Author Topic: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?  (Read 71633 times)

Joe Blair

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Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« on: May 21, 2009, 03:59:19 PM »
Members of Stand Up Zone and the SUP community - Jeremy Fry – Wave Rod – 808 Stand Up Paddle Boards

My name is Joe Blair and I have been a surfboard shaper for 40 years and 4 years as a SUP Shaper.   I have learned my trade in the shaping room during thousands of hours of manual labor and thousands of different shapes.  It has been a challenging career and while the hours have kept me away from my family, working hard to make an honest living, I proud of my reputation as a shaper.    Despite the challenges in the surf industry, I shape surfboards for one reason ---- I feel the Aloha of making great boards that help people enjoy the sport more.  Sure there are better business people and marketers than me but I have lived an honest life and not ripped off my shapes or taken the easy path.

Forgive me if I have not been an active participant in this forum like some other shapers.  Well, let’s just say that I am old school but I do have a great website www.jblairsurf.com and am typing better than I have in the past.  I have enjoyed the forum a great deal but I am a bit slow with the computer.  I have read and gained from what I have learned on Standup Zone but truly a bit intimated by how fast everything happens online.

There was a thread that came up on Stand Up Zone two months ago that ended up becoming an issue between Blair Stand Up Paddleboards and Jeremy Fry / Wave Rod / 808 Paddleboards.  I was traveling at the time of the Honesty / Ethics thread and not at my computer or able to take part in the discussions.  There were many important issues raised and from what I could tell, many members of this community were deeply passionate about “Honesty and Ethics in the SUP Industry”.

I had heard rumors about what had happened between Jeremy Fry and Sean Ordonez in the past and really did not want or think that the same thing could be happening over again to me.(See Below For Email From Sean Ordonez from SOS Shapes).  At the time of  the “Honesty and Ethics in the SUP Industry” thread, that I had only seen pictures of the Wave Rod/Blair Models on this forum and on Craigslist.   I was convinced that these were my shapes/ rocker etc but wanted to see deal with it in private.  I believe in men being men and shapers having Honesty and Ethics.  If anyone from around the world called me out on one of my shapes,  I would fly not just to another island but around the world to clear my name.  Some may call that old school but I believe that men should resolve differences directly and not hide.  There was a conference phone call set up where I spoke with Jeremy and he agreed to meet me in Oahu and show me the boards in question.  This is when it was requested that the thread be taken down on Stand Up Zone.

After the “honesty and ethics in the Sup industry” post was taken down, Jeremy refused to return my phone calls as he had agreed to.  My post here today is directly due to Jeremy’s lack of response and care for his reputation with me and well, I guess the rest of the SUP industry.

“Here’s the facts, nothing but the facts” – Dragnet

Jeremy, my hands are on the typewriter but you wrote this story:

•   Within the shaping / SUP community there has been a question over the origins of the  Jeremy Fry / Wave Rod shape that has an extreme similarity to Sean Ordonez Big Blue Model (take a look at Sean’s note below)
•   I was aware of these rumors but had not looked closely and compared the boards
•   I went to the Swamis Surf competition in the Fall and saw Jeremy Fry riding one of my boards/shapes with a Wave Rod sticker on it.  I was impressed because he ripped on the board and won the event.  I was flattered that he had chosen to ride my shape and trusted that if was interested in my boards, he would call me to arrange a shaping fee.  (I have shaped boards for many years and been paid a per board fee when someone wants to license my designs – the fee is minimal but it is a sign of respect and thanks)
•   My SUP boards are so unique and completely different from all the other SUP boards being produced at this time, I did not think that Jeremy or anyone else would outright copy my boards - let alone my entire line up
•   After seeing Jeremy win at Swamis, I grew concerned that he would do a Sean Ordonez on my shapes
•   I called Jeremy on the phone and spoke with him directly.  I told him that I would like to discuss the boards that I had seen him riding and have a business meeting.  Jeremy told me that he was out town and that he would call me up when he came back to San Diego for a meeting.
•   JEREMY – 1st TIME – You Said That You Would Call Me – You Didn’t Do What You Said You Would Do 
•   Jeremy never called me.  I saw him several times out at Cardiff after he agreed to meet with me.
•   I still hoped that Jeremy had only decided to ride a Blair shaped board himself and was not going into the China mass production route he had done with Sean.
•   I saw a forum post on Stand Up Zone http://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=2ad885c7f5a9f112e6a543a7c47ea043&topic=2599.0around Christmas time and put another call into Jeremy asking why he had not called me back.  All I had seen at this time was WaveRod model board and I was concerned.  No returned call from Jeremy.
•   Early ’09 - A Team Rider in Hawaii emailed me a Craigslist advertisement from Wave Rod of my four top models – with the exact same shape – dimensions – rocker – deck pads and believe it or not even some of the same verbiage from my own website.  –  The Craigslist Ads now run in islands of

•   Well take a look and tell me what you think…
11 X 32 Models

10 - 32 Models

WR 9'11 x 30 Models

•   The thread “Honesty and Ethics” on StandUpZone moved to the issues of the WaveRod Boards and the Blair boards being copied into the forefront
•   I had a conference call with Jeremy where we agreed to ask to have the thread on Stand Up Zone taken down based on the belief that Jeremy and I would met in Oahu so that I could take a look at these boards in person. 
•   The boards were in Oahu and I could have seen them at any time if Jeremy would have allowed me to
•   I called Jeremy many many times after the thread on stand up zone was taken down without response.
•   Jeremy only responded when Michael Filippone called him at my request.  He is MichaelF on the standupzone board and a friend– he told him that he was  not interested in meeting with me because there was no reason to do so.   He already had a partner in his wife and didn’t need another partner.  When Michael said that you had agreed to meet with Joe and that beyond “a partner” discussion, the boards looked exactly like Joe’s and had the same, outline  rocker etc. and that you had duplicated 4 of his board’s best boards.  Jeremy did not deny he had used Joe’s shapes but that they were slightly different.   Jeremy said that while the boards were close and they may be almost the same dimensions - they were hand shaped.  As hand shaped boards, there was no way that any of these boards could be ”exactly” the same and that Joe had no claim against you.   Michael then ask you about rumors about the Sean Ordonez boards and that many in the SUP industry believed that the 10’10 Waverod was a duplicate of the Sean 10’10.  His response was that he had not copied Sean’s board and that if there were similarities it was not exact.  Per Jeremy, it was no different than some of  “the foote and chun” boards – Everybody copies everybody’s shape – that is just the way it is
•   JEREMY – 2st TIME – You Said That You Would Call Me – You Didn’t Do What You Said You Would Do  and this time you agreed to this in front of two other people

Summary – Joe Blair / Sup Community has raised questions about the origins of WaveRod / Jeremy Fry Shapes and it was agreed (by Jeremy) that he would meet and review his boards.  These issues were to be dealt with in private and he has refused to meet with me - man to man.  Jeremy  believes that copying four boards from one shaper is OK as long as they are hand shaped and not “exactly” a match.   
What I - Joe Blair Believe –
•   When Jeremy’s shapes, honesty and ethics are questions – he does not bother to be accountable man to man and I know of no reputable shaper – Blane Chambers – Ron House - Mark Raaphorst – Dave Parameter – Steve Boehne that would not have called me back or met with me personally in order to clear up and questions I had
•   Despite what I can legally do-  I can allow the facts to be know by the SUP / Surf community and his reputation will have been his own creation for the positive or negative
•   Based on what has happened to me and Sean (see below) it appears that Jeremy only cares about Jeremy when it comes down to shapes.   He takes known shapes that work and has them hand shaped and mass produced in China - flooding the market.  I have been in the surfboard industry for 40 years and let me tell you that I have worked with some low level people but not one of these guys has the balls to do what he has done to me.
•   If Jeremy can take my shapes, have mass produced in China who is next C4 – PSH- Ron – Infinity - Starboard….  What is the barrier to entry for others to do this?  Ability to pay for one  container from China and find good shapes and make sure they are not “exactly” they same
•   It is my belief that the only recourse for shapers that have this happened is to notify the Chinese surfboard companies and if they make boards that are know rip offs, to boycott these co’s.  Why send boards over to companies that are killing the shape creators
Well has this ever happened before?  Sean Ordonez & Jeremy / WaveRod

Before I let Sean Ordonez answer for himself below.  I would like all of you to remember where SUP was three years ago.  Sean was one of the leading shapers.  Take a look at this websites and those pictures of Sean O ripping and having fun three years ago.  www.sosshapes.com  Where would Sean be today if this had not happened to him?  Sean was there ahead or with C4 – PSH – Ron House..


Let me tell all of you.  When I saw Sean riding those waves in Hawaii - he inspired me to make better boards and what was possible in the SUP industry.  For the last three years I have been wondering what happened to Sean…. I knew of the rumors but never really knew.    Well you can read below in his own words and as Paul Harvey says – “now you know the rest of the story”


When you read the letter from Sean remember his slogan  “Think it, Feel it, Shape it” -  I hope if this post does anything – it will bring Sean back to us!!! 


April 20. 2009

Dear Mr. Joe Blair,

I can't begin to tell you how frustrated and disrespected I feel on the matter I had with Mr. Jeremy Fry. I can relate and understand  your frustration you are currently going through with Mr. Fry.  We have both been working way to hard in our line of work to have someone such as himself with no credentials in our trade  and  to outright   steal, lie and cheat his way into our surf industry with no respect or etiquette.

I would like to begin to explain the situation I had with Mr. Fry as follows:

A few years ago when standup paddle surfing was just beginning or for that matter being brought back to its revival from the old beach boy days...Thanks to the creative waterman mind of Laird Hamilton. I began to follow close footsteps to his progress on stand up paddle surfing. Being a professional waterman myself and a shaper, I felt a very close understanding and connection to the roots of surfing through standup paddlesurfing. When I pursued shaping my first standup paddle boards here on Maui...Designing, Shaping and building required all my 24 years of skill in our trade , that lead me to produce three of the first and most sought after boards in our standup  industry. These were the 11'11" Big Red , 10'10" big Blue and the 9'11" Big Green...  A few months of successful distribution of a few containers of these boards, I had Jeremy Fry approach me via email inquiring to become a dealer of my standup boards. He soon after placed an order for ten boards of the big reds and the big blues that he was planning on selling on the Island of Kauai , where he resided and had his kayak rental business...

Of course, I was thrilled with excitement of his sincere interest in my boards and placed in production his order with my partners factory in China who began to produce Mr. Jeremy Fry's order ...But to my dismay when it came time to collect the deposit to pay for his order of ten boards he was not to be heard of and did not return any of my emails or calls in regards to his order... This situation left me in a hard financial spot and I had to come up with the money from my own pocket to pay for his order. Lucky for me I found another buyer for the boards he had just ordered.  But soon after this situation, I was notified by Kim Ball at Hi Tech Surf Shop  here on Maui, one of my main supporters in the production and sale of my standup boards , brought to my attention that a client by the name of Jeremy Fry had recently purchased two of my production boards from his shop , the big Red and the big Blue. I even have the hard proof of his invoice credit card receipt  from his purchase of my boards at HiTech shop.  Kim Ball was up to date on my previous dealings with Mr Jeremy Fry, since it was in his best interest to be informed of whom would distribute our S.O.S. boards in the Hawaiian Islands.
Therefore, I grew suspicious of Mr. Fry's purchase of my boards.  My suspicions became reality when I soon learned through my Japanese partner in China(Mr Sumitomo  from Burleigh Heads/and Betley factory  producers of my boards)informed me of what they thought was a container full of my boards being shipped to Kauai...My producers thought that I had gone behind there backs to build my boards at another factory in China  and shipping them to Kauai. We all soon realized the truth of the matter and came to find out the Mr. Jeremy Fry had duplicated my 10'10" Big Blue  and was bootlegging into Kauai for sale...



As you can see this was the beginning of the end for me..  As you know it is honorable and respectful in our surf industry if some other shaper/waterman with credentials in our industry creates some productive competition that stimulates each other to do better and benefit the industry... But in this situation with Mr. Fry, it was too close for comfort, as I knew he had fully duplicated my big blue down to the mm ( with less than 10% change done to the tucked under shape done in the last foot of the rail shape in the tail area...) In my professional shapers eyes and many others shapers and experienced surfers, this was an exact imitation of my board. I know this for a fact , for I purchased one of his 10'10" Wave Rod boards...He began to sell all these board in Kauai and soon after all other Islands in Hawaii and soon the mainland USA...

He even had the audacity to use the same color schemes of my S.O.S. boards and even more devastating  to me, the whole description I explained to him in great detail over email and posted on my www.sosshapes.com  about the construction and design concept behind  my double barrel concave bottom contour. 
I even called him numerous times to confront him on the matter but he would not return or even answer my calls or emails... which left me even more frustrated about clearing up the situation. His lack of respect and etiquette should be accounted for and the truth please brought to the publics eye and ears of his dishonesty and lies... He is not worthy to be considered a surfer. He has none of that Aloha that he so falsely portrays through his Hawaiian roots business !...
   
In conclusion the saturation of his boards in the market, first of all confused a lot of customers thinking my boards where everywhere , when in reality a lot where bootlegged versions of my boards which need I mention affected my business considerably.

Partly due to this issue and other situations I have been very discouraged to continue to put my heart in soul into the standup business.

I am now back into simple shaping and building my S.O.S. surfboard brand in the surf board industry where I believe unlike the standup industry is more respectful and truthful to the craftsmen that give their creative ideas to try to help better the sport we all love, surfing...

Yours Sincerely
Sean Ordonez

Jeremy broke one of the guys that got all of this started.  Sean just left the industry quietly… 

You are welcome to your own opinion on this.  I think it is pretty clear I have my own opinion on Jeremy.

Maybe you are OK with Sean’s and my story and consider this part of the natural evolution of SUP?

You should ask yourself is this what we want to do to the shapers in this industry?

I am going to ask the SUP Community if this OK?  I am willing to listen to what you say. 

 All I have is my reputation and integrity and Jeremy has his.   I have my story and we now have Sean’s story that are based on the facts of what has happened to us. 

When I see the  “Aloha” on the  WaveRod website  - well guess that I think

Come clean Jeremy





Jeremy – if you have gotten to the  end  of this note – please remember that you wrote my words by your actions.  You wrote Sean’s words.   My crusty old shapers hands typed this and in the time I typed this, I could shape three SUPs,   The sad part is that the hands you see in the picture would have been extended to shake yours even knowing what you had done to Sean and Me.   

J. Blair
blair.hawaii@hotmail.com
760-809-9074



shapeshifter

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2009, 04:18:24 PM »
werd... hey joe, just want you to know how much it burns us up to see someone like you taking a hit like this.
whoever invented the hole... knew nothing.
...ooooO...................
...(.......)......Ooooo....
....\.....(.......(.......).....
.....\.__)........)...../.....
...................(__./......

Honolii

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2009, 04:25:17 PM »
I saw that ad on the Big Island page on Craiglist and my first thought was that someone was selling counterfeit/copied boards, as the way the wording and no name brand kind of advertising tipped me off.  I'll be sure to spread the word to friends around here as to the ethics of that ad.
I've always wondered what happened to Sean O., as I was contemplating buying his Green model and always frequented his web page waiting for something new as he seemed to be on the cutting edge with some of his designs and R and D.
Sorry for both of you.
Karma is a bitch, and he'll get his.
Aloha,
Honolii

paddlesurf.net

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 05:33:50 PM »
Joe Blair, thank you for that- I've met Michael F.- he's always spoken highly of you- I've paddled one of your boards- it was sweet.

In the small sphere of influence provided by my website, the lessons I teach and the paddlers I know in SD, I will definitely spread the word. We are still a small community and news will spread fast.

I own a Sean O. Big Red and I'd seen the Wave Rod- It seemed to me that he'd poached that one but couldn't believe he'd have the balls to post it up on the net.  Especially with the matching lengths in the whole line of boards and an obviously ripped off outline.

Interestingly, this isn't the only poaching I've seen of the Big Red- I've seen another board with the same exact front end of the Big Red but a different tail (nose even has the same deck screw holes in it- tail had wings).

It basically comes down to guys racing to make a buck- I guess that's why I prefer boards that are shaped out here in the U.S. by guys that really have their hearts in it (because they sure aren't getting rich doing it!).

stoneaxe

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 05:37:52 PM »
What a shame for the sport to lose someone with the skill and stoke of Sean because of a low life. Lets all hope that small fry gets stuck with his containers. We should all keep an eye out for Craigslist ads for this crap and flag them as ripped off designs.
Bob

8-4 Vec, 9-0 SouthCounty, 9-8 Starboard, 10-4 Foote Triton, 10-6 C4, 12-6 Starboard, 14-0 Vec (babysitting the 18-0 Speedboard) Ke Nalu Molokai, Ke Nalu Maliko, Ke Nalu Wiki Ke Nalu Konihi

southwesterly

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 05:52:02 PM »
I think that this type of thing is what this forum is all about. Too bad that it was in its infancy when Sean needed it.
I hope this helps you out Joe.
ps. I love the baby powder in the background.

motopilot

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 05:56:22 PM »
Sean is the man!  He took me out when he first made red and blue.  His stoke is what really got me into this sport.  I will never forget that.

hawaiian.style

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 07:35:38 PM »
best of luck Joe... I hope things work out for you.  Honolii said it best... KARMA IS A BITCH!!!

Joe Blair

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 08:12:08 PM »
ps. I love the baby powder in the background.
thanks SW for the babypowder comment... HA HA very funny - Yes I can laugh at myself, not to get graphic but shaping boards is not an easy thing and quite sweaty -  After around 5 hours shaping the baby powder is needed.  - - Well you've called me out - its not easy shaping with a rash -

thx guys for your comments

Hey I've gotten a few calls of people wanting to talk with Sean

The best way to reach him is soshapes@cs.com

kurtr

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 02:38:18 AM »
What a shame for the sport to lose someone with the skill and stoke of Sean because of a low life. Lets all hope that small fry gets stuck with his containers. We should all keep an eye out for Craigslist ads for this crap and flag them as ripped off designs.

Yes, we've got to be proactive.  Every SUPer I know is going to hear about this.

Joe, you've got an army behind you now!

Dwight (DW)

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2009, 03:03:04 AM »
I can already see signs of Waverods business going downhill.

In 2007 he swung though our town and showed his boards to a local shop. The shop did not order any boards from him. They were too expensive $1500+ for a no-name brand, with K-Mart deck pads and NASCAR graphics.

It wasn't long before before the brand ended up on Ebay at the same high prices, but now with free shipping. Soon the prices began to come down.

Jump forward to today and he's down to selling on Criags List at $1050.

I'd say he's on a slippery slope to disappearing altogether. But then crooks have a habit of reinventing themselves, so keep an eye out for the same guy with a new name.

Fortunately the internet is a wonderful tool for spreading the word quickly and keeping crooks down.

outcast

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2009, 03:39:14 AM »
Joe,
   When I read your post, I can tell that your heart is heavy with this, and also that you are an honest man.  Sean was always one of the most positive people on the water.

   Will try get this thread posted on some of the Kitesurfing forums....Mr Fry has ties to that industry, and any industry ties/sponsors should at least hear your story.  It's springtime/early summer....time to weed the garden.
   
   Also distributers  for "Wave Rod Hawaii"
such as Ocean Extreme Sports
http://www.oceanextremesports.com/catalog/boatskayaks-c-54.html

Should know about the product that they sell.

    We all love the ocean....burns when somebody tries to take advantage.  Thinking about your  problem makes me respect the kanaka maoli even more for all they put up with along these same lines

   
   
Too many for the rack
Some in the shack
Some under decks
Some have straps

shapeshifter

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2009, 04:40:04 AM »
Action has to be taken whenever you encounter parasites. I know of situations like this that suck the innovation right out of an industry. People will never know the pleasure of riding the works of art that Sean, Joe and Blane can create if we let such unscrupulous businesses flourish.

There are designs out there that will never see the light of day because of people that Fry them... It's time to do something about it. Don't let any more shapers get burned!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 04:43:05 AM by shapeshifter »
whoever invented the hole... knew nothing.
...ooooO...................
...(.......)......Ooooo....
....\.....(.......(.......).....
.....\.__)........)...../.....
...................(__./......

kwhilden

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2009, 06:56:30 AM »
I think that we should start posting "counter-measures" ads on Craigslist that explain the story of Wave Rod's ripoff tactics. Anonymous posts make this quite easy...
Sustainable Surf

Davy

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Re: Blair SUP - WaveRod - Honesty and Ethics?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2009, 07:17:34 AM »
hey sup'ers just for the hell of it i went to waverod's website
and this appeared

 
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