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Flattery or Trademark Infringement?

Flattery or Trademark Infringement?

Many moons ago we got a call from one of the Cambell brothers.  If you don’t know that name in the surfing community you must have been living under a rock.  The Campbell brothers’ were the inventors of the Bonzer fin set up.  They were calling us to nicely ask us to quit using the name “Bonzer” on our Austin Bonzer due to them having a Trademark .  Not only did we think it was a stand up thing that they called us to talk it out instead of sending us some cease production letter by some high paid lawyer but how cool is it that some legends in the surf community actually calls you to talk to you even though it was to nicely chew you out.  Since that time we started using the regular Austin logo on our Bonzers and we now call the Bonzer the “Figjam”. 

About 2 months ago we had a guy from Florida stop in our shop.  He said it was cool because his friend “Austin” owned a surf shop in Florida called Austin’s Surf Shop (no relation) and he thought it would be cool to buy a couple of stickers to take back to show his friend Austin.  Well Austin (our Austin) being the nice guy that he is says just take a couple no worries.  A few weeks ago we had a friend of ours that was vacationing in Florida bring us one of the “new” stickers for this Austin Surf Shop in Florida.  I will let you be the judge and decide how close it is to our logo.  Even though our Logo is also Trademark, which is an extremely time consuming and costly thing, we decided not to push any confrontation this time.  I imagine if we see any shirts or boards with our logo on them coming from Florida we might not be so forgiving but for now we are just going to take it as a form of Flattery.

Hand Plane Review

Hand Plane Review

This summer was full of experimentation from the Alaia’s we have been building, to the paipos, and even the hand planes.  Each trip to the beach lead to a new revelation in watercraft design.  With each trip we began to realize that we way underestimated the abilities of the Hawaiians on their wooden blanks.  We also discovered how much damn fun these things could be.  With each exploration we found a new thrill.  Even though so simple the hand plane was the real surprise.  You forget the simple pleasure of body surfing once you begin to stand up but the hand plane brought that simple pleasure back.  The hand plane helps adjust for your youth lost and for the extra bagage that comes from time.  It makes bodysurfing fun again.  This little board gives you a tripod point that actually lifts your body out of the water to reduce drag.  Of course this isn’t going to replace your go to board but when the waves are dumping and its all close outs break the flippers and hand plane out of your car and give it a go.  You will fill like a kid again.

Experimental Stringer Set Up

Experimental Stringer Set Up

Austin has been experimenting with different stringer set ups.  He bought a few unstringered blanks and thought he might try some unusual designs that is not normally seen.  He has been talking about how when he shapes them they have different flex characteristics than the normal typical stringered board.  We can’t wait to see these babies after they are glassed.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

It was put on the back burner for a while but Austin is continuing work on his balsa and paulonia paipo.  You can see the final glue up in this picture.  It has a balsa body with Paulonia strips capping the nose and tail.  The Paulonia will protect the lighter balsa from denting.  Plans include a lightweight glass job with glassed on custom twin fins.  She should be finished in about a month.

Rocket Science

Rocket Science

Sometimes we get asked to make a custom watercraft that requires a little special engineering and often a special glue up.  We are of the mind that no task is to hard for us.  Sometimes it just takes a little thought.  It’s not like we are building the wing to the space shuttle or is it?  Actually we have had NASA people call us and ask our opinion about the bonding strength of certain resin.  We have also had engineers at Ford call and ask about foam densities for one of their new designs.  If you can dream it, and pay for it, we can build it!  I would love to show you the “water craft” that we built out of this glue up but unfortunately the client is in negotiations with a large manufacturer to have their design patent purchased, so we were sworn to secrecy.

On a Recent Trip to Maine

On a Recent Trip to Maine

We recently made a trip to Maine to see one of our distributors and friend Ron from Kennebunk Surf and Skate.  We went up to judge a retro contest they were having.  During the trip there we were interested in some of the signs you saw but would never see them in Virginia.  Hence the “Moose Crossing” sign.   Seems as though we were having a Moose theme going on!

Another Angle of Moose’s Ride

Another Angle of Moose's Ride

A New Way to Travel with an Austin

A New Way to Travel with an Austin

Moose, a welder by trade, made this rack to carry his Austin to the beach using his favorite mode of transportation his Harley.  Who needs a Mule when you have a Moose!

Things Have Settled

Things Have Settled

We are finally in our new shop in Chesapeake and things have settled down.  Everything is back on track and we are working at about a 5 week turn around on longboards and about a 3 week turn around on shortboards.  Rich Kanski decided to leave Fibercraft and come work for us so we now have our ding repair division working full time.  We are working on a 1 week turn around with most dings.  You can drop off you boards at the Beach Board House on Saturdays, this is when Austin works, and we will have them back to you by the next Saturday.  As always you can count on the quality of our ding repair as in the past.  In the coming months we will be revamping our website (by January 1st) with a new look and an extended version that features the new wood boards we have been creating under the Austin Master Craftsman Series name.  We have finally located the STD board and should get back on track posting about its travels.  I have also been lax on getting things posted on the blog but hopefully I will that back on track too.  We look forward to a great upcoming year and would love to hear what everyone would like to see from us.  Drop Austin a note at austin@austinsurfboards.com .

The picture is one of our Alaias in front of the Sandbridge Pier.

Paipo Pigment Series Final

Paipo Pigment Series Final

Final picture after gloss and polish.  The illusion of the folds in the cloth came out quite nice.  We were please.