We received an interesting letter to the editor the other day which brought up a topic that has probably come up in conversation among stand up paddle surfers on more than one occasion. The topic that we’re referring to is that of outsourcing board production overseas.
In a day when food prices are on the rise and job security isn’t as secure as it used to be, does sending business production overseas really benefit the industry as a whole? Is outsourcing the magic bandage for building equipment at a price everyone can afford?
In this article we’ll take a quick look at some of the issues so you can come to your own conclusion. We invite you to register or login and the end of the article to share your comments and thoughts on the topic.
How might outsourcing to China, for example, be of benefit to the stand up paddle industry? Let's start the discussion.
Usually the first explanation in favor of outsourcing is that it lowers the production costs of equipment so the manufacturers and retailers can offer their product at a cheaper price. Labor is cheaper, they don’t have strict environmental laws to work around, and production materials may be cheaper. In theory this should translate into a cheaper board.
Another reason why keeping production here is more expensive is because of the need to dispose of the waste properly. It’s expensive to dispose of the waste properly. On the other hand, in many foreign countries, there aren’t laws to regulate and in some cases energy is free.
How might outsourcing to foreign manufacturers have a negative impact on the industry?
One school of though says, that yes, we are outsourcing to make things cheaper for the consumer, however, if the employees are now out of jobs, they don’t have the money to buy the equipment even if it is discounted. Thus, we end up with a world of inexpensive stuff and nobody with the money to buy it.
Is it worth the bucks to enter the sport?
Absolutely, 100%! Your board and paddle is your lifetime pass to the lakes, rivers, and oceans around the world. It’s your pass to total fitness and emotional tranquility. Tax return season is just around the corner and you can bet your biffy that many of the refunds will be going toward new boards.
As we open up this article to your questions and comments, here are some excerpts from the letter we recently received from Bill Leland which sparked up the conversation of foreign manufacturing.
One of our readers, Bill Leland said, “I really enjoy your e-mag… I notice we are in the middle of a world wide recession… I buy my custom sticks and paddles from Indonesia. I’d put them up against whatever you bring to the challenge. When you pay your workmen/shapers less than $6.00 USD a day that is for a 10 hour day, your cost of goods drops rather dramatically. Successful businesses were made by $5 and $10 sale items, not for pushing the HOG BUTTON. Bring more users into the fold before you try and retire on one sale. I started and ran my own C Corp. in Costa Mesa/Huntington Beach for 25 years. I have been there and done all that.”
We encourage you to login or register below to share your point of view on this important topic. Need help, email
Register or login below to comment.