Letters to Birdo #4

Daniel Bleckley with a 2 part question

Dear Birdo, with all the mainstream shoe brands hopping into skateboarding, why don't you think any other major sporting goods companies have tried to make skate hard goods?

Well, I think there's 2 reasons. First I think the margins aren't as good as making shoes and soft goods. Just skaters buy skateboards, but everyone buys shoes, clothes, hats etc. So why would the sporting goods companies bother with the hassle of making hard goods? I also think they run the risk of crossing the fine line and becoming totally alienated. The line where people argue "They only make shoes, its not like they make skateboards and stuff". I think they are aware that a lot of skaters would freak out if they made hard goods. I think its hideous when skate brands colab with the sporting goods companies. It just helps to further legitimizing them and blur the line. Its obvious the sporting goods companies could indeed make everything, and distribute it to everyone around the world through their distribution. They just need skaters to say "Its cool" and accept them. Sad thing is some of them do. Without knowing or caring what the ramifications of that legitimizing could bring. You let these fuckers into the party cuz they are throwing a bunch of money around, pretty soon its gonna be their party.

 

Also, do you think that lack of inflation in prices in skateboarding will result in more companies going out of business? Boards have been 40-50$ for the past 25 years, how come prices haven't ever risen, because of lowered production costs or lack of industry wide inflation?

I think the prices have stayed the same because production moved overseas and offset the inflation. A deck produced domestically with all the same high quality Canadian Maple and quality glue would reflect inflation and probably be $75 at the skateshop. We all want the production and jobs back in the U.S. Its just are skaters willing to pay more for the same quality but made in America? It sucks! Its like a trap, not just in the skateboard industry.

 

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