“The Fin Box, Its History, and Why It Changed Surfing Forever” by Sam George via The Inertia

“The Fin Box, Its History, and Why It Changed Surfing Forever” by Sam George via The Inertia

Downing’s original inlaid wooden slot, and the modern box courtesy of Futures. Editor’s Note: Welcome to our new series, Ride This, where we look at innovations in the world of surfing and beyond that changed the pursuit forever. In this edition, Sam George looks at the fin box, where it came from, and how it’s become an intricate part of surfboard design and wave -riding progression.  The Fin Box A slot or plug that in the surfboard manufacturing process is laminated flush to the bottom section of the tail into which fins of various designs can easily be inserted and removed. Where’d it Come From? The history of the fin box begins, like so many other surfboard innovations, with the late George Downing of Hawaii. The youngest member of a crew of hardy big wave pioneers experimenting with the narrow-tailed, finless “Hot Curl” boards back in the 1940s, Downing was relentless in his press for greater performance. This led to the creation of the first modern big wave surfboard, a remarkably sophisticated balsa-wood pintail he shaped in 1951, dubbing it “The Rocket.” In terms of template and foil The Rocket was at least 30 years ahead of its time, yet the design leap most quantum was the inlaid wooden slot into which a fin could be wedged, allowing Downing for the first time to experiment with various shapes and positions. Ironically, this innovation ultimately slowed the development of the fin box: once Downing found the optimum positioning, and having by then adopted the use of fiberglass, he began glassing the fins on, pointing to increased torque against the base. This obvious advancement preceded...
“HOW TWO SHOPS ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE PANDEMIC” by LARRY LANZA via JENKEM MAG

“HOW TWO SHOPS ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE PANDEMIC” by LARRY LANZA via JENKEM MAG

It’s no secret that, prior to the pandemic, one of the greatest things about a skateshop was its fixture as a hub for the community, serving as a place to hang out, talk shit, and ask for a pivot cup or spare bearing or something. But with the shutdowns, shops have to find new ways to keep their local skaters and new customers hyped on the shop and invested in their survival.Gary Smith, the owner of Vù Skate Shop in Baltimore, and Ben Jones, owner of Kinetic Skate Shop in Wilmington, just 60-minutes apart from one another, recently released a shop collaboration deck and shirt. Two shops working together on a joint promotion is extremely rare in the skate biz, even though skaters will collab with just about anything. The ongoing pandemic has put skate shops in a weird place because, even though their storefronts are closed, they are still selling boards, more than ever before in some cases. There’s no set business model in place to weather a pandemic, but shops like Vù and Kinetic coming together to support one another gives one way forward for shops struggling to make it alone. This is one of the few times we’ve seen shops collaborate like this, where did the idea come from? Ben: Gary told me about this maybe three years ago. It was one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever heard. Especially since owning a skate shop has changed in the years that we’ve both been doing it. When we first started doing this, I feel like there were more rivalry between the shops. Now, we’re all friends and we’re all in the same fight together....
“Jeff Grosso R.I.P. 1968-2020” via Transworld Skateboarding

“Jeff Grosso R.I.P. 1968-2020” via Transworld Skateboarding

Today, legendary ’80s vert skater and host of Vans’ ” Loveletters To Skateboarding” Jeff Grosso passed away at his home (1968-2020). We don’t have any details right now, but our deepest condolences go out to his family, close friends, and all his fans around the world during this heavy time. Jeff was a unique, funny, opinionated motherfucker that loved skateboarding and always kept the true spirit of it alive. His Love Letters show was a way for him to educate the youth and future generations of where that spirit and attitude came from so that it could carry on in some fashion and not be forgotten, and we loved him for that. He always spoke for the outcast, misfits, weirdos that made skateboarding so great and special. He was the people’s champ! Man, this one hurts. Here are some words from around the industry: “Jeff was a true skateboarder at his core, and a great wealth of entertainment, insight and valuable philosophy to a younger generation. I was lucky enough to skate with him over the last four decades and occasionally featured on his Vans “Love Letters” series. Jeff had a genuine love of skateboarding and a renegade attitude. One of the last times we spoke, we talked about how ridiculous it is that we still get to do this for a living and that anyone even cares what we do or think in terms of skateboarding at our age. I believe Jeff is a big reason that anyone truly cares, and skateboarding was lucky to have him as an ambassador and gatekeeper to its history. He was also a great...
“This Shop Was Ground Zero For One of The Greatest Advancements in Surfboard Tech ‘SURF SHOP CHRONICLES’ TAKES A TRIP TO DANA POINT’S ICONIC HOBIE SURF SHOP” via Surfer

“This Shop Was Ground Zero For One of The Greatest Advancements in Surfboard Tech ‘SURF SHOP CHRONICLES’ TAKES A TRIP TO DANA POINT’S ICONIC HOBIE SURF SHOP” via Surfer

This Shop Was Ground Zero For One of The Greatest Advancements in Surfboard Tech “SURF SHOP CHRONICLES” TAKES A TRIP TO DANA POINT’S ICONIC HOBIE SURF SHOP DECEMBER 17, 2019 BY SURFER MAGAZINE  In the 1950’s, when most surfboards were still made out of heavy balsa wood, Hobie Alter and Gordon Clark teamed up to experiment with new shaping materials in Alter’s Dana Point store. “Hobie was making the most surfboards at that time,” recalls Kris Carlow, Hobie’s Brand Manager, in our latest episode of Surf Shop Chronicles. “But in ’58, along with Grubbie [Gordon] Clark, they decided to halt surfboard production and just R&D foam. For a full year, Hobie didn’t make surfboards.” And we all know what happened next. The polyurethane blanks Alter and Clark produced left balsa in the dust, became the industry standard and changed both surfboard performance and surfboard manufacturing forever. They weren’t the first to produce a foam blank, but they did perfect their production and ushered in a new era of surfboards. As impressive as that fact is, it’s only just the beginning of Hobie Surf Shops storied history in Dana Point and beyond. Click play above to learn more about one of the most iconic shops and recognizable brands in surfing history. For more interesting articles via this outstanding publication, click:...
“Six resourceful books that could help you to improve your retail operation” by Doug Works (BRA Executive Director)

“Six resourceful books that could help you to improve your retail operation” by Doug Works (BRA Executive Director)

As a former shop / skatepark owner myself, I strive to make relevant suggestions, create beneficial programs, introduce solutions oriented vendors and provide strategic resources that help our members to lower expenses, increase profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences. Below are six resourceful books that I have personally read from cover to cover and highly recommend to all retailers.  Each of these books are relevant and easy to understand.  I suggest reading them from #6 to #1 to maximize the overall benefit, but if you are struggling with making time to read anything or do anything proactive, then absolutely begin with #4. #6: “Permission Marketing”by Seth Godin —the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.  Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin, the author, calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works. Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity—time— Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about you, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness — and greatly improve the chances of making a sale. #5: “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin —an intelligent book that...