Surf Industry Sailing Into Inflation
When COVID first started affecting the economy, experts in many fields predicted gloomy times ahead for Australians.
‘Housing demand to collapse’ (SMH 21/09/20) was a typical headline to preface a story of plummeting real estate prices and rents.
‘Coronavirus to cause worst economic downturn since Great Depression’ (ABC 10/04/20) was the national broadcaster’s take on the IMFs bleak warning about the global economy. It ran with a period B&W photo of kids lining up for a cup of gruel.
Yet in these and many other instances, the experts were wrong. Real estate, especially in coastal boltholes, reached record levels, and while Australia technically dipped into recession mid-last year, the economy was awash with money from the government’s stimulus package.
The surf industry was one of the beneficiaries with many shapers posting record months last year. In fact, a number of shapers saw those records tumble month on month as easy money and free time saw crowd numbers spike with a concomitant rise in product demand. Surfing, as well as mountain biking, kayaking, running...basically any activity that has social distancing built into it, boomed through 2020.
However, the doomsaying articles written last year may prove to be wrong, not in content, but in their timing.
“Things are going to get expensive very soon,” says Mark Kelly, CEO of Global Surf Industries, in a sentiment shared by everyone Swellnet spoke to for this article. The general feeling is that the surf industry is about to experience across-the-board price hikes.
The reason this didn’t happen last year when it was prophesied in the press is two-fold. On one hand, Australian consumers had the advantages of an $130 billion stimulus package - compare that to the Rudd government’s $42 billion package in reply to the GFC - while on the other, the Australian dollar rose against the US dollar offsetting early price increases.
As Australians spent money throughout last year and the early parts of 2021, it was easy to believe that the pandemic woes were disappearing, however the global economy, to which we’re inextricably linked, is a complex beast, and parts of it are currently faltering.
The root cause of the crisis is shipping. Four decades of globalisation has resulted in complex supply chains spanning countries and continents. The system works well in times of stability; businesses can work to on-demand timetables even when constituent parts come from the other side of the world. Continuous freight lines assure that.
However, compared to pre-COVID levels, only 40% of container ships are currently plying their routes. A number of factors have contributed to the decline in ocean traffic, namely a mix of bankruptcies, global disarray, price gouging from the remaining freight companies, and trouble manning freight ships.
As countries imposed COVID restrictions, seafarers found they couldn’t get home between contracts. They were only allowed to disembark in the country the ship sails under, yet most merchant ships are flagged for convenience or to avoid paying income taxes, rarely returning to the country of origin. Even if they did alight, there were few international flights to get maritime workers home.
In January this year, the UN estimated that 400,000 seafarers (of an estimated two million workforce) are stuck on ships long after their contracts have expired - some of them for over a year. It also means freight companies can’t get new crew from their home countries to man container ships. All this has happened while demand for shipping has skyrocketed, far outstripping supply.
Australians who tried to order foreign goods with their stimulus money may have suspected something was amiss. What once took days was now measured by months, if the goods were to arrive at all.
A lack of ships and container space is now starting to bite by way of soaring prices. Earlier this month, Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportwear in the US, called for government intervention to fix “exorbitant” container prices. For the six months to December, Columbia expects it will spend an extra $40 million on shipping freight costs. More worrying is that in the six weeks from June 1st to the middle of July, there was a four fold increase in shipping costs.
The backlog and related price rises won't be easing anytime soon with only 2.5% of maritime workforce vaccinated and more severe strains of the virus keeping restrictions in place. Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, said: “With this new delta strain, there’s no doubt it’s setting us back and the situation is getting worse. Demand for products isn’t letting up, crew changes aren’t happening fast enough and governments continue to stick their heads in the sand.”
"Those down the supply chain must be prepared for further disruption in the critical run-up to Christmas.”
Here in Australia, the tyranny of distance is measured in dollars. “Price rises [for shipping] are going through the roof,” says Daniel Hollaway from Shapers. “Sea freight is up 800% since the beginning of the pandemic to August.”
Mark Kelly concurs. “The other day I paid for a container that went to the East Coast of the US,” explains Kel, “and it cost $21,000 US dollars. It used to be $3,000.” Shipping used to represent 8% of GSI’s sale price, yet now it's 50%.
Global Surf Industries is particularly exposed to the shipping crisis as they’re wholly reliant on shipping, yet even local shapers have a degree of exposure. The same dynamics that created globalisation also saw domestic manufacturing disappear overseas meaning almost all materials have to be imported and hence subject to the coming price hikes.
Daniel Holloway is more bullish about the domestic industry, expecting the result of import hikes will result in “local companies gaining some competitive advantage”.
Yet Mark Kelly doesn’t see it quite the same way, saying, “This isn’t exclusive to me. It isn’t even exclusive to the surf industry: the price of our steel going to China is going to go up, the price of dairy going out of New Zealand is going to go up.” In short, anything that makes a trip by boat will rise in price.
If they can't quite agree on the outcome, then both Kel and Daniel, and in fact everyone Swellnet spoke to, agreed that surfing and surfing products will remain in demand through the coming period.
"Remember, the last eighteen months has been very stressful for some people," says Daniel, "and surfing is one of those incredible sports that supports the mind, body, and soul in many positive ways."
Which is true. However, unless you're bodysurfing sans wetsuit, expect to start paying more for that pleasure.
Great article - interesting insights simply explained, maybe u can get a sideline gig with the wall st journal stu
+ 1 always insightful.
Interesting read, Stu. Thanks very much.
On a brighter note it means that the twenty odd boards I’ve been contemplating selling for a while will probably fetch a higher price than they would’ve previously. Who said procrastination doesn’t pay?
If the boards I’m currently riding last forever I’ll be laughing.
good call start hoarding boards
A great surfboard surpluss became a great surfboard shortage, Aus retail shits its pants 10 years behind US; what's up next Jimmy, "a bunch of Nazi Lesbian Prostitues, abducted by aliens and forced into weight loss programs"?
Well done and thanks for helping bring this to another set of eyeballs.
Shipping for our business has gone from 25-28 days to 45-50 days including transhipment through Singapore or Malaysia. We currently have 2 40' boxes that have been sitting at Port Kelang for 6 weeks (normally a 2-4 day turnaround). East coast US freight is up over 30,000 USD and rising, Our freight is only around 8500USD on a 40' box, but we see no sign of the rate of increase slowing. All before peak season.
Lead time from our suppliers is being stretched from 8-10 weeks to 12-15 weeks and we are receiving reports that those lead times leading up to Christmas will get worse.
Typically retailers are not the best forecasters for production requirements (considering they need to place orders with mills that are supplying the rest of the world) many will have difficulty getting reliable supply. Price will rise and rise and rise. Internet sites won't be cheap either, as their freight rates skyrocket.
It’s not going to get like the scarcities during the world wars is it?
Please tell me I won’t have to suck off a visiting US soldier to get hold of a block of wax. My lips chafe easy!
SURFBOARD FOR SALE. get your surfboards.
weed prices have also sky rocketed
What’s an ounce of Bush worth these days ? Hydro?
A mate is getting rid of his for $400/bag at moment
Prices will rise again soon
His missus is laughing having already spent it in her head!!
Don't know about hydro but I heard a rumour that a 1/4's were selling for $120 a couple of months ago on sth coast NSW
A mate in Sydney was getting hydro delivered to his house in Sydney for $330-$350 per bag
Lack of seeds around too after fires
Xmas time there will be a lot of angry stoners with shortage already
That heavy rain in March turned a lot of plants mouldy
I'm stockpiling wax stat.
should have enough boards to get me through.\
Forget wax , I've given up.
Full deck grip on short boards these days .
That's a real shame that a container of Chinese surfboards shipped to Australia then off again to America costs $21,000 lol
marshy how the hell are ya'
Yeah I'm doing really well mate. I've sent ya an email to your bigpond address, Hopefully you still use it.
A lot more than high priced surfboards is going to affect our livelihoods soon. Take timber framing supply for instance. It's almost non existent for the man in the street and has gone up over 50% in the last 18 months.
Truss manufacturers around here are quoting 6 month lead times because of supply issues. All you see in the housing estates is walls framed up waiting for trusses. I'm guessing the banks won't be paying until the trusses are installed and that becomes a major cash flow problem for a lot of smaller residential builders and a flow on effect to their clients wanting to move in on time. Just one example of many I assume the supply chain problem is causing.
With regards to the more minor materialistic stuff that is being affected in the run up to Christmas, etc, etc, I think the simple solution is just don't buy shit you don't need at the moment.
Same issue here in NZ. Lead time for things like aluminium windows, trusses etc is four months. Some materials you can't get at all so we're having to make substitutions. I'm fuckin' over it. Gonna call it quits when I'm done with my current job. 25 years in the industry and this scenario has finally broken me. Let some other mug deal with things till all this bullshit blows over.
Noticed Joel Fitz posting the cut off date for Xmas orders as August 23rd.
Four month turnaround.
McTavish was two months ago for 2022 orders.
Hey Stu, yeah I dunno.....is the message here to be warned prices are going to dramatically increase a boards overall cost? If so, I call BS. If its suggesting there are cost centres that are out of suppliers control and that will affect and "marginally" increase prices then I agree.
Fact - the larger the item the more the cost will affect its indivdual unit rate.
We import 200 x 40Ft containers a month +/-. No doubt shipping costs have increased. For us, in the last 2 years alone weve seen an 800% increase. What used to cost $1000 for a 40ft container now costs $9000 though we've paid up to $11000 a box recently.
Pre increase many of the smaller shipping companies went broke. Now the big guys are rubbing their hands together due to less comptition and in turn raised their own prices at the same time. Very very few ships are being built and for those that are 1. Allow 3-5 years to build one and 2. Theyre made of steel so their build costs have blown out astronomically due to base material costs increase.
Next problem is Australia is alot further away than Europe so its not a favoured route. Then Aus dock workers on $160k a year go on strike becasue $160k isnt enough so that in turn leaves ships sitting dormant out at sea. Time is money. Oz routes is even less attractive. Then of course theres the container shortage. Ships are leaving Oz empty (no containers on their decks) as waiting for them to be loaded costs the shipping crowd money. Its not only the boats being in short supply but containers as well. China is back logged with product they want to export but cant find a box to put them in.
While all that seems to be a very good argument for a huge rise in surfboard costs I'd haggle out that you could fit arund 750 boards in a 40fter (If I worked it out properly I'd say even more.) Even factoring in an 800% freight increase it only attributes in reality between $10 - $20 per board. Not really something thats going to cause a global apocolypse on the industry.
Put it this way.....the increased shipping costs and shipping we are currently experienceing has caused the Apple Iphone to increase in cost by a MASSIVE 6 cents (Not $'s) per phone. The retailers may tell you phones have gone up $100 due to shipping but the reality is vastly different. My point is yes costs have increased but if the retailers tell you boards are going up $200 due to shipping alone you're being BS too.
Nailed it. People will get away with profiteering due to strong demand, but it depends on the type of item (size and value base) to actual cost increase as outlined very well above.
You don;t think business already know the types of item they're freighting???
400TEU.......a month..........no wonder we can't get a slot.
As for cost of boards...Foam that is blown here is likely to rise due to the ingredients coming from offshore sources.....flow on costs. As for filling a 40' box with boards, the freight and landing costs to USD invoice value is the trick. High value product will change very little, its the low value product that will suffer the greatest.
why ya buying imported boards?
If it reached a cost point where it was cheaper maybe one of the 200 shapers in Australia could just start manufacturing blanks domestically. My guess as well is that mainstream brands like lost, pyzel etc are getting kick backs for licensing which is why they are $200 more expensive than locally branded boards. So maybe consumers will just start buying boards with local shapers stickers, at the end of the day they are the same guys shaping all the lost and pyzels anyway.
Spook you're so far off the mark with the dock workers comment it's not funny! Care to give a date for the last major waterfront industrial action that halted trade aside from the Corrigan/Howard debacle?
It doesnt need to be major to affect commerce in Oz. A simple stop work for a day can kill project delivery time frames. Even a weeks unplanned but extended layover via Singapore so the crew can get their knobs wet causes major issues here.
As far as Oz ports go I had to go as far back as 2 mths - 14th June this year when the MUA instigated stop work at Patricks in Sydney which pushed boat offloads back a week. It happens all the time.
In May alone, the industrial action by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) at various Patrick Terminals was:
Patrick Terminals - Sydney
A ban on overtime and shift extensions at Port Botany (Sydney) from 6am Thursday 20th May 2021 for 14 days finishing 6am Thursday 3rd June 2021.
Patrick Terminals - Brisbane
Zero overtime or non-rostered work commencing from Friday 28 May 2021 and finishing Sunday 30 May 2021
Patrick Terminals - Fremantle
A ban on non-rostered employee attendance from Tuesday 25th May 2021 and finishing Tuesday 8 June 2021.
All importers were advised that the stoppages will cause delays and disruptions across the ports throughout the week & snowball into the coming weeks.
We get more notices on stop work shipping delays due to the MUA than we do about COVID.
Is that a typo where Mark says a Container used to cost $380 to get to the USA East Coast?
Doesn't look right...
Yeah Troppo, 'twas a typo. Been fixed.
2022 won't be such a rosy year for the world economy. I'm expecting significant losses on the world stock markets along with significant lack of consumer spending of any real sorts. Housing bubble will burst into thin air also.
And the $130 stimulus package wasn't a free for all. it was a targetted stimulus package at those that lost work/income. So it's not like this "stimulus" package boosted everyone's spare cash. The spare cash was created from lockdowns and no travelling, getting out seeing gigs/shows/pubs whatever we all spent our money on pre-Covid. That's where the real cash flow came from. But spare cash will most certainly be dwindled come 2022, possibly late 2022/early 2023. Enjoy the free ride whilst it lasts.
Yep have been a loyal taxpayer for 30+ years and my hours were cut 50%...didn't see a fucken cent from the govt whereas all these little cunts were getting paid more...absolute joke.
Housing bubble will potentially burst outer east/west/north.... inner city or anywhere near the beach or ocean and nice regional areas will Plato. Keeping in mind experts have been saying a crash is due since 2004....17years later nope... Stock market will crash another 3 times in the next 30 years just like the previous 30.
No free ride here in Victoria been flogging our guts out on construction sites watching the tumble weed blow down the streets of the CBD.
Lack of immigration has led to massive labour force shortages as Australia doesn’t have the population it needs to support its economy. Meaning unemployment is really low and demand for workers will keep increasing wages. So it depends if you think that will change.
Whilst I don’t disagree with this lockdowns like NSW aren’t employing anyone and I can’t see lockdowns changing even after we’re all vaccinated given the vaccination efficacy results coming out of places like Israel.
And also wage growth is not always great. It leads to inflation which leads to interest rate rises and then we all know how that’s gonna end.
Tend to agree.Interest rate rise and many will be wiped out.House price growth here on the Sunshine Coast has been parabolic like most regional centres.Many coast locals moving away from the beach to the hinterland , non surfing southerners are scooping up beachfront property to hold for generations, resulting in even more absurd prices...the whole beach suburb vibe has changed ie no kids\dogs\hippies\skateboards, just latte's and laptops.
I went up the SC on Friday for a surf. Hadn’t been up there for years. My god I couldn’t wait to get out of there. The traffic, the development, the number or people. It’s destroyed what it had going for it.
I just hope Nth NSW beach towns don’t eventually get like that!!
Actually Don, it was a free for all. Most of that money didn’t go to employers who were out of work. $25B went to companies that saw no downturn in revenue or profits, quite a few had increased profits. There was another $30B that went to small businesses, pretty much no questions asked. Some of them have high standing costs but a lot didn’t. It was exactly a free for all. Employees got less than half of that $130B. That money wasn’t wasted.
Completely agree Batfink. My point was "So it's not like this "stimulus" package boosted everyone's spare cash".
Yep, I am bodysurfing sans wetsuit and two seals appeared on my local beach yesterday, so looks like I have some competition. Hope they don't drop in. Anyone seen seals, NZ or Aussie fur seals on beaches north of Byron before?
not north of Byron Dave
seen plenty at Ballina.
there was one the other day.
Leopard seal on the beach at Ballina couple of years ago.
Saw a small seal at TeaTrees about 5 or 6 years ago. Only a couple of us out in the pre dawn gloom to beat the crowd.
It popped up beside the other guy a bit further out.
The funny thing was , the light was so dim, he thought it was another surfer just paddled out and started talking to it before he realised it was a seal. I saw it in the water beside home , but didn’t realise what it was until he told me.
I think I’ve seen stories on the news where Sea World have picked them up in the past off the Goldy before.
Certainly not common though.
Had a little seal hang out on the end of Point Cartwright twice over the last decade. Didn't seem injured or anything - definitely a little lost though.
Saw a sea lion out Jakes point a couple of weeks ago, startled me and kept swimming around a few of us popping up right next to two others in the lineup, then swam off.
Doing plenty of body surfing myself Dave, mostly in a springy though due to crowds, which may not be a problem any more.
I'd change to body surfing but I need a new one of those too, so perhaps add Paulownia wood trees to my planting program.
Good read, makes me feel a bit more smug about my buy this week.
I picked up a Firewire for $150 during the week pretty much brand new(still that new board white) other than a slight crease line a few inches down on the nose on the deck only, still water tight, and two tiny finger tip size dings on the bottom will get it professional repaired just incase.
Bought it off a mother who seemed to be clearing out her or her kids boards, judging by her house which was huge with amazing views she wasn't short of money and was just having a very early spring clean.
for 1K you can buy a four board Quiver - fish -hpsb -step up - gun
all in 7 out of 10 condition or better.
Many comments and none addressing actually making the products domestically and not being at the whim of shipping costs/chaos. Have we become a cargo-cult?
If business conditions change, survival of the fittest/best adapted. Time to adapt.
Decades ago we made the choice to change our economy to have a greater reliance on offshore sourcing. More recently we made the choice to move our economy to a low wage economy down the track.(if not sooner) We have failed to realise that a to maintain a high wage economy we also need to pay a higher price for products. We all want to pay the same price that an economy 20 times our size pays. So now we have shipped all our production offshore to someone who can send it back to us for far less that we used to do it for. What we also failed to realise was that the only way they could do it was by short changing us on quality in order to achieve the price. Small scale production might have a chance at reestablishing locally, but major industries will need a huge shift in Government policy to get back here.
“ We made the choice”
….oh really? I don’t remember ever having a say in it.
Sorry Blowin, it’s the collective ‘we’. I had no say in it when those wheels started to roll. There were enough of the “don’t give a fuck” around that put certain politicians in power and later, enough “I shouldn’t have to pay that price” entitled princes and princesses that continued the slide.
Nah the choice was made by big business who under the guise of increased local production costs shifted offshore to cut production costs and improve their bottom lines. Look at Blundstone. Their product never became cheaper by shifting offshore and this would be the case in a large percentage of businesses that decided to relocate.
There should be a class of entitled princes and princesses that would like to pay that price bit that's now a distant dream.
John Frum Surfboards.
Got a good ring to it, eh VJ?
Happy to see someone got the cargo cult reference (post WW2 equipment deluge from US Pacific campaign).
I was actually expecting that post to get me in trouble with survival of the fittest capitalism reference as this is the line that's been put forward by business advocates in the corona threads, but you guys actually discussed it quite well.
Making things domestically costs more, but creates RESILIENCE - one recent example being Toyota seeing themselves nearly run out of semiconductors after the 2011 Earthquake, so developing their own local stash (costly, uneconomic), which has served them very well since corona has really reduced supply in it's systemic shock. In contrast, Ford US has heaps of fully finished F150s on the lot... waiting for chips.
Don't get me started on our oil refineries...
anywhere making resins etc etc in Aus?
Yeah the resin is made in botany and Victoria by FGI. This 'editorial' is a sob story for Mark Kelly.
That's what we need to do....the best boards are made here but we need to make all the various chemicals as well...Back to basics and produce everything here in all industries.
Now how am I going to carry 50 rolls of dunny paper and 8 new boards at once..
Great article- all technologies gonna cost more due supply chain constrictions.
My industry- aircon -already informed by the global manufacturers to expect less stock and higher prices.
How is Mark Kelly going to survive with such high shipping costs on his Chinese stand up paddle boards?? I mean the blanks are made in Brookvale, the resins are made in botany and the fiberglass is made by Colan in Huntingwood, you'd just buy Australian made wouldn't you?
you can do the put together for em'
i can guide from the office
Won’t anyone think of the Coolie labour?
You'd think so Marshman, You'd think so.
Natural selection will take care of this guy
Stimulus-> housing boom -> inflation-> wage pressure->inflation->interest rate rise->wage pressure->inflation->interest rate rise…pop.
Resin: Allen’s and FGI
MEKP: United initiators
She’ll be right.
Each of which get their raw materials from OS.
foam gets shipped overseas to be imported back as cheap pop out shit... there's 12 week - 6+ month delay on foam here in vicco, depending on need... couriers can't cross the border, blank manufacturers won't fill orders as they don't know when nsw/vic border will open and can't afford to have a factory full of blanks sitting there til shit knows when... local shapers are like the mobs at a myer boxing day sale when a few blanks become available - it's a debacle...... and christmas is just around the corner....
Does the Thai Cobra factory have its own foam blowing setup ?
Quality materials used at PSI factory Indonesia
poor quality foam.
i wont use it .
rrr where are you based ?
Does thst make it any different ?
Been making boards 35 yrs .
I know good from not so good .
Poor foam can ruin a reputation .
So ill stick with the more reputable foam thanks .
Didnt know if you were in Aust or Asia
PSI for - Phil Myers Dahlberg Shane Joistick etc seem to trust the blanks.
yep they do, chemicals recipe from Aust
But the rest usually get from Aust or US (if they are making better quality boards) cheaper ones use locally made blanks
Yeah I couldn’t give two-fucks about GSI and neither could Australian manufacturers! The less there are of these cheap boards (obviously now more expensive) the less COVID surfers there will be taking on surfing.
For a comparison I wonder what Burt Burger (Sunova) pays for freight from Asia. He has a set price for his gear - I know there are containers coming in October full of Sunova stock! Do the retailers wear these costs or does Burt? I’ve paid a deposit two months ago with a balance remaining on pick-up! I’ll be fucked if I will pay extra freight!
Thanks Stu for the article as it needs to be spoken about.
Heres my first hand experience we are dealing with this day to day.
We have a selection of resins - one we make here on the central coast (Surfset Epoxy), one we import from our recipe (Keyline epoxy) and a local poly
Keyline is our production epoxy resin used by some of the bigger manufacturers in Aust - we made this overseas to keep prices down. We are just about to get a container of it in and yes costs have gone up.
So to the customer it will be a 10% - 15% increase to the customer.
Surfset is made from raw materials from Germany - raw materials have gone up due to the demand around the world for resin - its the old "when in demand... " plus this with shipping is a double whammy - though raw materials is cheaper to bring in than a fully made product - so its probably a 5-10% increase to the customer
Poly resin increase so far this year is 7% we have been holding off passing this on but we will have to by xmas
Surf blanks raw materials have gone up.. so about a 5-10% increase to the customer
Glass - yes we partner with Colan so production costs are still the same but raw materials are from overseas - so depending what supplier (Germany/ EU or US) cost will slowly increase 3-7% once we have to order new yarns - ( we are starting to try and get some yarns from Aust - will introduce a aussie made 100% hemp cloth in a month or 2 - Yarn comes from the Hunter Valley - after the seeds are harvested the plants we getting thrown away we are now making yarn from this)
We have been pretty lucky so far as we try to focus on having Aus made products so we haven't been affected too much so far.. but every supplier in Aust has either put in a price increase or warned us it will be going up.
But talking to a customer which buys Australian materials and makes boards overseas - and average 6ft overseas surf board will be landed this year for about $50 more (cost of materials and increase in shipping) than in 2019
How this will be broken down -
Importer has to spend $50 more so he will increase to cover his margin say $70 +GST
Retailer will have to cover their extra expense plus keeping their margin so say they will probably increase by $100-$150
When a local board builder (small operation)cost will probably be about an extra $30-$50 max per board (less for bigger guys) compared to 2019
So if you are wanting better value boards look at supporting your local shaper.
Spoiler alert all suppliers are saying once shipping costs go down they will "reduce prices again".. I cant see this will happen ... hopefully I'm wrong
VW Golf GTI new 2022 model _ $57 driveaway in Sydney.
Same engine and gearbox as last model.
Last model $47K driveaway in Sydney.
And the base model Golf up 15%.
COVID caused by Govts of the world printing free money at near zero interest..
Govt rewards rent seekers with booming housing prices. In turn they jack rents up.
Same time job out sourcing to contractors and pushing wages for blue collar workers down and down.
Forces poor workers in Sydney and Melboure to stack 6-8 people in a 2 bedroom apartment.
That is why COVID exploding in Sydney and Melbourne - caused be decades of Labor and Liberal f*****d housing policy ?!!!
How's some of the prices certain north coast machine shaped mals go for.. Don't reckon everyone's got that kinda spare cash laying about with work drying up for a lotta crew. Maybe they've been hand rubbing the resin drop by drop off the' bush hydro '
Logical, I've thought the same thing. All the hard workers red lining it so hard, tired, eating bad food, hyper tense, crammed in, in debt or no way out. For sure that takes a toll. Covid winners like old mate in the snow lodge after "quarantining" in his holiday house for two weeks don't care enough, they got it too good.
I may have missed this in the thread but don’t the vast majority of shapers make their boards here under license? CI, Mayhem, Pyzel, etc all do.
Smells a little fishy that we expect to be paying more for shipping when they’re manufactured here in Oz.
Am I missing something?
Even when manufactured here, almost all raw materials have to come from OS. Lot of info in comments - some contradictory, no-one quite knows how it will play out - but in general finished products will go up more than those made here.
Noted, Stu. Great website and educational forum - love it! (Literally never engaged in a forum before - hats off to you).
Further expansion on the fate of the seafarers that transport all the goods mentioned above. As it stands we are in the second ‘crew change crisis’ of this pandemic. Australia as a nation is behaving shamefully (with the exception of the port of Brisbane) in regards to facilitating crew change for these workers, who are, you know, human beings. How would Australia’s economy be looking without gut-fulls of ore, coal and gas sailing over the horizon dozens of time a day? Not to mention everything coming back the other way, including materials for boards as mentioned, building materials, motor vehicles, medical equipment and all the other items of useless mass produced disposable shite that BCF and the like require...
Yet crew change here with a bit of respect and dignity? Nope. It is a mental health catastrophe and these guys are suffering.
As for the comment above about wharfies being responsible for a major backlog of ships? Not true and proven so.
And if you’re not a fan of industrial action, then good luck to you. But give a thought and say thanks when enjoying every weekend off, or for having sick days, or superannuation , or when enjoying a surf trip on annual leave, that somebody somewhere along the line cared enough and had the fortitude to fight for it all.
Hey Mark Kelly,
2001 Von Dutch just called me! They want there look back!
Great article and excellent comments. Thank you.
getting a blank / blanks in WA is bullshit
I know it's not a consensus opinion as shapers are deities around here, but who cares? There's so many surfboards that exist already, probably enough for every surfer on the planet for the next couple of decades.
I exclusively buy 2nd hand and have 4 boards for under $1000. When one dies I will replace it with a second hand one. I don't even need to compromise. If I want a JS/DHD/Pyzel/Lost in my dims, all I need to do is wait a few weeks tops and I can go and buy it for peanuts in new/almost new condition.
Noel Salsa does a review of the Hypto Krypto this year where he rides Craig Anderson's original board! That board must have seen more heavy waves than 99.9% of boards and he says it rides the same as a new one more than a decade on! That's awesome!
Shouldn't we be celebrating technology like that? Or cry about the old PU/PE surfboards that are not guaranteed to last one session and are going up in price? I understand that it will put more shapers out of business, but that's how technology is and has been since time immemorial. I personally welcome any path to more durable, sustainable surfboards.
"Once a new technology rolls over you, if you're not part of the steamroller, you're part of the road." - Stewart Brand
Interesting. It is having a huge difference to the building industry. First there is a world wide shortage of timber among other things (computer chips next most affected) then there are shipping costs.
Of particular interest to me is the flow on effects. The lessons from Covid is that there are all manner of essential industries that we really need to manufacture locally, which we can’t at the moment. Think medicines, PPE, chemicals, all those sorts of things. The correction in shipping costs might help create replacement industries here. This isn’t gouging, this is a correction from ludicrously cheap shipping costs.
What many don’t realise is that the shipping costs have been ridiculously low for decades. Ridiculously low. It meant that it was economic for a company that caught haddock in the British North Sea could ship them off to China to be filleted, to ship back to Britain for sale. Actual example, I kid you not. Years ago I was buying oranges and the only ones they had were from Argentina. I thought, how can they possibly grow them in Argentina, pick them, box them, ship them, courier them and sell them cheaper than what we were getting from Leeton. Many local farmers chopped down their orange trees, couldn’t compete.
It never made sense and created vast distortions across the globe, as well as pumping out huge amounts of carbon and diesel emissions.
This might be the correction we had to have. We might have to manufacture locally, which means we will have to pay much more. This is how it used to be, but the quality should go up a hundredfold.
I’ve still got chisels and hammers and stuff that my father-in-law owned. They’re sharper, harder and will last longer than the knock offs I’ll buy from Bunnings anytime in the next 10 years. I’ll give them to my kids. And maybe we’ll start repairing washing machines, dryers and the like again. The way prices are now, why would you ever repair anything.
Perhaps we might have to stop buying crap.
Made in Aust - Middie @ $499
Juega i do the same 4 for $1000...and regulary see name brand HPSB used thrice couple of deck depressions ..dirt cheap.
Heres 40 ltrs of cheap fun with fins and leggie https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mermaid-waters/surfing/6-0-steve-del-ros... be gd for $300
Future fins.....their production of fin boxes is/ are way behind schedule.
My order of resin (epoxy) only available in clear, hardly any materials in stock.
The whole order with futures took over a month to arrive and I had paid in full the month previous.
W T F,
The new way forward.
I started making my own esp blanks at the start of Covid.
Best thing I did. Now that supplier was out of stock last time I checked.
Nurse those boards people....
The New Yorker on the supply chain issue.
COVID in the rearview mirror, backlogs getting cleared, no more boat stacks in the Suez, and it seems things are looking up for those in the import/export business:
maybe its wishful thinking but used boards seem a little more reasonable last cpla weeks. spending way too much time stalking gumtree the last six months. also keeping an eye out on used car and looking yesterday i swear prices looked better... but again prob wishful thinking
Maybe it is, however I'd agree with that assessment. I check FB Marketplace fairly often and the prices for second hand boards have dialled right back. Same goes for second hand MTBs.
There was always gonna be a snapback after so many new boards/bikes were sold the last few years, and I reckon that's what's happening now.
Not sure about the car prices either, wait times on Toyota higher spec models is still 12 months plus. Saw a 2 year old car with 20K on the dial was selling for more that I agreed to pay for a new one when (if) it arrives next year. Luckily not in a rush. :)
2nd hand boards, however, are certainly getting cheaper. Not a good time to shift the excess in the quiver.
tbb recently spoke to a local mate "Blank" in the know about mass surfboard sales.
This mate referred to Covid stimulus package being a driver for Surfboard Sales...
tbb knew he read the same but where...
That'd be right here @ swellnet #1 Journo Stu's insightful claim about the Stimulus Package!
Ok! Here's wot we're talking about...
Won't say who or where in case of "Blank" employment issues.
But a large Oz surf "Blank" producer sales are down 20% on last year...
Can also say many "orders" from Oz Shapers are down the same 20%.
Nope! There is no talk of this about town or on the net...
Mate swears the Stimulus falsely inflated "Must have" (My Fantasy Escape Module!)
Meaning Seachangers thought a new Surfboard was their ticket outta lockdown!
Now all are set free & the well has run dry...Surfboard sales plummet back to earth.
These Stimulating fantasy gadgets then drove the Mass orchestrated Storage Shed Empire
Here's the thing...said large company exports shiploads more than their massive local market.
US / Japan markets are a little down but holding firm...
Only the Aussie Surf "Blank" market is bleeding 20% (Right now!)
Yes! 'Blank' prices were discussed!
Prices of Chinese base products & shipping also drove "Blank" prices up 20%
Prices rose accordingly & no staff were lost due to 20% downturn in Oz market.
Mate reckons their larger less affected Export market keeps them in the game!
Another angle being a mass shift of wealthy senior Covid seachange pop.
We all saw 50% bully into the Ocean City real estate...
Not hard to believe 20% of renting youthful beach market were driven outta town.
Any of this lot buying a Home in the burbs are belted by rate rises...strictly no Luxury items apply!
Just saying that 20% Board Sales drop applies to mass market short board 'blanks'...Ok!
tbb can't say if Hodad Board sales are up...to reflect wealthier senior sea change.
As said...can't find Oz Surf Xmas Sales Data only some rapid fire trendy Surfie US Q4 data
Seasonal Sales peaked as usual but the daily grind was well below standard...
tbb: "Possibly due to Work from Home" No Lunchtime window shopping!
US "Store" Data kinda alludes to 15% stimulus last year > 15% discretionary correction this Xmas
Oz / Eu (Combined Sales) rose 10% > Seemingly relates to US export market sales!
Recapping that tbb searched quite a bit...crew never come off poorer for that...
Will share a Shipload of Long term Surf Market reports all recently released ...Bloody Heaps!
Jan 2023 Surf Industry Online Research Summit exclusive to #1 swellnet!
9th Jan 2023 ~ "Wetsuits Market 2023-2028"
11th Jan 2023 ~ "Surfboard Wax Market Share 2023"
12th Jan 2023 ~ "Surf Gear forecasts to 2028"
14th Jan 2023 ~ "Inflation / High Interest Rates > Wave Pools"
16th Jan 2023 ~ "Bodyboard Market to 2029"
16th Jan 2023 ~ "Surfboard Fins Market to 2026"
16th Jan 2023 ~ "SUP Market 2023-2030"
17th Jan 2023 ~ "Surf Expo 2023 ...attendees up 21%"
17th Jan 2023 ~ "Surf Market Size 2023 > 2029"
17th Jan 2023 ~ "Electric Motorized Surfboard Market 2023 > 2028"
18th Jan 2023 ~ "Surfboards / Equipment- Industry Dynamics / New Tech to 2028"
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20th Jan 2023 ~ "Surfboard Market Key Players to 2030"
22nd Jan 2023 ~ "Gold Coast Surf Numbers double in 5 years"