent checks out to families and many surfers used this check to order a new
board -- this created a mini boom for the industry
The timing of Ray was it properly calculated ??

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:10 am
by nomastomas
Perfect timing, since he wanted to attract a buyer. Nothing like a shop full of blanks in the racks to perpetuate the myth of a booming cottage industry. The harsh reality is a far different story.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:43 am
by Nels
Perfect timing, since he wanted to attract a buyer. Nothing like a shop full of blanks in the racks to perpetuate the myth of a booming cottage industry. The harsh reality is a far different story.
Timing the exit can be as, or more, important than the entry.

The U.S. did enjoy a massive boom in certain outdoor equipment sales, including surfing equipment. Camping equipment, RV sales, and paddling sports have also done well. I believe the fabled Wavestorm surfboard has sold out at the manufacturer level...globally. A quick look through online bodyboard retailers shows a shockingly limited stock on hand as the North American summer draws to a close. This was evident in the insane, 4th of July size crowds we've had 7 days a week, even though much of Southern California hasn't seen any waves since that July 4 holiday and a lot of us haven't had sunny weather much.

The thing is, as winter approaches, the Band-aid, magical thinking response to COVID-19 nationally has led the U.S. to a retail precipice. When the weather gets cold or wet and outside businesses can't operate in many regions, when airlines start massive layoffs in response to lack of travel recovery, and when money stops flowing into construction and renovation products...this economy may seize up like an engine full of sand. The first sector that may grind to a halt will be leisure products of a certain price range. Especially when used equipment floods back into availability. And that will shake out a lot of the producers of said equipment as well as the retailers.

On the bright side, that may actually bring back the more "cottage industry" parts eventually, or earlier than the Bigs at least. Their trick is in surviving the downtime and surviving the competition of the large outfits who may be better capitalized to survive a downturn and may have to open up their client list to keep their own doors open.

The phrase "May you live in interesting times" is not a blessing...

Nels

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:02 pm
by rodndtube
belly rider wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:21 am
Thomas so sorry about the above news
The frustration extends out to us clients as well
It takes years to find a good shaper and then we get this kind of disappointing news and the uncertainty that the future might bring
<snip>
Agree wholeheartedly. It is great to have such a knowledgeable and skilled shaper engaging on this forum, not to mention someone who actually rides the prone product.

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:21 am
by belly rider
Thanks Rodndtube for your solidarity
Thomas I just hope you have a chance to hook up with another laminator
You know I would like to commission you two more MPH boards-- but we are stuck in an "impasse" -- until hopefully
you find an Epoxy laminator lab where to take your boards
Good luck and keep in touch with an old friend
Dave

Re: End of an Era

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:11 pm
by krusher74
A few years back you might have thought that the whole industry would move to epoxy and it would be hard to find a laminator that still did the old toxic poly. But as you say it seems that either epoxy is in house only for the big boys and not being of interest to the small guys.

have you tried a varial blank and there infused glassing https://www.varialsurf.com/blogs/news/infused-glass