– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

Responsibility for the Total

Durability is a strange concept. A quick search of the word in Google provides an array of different definitions depending on the context. The definition we will use here is found on the site and it states that product durability is: “the ability of a product to be reused, without significant degradation, for its intended purpose for a greater period than the average useful product life-span of other similar products.”

DurabilityDurability in surfboard construction is more of an intended outcome than a building materials-based issue. A polyurethane/ polyester surfboard can be made to last decades or months. So why has surfboard construction in the past twenty years ignored durability as a selling point? This is a question that plagues many American industries. Perhaps this may be one reason why American auto makers like Ford are facing possible extinction in the next few years.

The bottom line is that high performance surfboards can be made to last two, three, or even five times longer than the industry standard. All that is required is the intention to do so. Below is a statement from a company named Gränsfors Bruks, which we learned about in Let My People Go Surfing. Although axes are not directly surf related, we feel it is important to highlight the idea that durability can be a part of corporate ethics for any successful business.

Gransfors Bruks Carpenter's Axe

Gränsfors Bruks

“What we take, how and what we make, what we waste, is in fact a question of ethics. We have an unlimited responsibility for the Total. A responsibility which we try to take, but do not always succeed in. One part of this responsibility is the quality of the products and how many years the product will maintain its durability.

To make a high quality product is a way to pay respect and responsibility to the customer and the user of the product. A high quality product, in the hands of those who have learned how to use it and how to look after it, will very likely be more durable. This is good for the owner, the user. But this is good as well as part of a greater whole: increased durability means that we take less (decreased consumption of material and energy), that we need to produce less (gives us more time to do other things we think are important or enjoyable), destroy less (less waste).”

Gränsfors Bruks, Inc.

• Category: board construction

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