Son of Cobra surfboards

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by hullogfish, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. JBorbone

    JBorbone Active Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Belmar, NJ
    Apologies if my previous comment about Paul and Tristan was interpreted as a joke or humorous.

    It was NOT intended to be. Let me explain..

    Unfortunately pricing in the industry has become very convoluted but I think using two "real life" examples might make my prior statement easier to explain.

    Let's take a brand new Liddle for $1200 and a brand new Son of Cobra for $1200 (priced the same for ease of explanation).

    Both boards will be poly US Blanks, so both blanks will cost between $90 and $120. Kirk P will then handshape the board for about 5-8 hours. On the other hand, Paul will place the blank into a cnc machine where it'll be shaped for 30 minutes. Then, Kirk will bring his board to either Moonlight glassing or Waterman's guild to be glassed (or another glass shop). This will cost Kirk about $250 since the glass job is all poly and all clear resin (no tints or pigments or anything flashy on MOST Liddles), but it won't actually require any more work to be done by him. On the other hand, Paul will take the blank back to HIS shop and glass the board himself, which will cost him about $200 in materials given the quality of resin, cloth and pigments that he uses, along with about 15 "working" hours of his time (doesn't include drying time).

    So, at the end of the day (in my opinion) both boards DO deserve to be valued at the same price since everyone has to get paid and the work that's being done is premium quality, but the "value" in the work happens at different parts of the board building process.
     
  2. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    USA New Jersey
    I’m not arguing one way or another on this subject and have nothing against machine shapes. I believe after the blank is cut by the CNC machine there is still work to do before glassing. Sanding, fine tuning rails and whatever else they do. I’ve heard those who do that work called ‘scrubbers’. We’ve also had the discussion about price and value before. Shapers, sanders, glassers, and all those who touch a hand made surfboard need to make a living and can price their boards as they wish. There’s a limit for me in what I’ll pay for a custom 9’8” longboard. I appreciate the curves, contours, craftsmanship, and artistic skills, but it’s only worth a certain $ amount to me.
     
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  3. Human

    Human Active Member

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    Nov 20, 2016
    Oceanside
    The difference between a Liddle at $1200 and a Son of Cobra at $1200 is that the Liddle will work.
     
  4. Surfnfish

    Surfnfish Well-Known Member

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    Feb 6, 2015
    "Kirk P will then handshape the board for about 5-8 hours"

    if that is not an exaggerated point, then Kirk P is obviously in the very early stages of developing his shaping skill. I've been in the shaping room when dozens of my boards were shaped from some of the most respected shapers in the industry, and the longest I can ever recall a board to be hand shaped from start to finish was 3 hours, and that was for a 9' Hanalei spear that my health was going to depend on.

    Regarding a seasoned, well respected shaper using CNC (not an inexperienced newbie hack using CNC to start a label or fill discount surf shop racks)- the shape that comes off the machine is the end results of tens of thousands of hours spent perfecting their craft. When Dick Brewer shaped the blank for his first CNC machined shape, he spent 17 hours absolutely perfecting the same 8'0 semi he normally hand shaped in 2 hours because he knew the slightest perceptible flaw would be translated into every single board generated from the computer scan of that blank. Another world class shaper I know well went to CNC after hand shaping over 20,000 surfboards because the carpal tunnel just got too bad to continue hand shaping, and he still wanted to make a living doing what he loves.

    Bottom line is if you're stoked on buying boards from Kirk P, that's all that matters, right?And best to do so without trying to equivocate his current skills with shapers who have spent decades developing theirs..that dog just won't hunt.
     
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  5. JBorbone

    JBorbone Active Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Belmar, NJ
    so true!
     
  6. Veterano

    Veterano Active Member

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    Aug 29, 2013
    Who is this "Kirk P." you're referring to? I sense there may be a gross (no pun intended) misunderstanding here.
     
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  7. JBorbone

    JBorbone Active Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Belmar, NJ
    Hi Veterano! - I think my point, as a whole, has been totally lost unfortunately.

    Kirk Putnam is the main licensee for the Liddle brand and head shaper. Scott Anderson is a secondary licensee and backup shaper. Together they own "APE: Anderson-Putnam-Engineering", a board building company. Greg hasn't shaped a board in about 4 years now, so both of them inherited the brand from him. This is why any new Liddle you buy says "Designs by Greg Liddle" implying that he originally designed the board but now it's built by someone else.

    I intentionally used the Liddle brand in my analogy with the Son of Cobra boards. Despite the fact that the boards aren't shaped by Greg himself, Kirk is a master shaper who has handshaped nearly 10K boards in his lifetime, mostly alongside George Greenough and the Wilderness brand. Still, all Liddle boards are displacement hull s-decks, which is one of the most challenging type of board to shape properly and takes considerably longer to shape than a conventional board. Sure, a standard 8ft mid length with a slight v out the tail and a mellow concave through the deck can be shaped in 2-3 hours by a master shaper, this is almost always not the case with properly shaped displacement hulls.

    So, the intention of my post was to state the fact that for a collector (not necessarily a "ripper") both a Liddle and a Son of Cobra are works of art and worth the money (since the price of the SOC board is what this thread is about). One because the foam is sculpted into something truly special, and one because the resin craft is artwork itself. Resin artists (not in the surf industry) sell canvas works that look similar to the work done by Son of Cobra for THOUSANDS of dollars, so considering the fact that he does very similar quality resin art on surfboards is pretty special.
     
  8. LÜGEN

    LÜGEN Member

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    Nov 6, 2016
    Oceanside
    But would you pay $1500 for a gato heroi?
     
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  9. JBorbone

    JBorbone Active Member

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    Oct 18, 2017
    Belmar, NJ
    Not sure how that relates to the previous convo but, SURE!! Robin is a very very talented hand shaper. If the shape and glass job merit the $1,500 price tag, then absolutely. If it’s one of his more basic shapes and the glass job isn’t anything special, then no I wouldn’t pay that for one of his boards nor would I pay it for anyone’s that doesn’t merit the price. Pretty simple principle really.
     
  10. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    In addition to all the considerations ‘when new’ how will the board hold up over time? Buckles, stress cracks, delams, sand throughs, dry lam, pin air, pigmented cover ups. Doing repairs on many boards over time the question comes up, was this condition caused by poor manufacturing? Sometimes yes. Some/many board owners treat their boards like crap! Probably no Jamboarders though.
     

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