Ahhhh culture is a funny little beast. As much as we imagine ourselves to be independent actors carving our own path through an ever changing world, we are all beholden by the unique historical and social circumstances that exist during our existence. We giggle at the silly beliefs and practices our forebears ascribed to, uncomprehending that one day our own ideas and actions will be equally mocked.
Culture is all pervasive and inescapable. It shapes your thoughts, ideas, actions, interactions and ideologies.
Born and raised in Oz, Infoamed can oft be guilty of being imbued with a, perhaps too strong, desire to undertake what Australians culturally refer to as “taking the piss”.
The creative and innovative folk at DRAG board co recently dropped their latest run of board models that bare the standard of a staple of talented stand up surfers who occasionally dabble on the boog. Creed McTaggart, Craig Anderson, Chippa Wilson, Jaleesa Vincent and Harry Bryant.
The DRAG aesthetic leans heavily into the lionised model of Australian maleness from last century that continues to permeate and percolate just below the surface in Australian society. The loveable rogue, the bogan prince, the beer swigging, bunger smoking blue collar battler with a questionable haircut.
As their tagline reads; “Soft boards for hard blokes”
Byrant’s new board design is, for want of a better word, garish. Bright yellow sprayed wings stretch down the sides of the black board. A thick hogs head logo, “Haz” and “Harry Bryant” all stencilled in the same colour adorn the deck. Certainly distinctive, certainly not to be taken too seriously and certainly designed to appeal to those who like to take their doses of irony in heroic proportions.
A board, it would seem, ripe for a piss taking, and as such we did, illuminating the incandescence of the colour scheme and needling at the continuation of the DRAG ethos of the selection of stand up surfers to sell lay down bodyboards in a series of hastily conceived and poorly executed knock offs meme’s. Low hanging fruit.
Perhaps a piss take too far on our behalf judging by the vitrial received in support of the South Coast lads.
“How dare you ironically mock a company that ironically mocks bodyboarding as it’s main marketing technique? was the central theme in a mini Tsunami of DM’s we received.
Now all this hullabaloo does raise an interesting question, namely;
“Does anyone still purchase boards based on the name of the rider affixed to the board model”?
The central premise of the marketability of a signature model is the idea, now disproved by maturity and experience, that you are buying the exact same board that your favourite rider has designed.
Until chatting with industry stalwart and NMD / VS representative Reon Fisher last week for the podcast, this little black duck would have answered “nein” to the question above.
Surely the more discerning and educated buying public now understand the materials, template and design features they desire in a board and so purchase thus, rather than basing their purchase on the whimsical idea of just liking a certain rider ?
Reon, however, was steadfast in his assertion that many returning customers simply mutter words to the effect of “ Point me to your Player and Winchester models my good man” as they hoover up the long retired riders’ wares when purchasing a new sled each year.
So, let us now conduct important research for the DRAG’s, NMDs, and others of the boogieverse engaged in the practice of flogging boogers for bickies.
Whatcha buying and why? Are you rushing to the Stoke Factory website to pre-order a Byrant model simply because you like Harry’s vivacious character?
Or is the opportunity to grab a polypropylene core with stringer, mesh and surlyn for the low, low price of $330 turn your hand, aesthetics be damned?
Are you team style, or team specifications?
Is the signature board model an outdated concept?
Many questions, but what are your answers?