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Old 01-02-2013, 05:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Its not a materials or general build difference, its build process. The way its done overseas is really just better than most if not all the factories here. NeverSummer might stay rideable for a very long time, but something like Ride, K2, or Echelon is going to feel like day 10 longer than a NeverSummer. And you absolutely pay to get that eagle logo on your board.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:37 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Its not a materials or general build difference, its build process. The way its done overseas is really just better than most if not all the factories here. NeverSummer might stay rideable for a very long time, but something like Ride, K2, or Echelon is going to feel like day 10 longer than a NeverSummer. And you absolutely pay to get that eagle logo on your board.
You think the Asian manufacturing process, which has a higher degree of automation, leads to a better quality product than the handmade processes employed by never summer? Not wanting to get into another US vs China debate because personally I don't buy the whole "it's made in America therefore it is superior to china" etc argument, however I am led to believe NS boards are examples of high quality craftsmanship and hence the high prices are somewhat justified or at least understandable?
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:03 AM   #23 (permalink)
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You think the Asian manufacturing process, which has a higher degree of automation, leads to a better quality product than the handmade processes employed by never summer? Not wanting to get into another US vs China debate because personally I don't buy the whole "it's made in America therefore it is superior to china" etc argument, however I am led to believe NS boards are examples of high quality craftsmanship and hence the high prices are somewhat justified or at least understandable?
Nope. Would you rather have someone who's career is manufacturing make your board, or someone that thought It'd be cool to make boards?

The chinese factories pump out waaay more boards and thus the people have run that many more through their hands. The automation is more acurate than a human can be.

This isn't to say that NS, Signal, Mervin, etc. aren't putting out quality products with good finishes. But you'll find more minor issues with more hands on production boards than those with a little more automation.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:56 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Just to throw my opinion into the mix, I would recommend the DH2 above some of the others mentioned so far. At 180 myself, I find anything softer doesn't handle out-of-park riding that well. You also have the added benefit of being able to land jumps with more stability. Not to mention the serious pop the DH2 offers. You will have a significantly harder time with presses but as you progress and become a more aggressive rider they'll come, even on a stiffer board. I'd also recommend the Nitro Eero Ettala as another option.

Can't speak to NS as I have yet to ride one.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Nope. Would you rather have someone who's career is manufacturing make your board, or someone that thought It'd be cool to make boards?

The chinese factories pump out waaay more boards and thus the people have run that many more through their hands. The automation is more acurate than a human can be.

This isn't to say that NS, Signal, Mervin, etc. aren't putting out quality products with good finishes. But you'll find more minor issues with more hands on production boards than those with a little more automation.
It depends I guess on who is making the board. I would expect NS, Signal and Mervin put a lot into selecting and training their people who make the boards and what you'll get back is a quality product with a higher level of manual craftsmanship that leads to the higher costs. But perhaps the extended warranties all 3 of these companies give on their products is recognition of the potential quality issues that arise from this approach. But that's not to say in the long run these boards are not as good as their Asian factory-built counterparts?
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:56 PM   #26 (permalink)
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In the ride qaulity no. I'm having boat loads of fun on my current deck, one of next years Signals. But even me, who used to make them, will say they fall to some of the same longevity issues as the other US made brands. One thing that does help them is they do not finger join their cores. Every length of core glued together is one solid piece tip to tail. And that matters. It means a more consitent break in. And for quality control I see things in my shop from Ride, Burton, Salomon, etc. that very well might have been pulled aside as B's at Signal. That comes down to a numbers game though. Signal does maybe a third at best of what Ride does. And the factory Ride is coming out of is also doing many other brands. Less boards through QC means they can spend a little more time on the board and catch more minor details like that.

As far as selecting quality people for the factory, meh. I ended up being one of the best grinders Signal has had, but they hired an 140lbs kid with little upper body strength to do the hardest physical job in the factory. Granted I think they wanted me to quit since they really didn't NEED me at the time, but yeah. And they've had enough turn around in the 9 or so years Dave and Marc have been running Signal that the crew they have right now is stellar. Amazing people and I dont think twice about riding what comes from their hands. Anyway, the job doesnt take a lot of technical skill. All that needs to be assessed is if the person can handle hard labour, deadlines, and repetetive work. That fits a lot of people. And the culture in China caters to that type of worker. Second to costs of operation, that's why most product manufacturing is out of China.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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In the ride qaulity no. I'm having boat loads of fun on my current deck, one of next years Signals. But even me, who used to make them, will say they fall to some of the same longevity issues as the other US made brands. One thing that does help them is they do not finger join their cores. Every length of core glued together is one solid piece tip to tail. And that matters. It means a more consitent break in. And for quality control I see things in my shop from Ride, Burton, Salomon, etc. that very well might have been pulled aside as B's at Signal. That comes down to a numbers game though. Signal does maybe a third at best of what Ride does. And the factory Ride is coming out of is also doing many other brands. Less boards through QC means they can spend a little more time on the board and catch more minor details like that.

As far as selecting quality people for the factory, meh. I ended up being one of the best grinders Signal has had, but they hired an 140lbs kid with little upper body strength to do the hardest physical job in the factory. Granted I think they wanted me to quit since they really didn't NEED me at the time, but yeah. And they've had enough turn around in the 9 or so years Dave and Marc have been running Signal that the crew they have right now is stellar. Amazing people and I dont think twice about riding what comes from their hands. Anyway, the job doesnt take a lot of technical skill. All that needs to be assessed is if the person can handle hard labour, deadlines, and repetetive work. That fits a lot of people. And the culture in China caters to that type of worker. Second to costs of operation, that's why most product manufacturing is out of China.
Just to clarify - where you think US-made boards fail in comparison to Chinese made boards is in longevity and that's down to what exactly in the process (if it's not to do with materials etc.)?

As an aside, I'm really interested in trying a signal board. They get good reviews all round. And I like the design aesthetic...what do you think of their new custom option a la the nike id system? I think it's pretty cool...I'm surprised they can do this profitably given the size of their operation.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:43 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nivek View Post
Its not a materials or general build difference, its build process. The way its done overseas is really just better than most if not all the factories here. NeverSummer might stay rideable for a very long time, but something like Ride, K2, or Echelon is going to feel like day 10 longer than a NeverSummer. And you absolutely pay to get that eagle logo on your board.
Thats pretty interesting. I would've thought that NS' high quality fiberglass layups would've played a positive role in preserving the pop and camber profiles of their boards.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Nope. Would you rather have someone who's career is manufacturing make your board, or someone that thought It'd be cool to make boards?

The chinese factories pump out waaay more boards and thus the people have run that many more through their hands. The automation is more acurate than a human can be.

This isn't to say that NS, Signal, Mervin, etc. aren't putting out quality products with good finishes. But you'll find more minor issues with more hands on production boards than those with a little more automation.
Then why is NS the only company to offer a 3 year warranty....
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:53 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I have rode NS almost exclusively since about 2005-2006.... I have only had two SL's in that time and have had 20+ days every year and both basically still look brand new and have zero core shots on the base. They hold up awesome! So ill let those guys "who think its cool" keep makin my boards cause they are durable an last!

I switched it up with n arbor westmark this year and that is NOT a durable board.
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