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July 4, 2011 / Wave Tribe

No Waiving The Green Flag

I was at B&N this week browsing through the surf mag section, looking at pics and advertisements. Everyone keeps telling me, you got to run some ads in the mags, get more exposure, get Wave Tribe’s name out there. Three + years since I started Wave Tribe and I am still resisting it. The fact is I am not really into the surf industry. Yea, I own a surf company but I never wanted to be part of the industry. Contests, egos, corporate marketing strategies, thousands of dollars spent on one-page advertisements of some beautiful woman’s ass. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at the female figure, but I never did buy a pair of reef sandals. Yet sex sells, so they say. Sometimes I wonder, can Wave Tribe survive without playing by the industry rules?

Most surf magazines don’t even recognize our existence. How could you publish a green edition without us? Not even a phone call or email. We are the one surf company that was created because of ecology. That is why we exist. It is easy to make one green deckpad (after copying us)  or a pair of recycled shorts and then slap the word GREEN on all your adverts and marketing and waive the green flag. The hard part is to make every product in your catalog based on sustainability. We NEVER consider making a non-green product no matter how much profit margin is in the equation.

The one mag that has been really good to us is Surfers Path, they recognized what we were doing from the very beginning and supported us. Not many surfers in the states read SP, but I don’t mind being aligned with the underdog. The dogs got to hang together. Thank you SP, you’ve got heart and soul.

Today I won’t be waiving any flags. Today I will be concentrating on building excellent surf products made out of sustainable materials and then I’ll work hard on bringing them to market so that other like-minded surfers can use them.

Peace is the greatest form of patriotism.

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6 Comments

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  1. Sky / Jul 25 2011 5:24 am

    Laugh, well does the hot chick in the most recent post sell? 🙂 Just teasing you.

    • Derek Dodds / Jul 26 2011 3:58 am

      Ha. She sells love, but doesn’t charge.

    • Green Surfer / Dec 29 2011 4:10 pm

      Just love.

  2. Colleen / Aug 3 2011 8:00 pm

    To save the planet, you’re going to have to spend some cash. If people don’t know that your product exists, they’re not going to buy it. Advertising is a necessary evil. Add to that the fact that men are visual, and you end up with a lot of female forms in surf advertisements. Using a picture of a green deckpad without the half-naked chick is not going to gain the same amount of reader attention. It’s an ugly reality, but I don’t think the male brain is going to be reprogrammed overnight, especially given the millions of years of evolution that are already in place.

    Essentially you are making the argument that you want to be the awesome band that isn’t going to sell out by playing major venues or using TicketMaster (like Pearl Jam). While the fans that know about you will adore you, you won’t be reaching as many fans as you could. And the fans that have to drive to the middle of nowhere to see you play will be tempted to go see someone play who isn’t as good (or in your case green) but is far more conveniently located.

    I don’t think you can not play the marketing/advertising game if you want to change the world. There might be a better way to play it besides the magazine route, but you are going to have to think way outside the box.

    And what’s so wrong with being part of the surfing industry? You can be the first company in the ecosurfing industry.

    • Derek Dodds / Aug 3 2011 9:46 pm

      You make some great points Colleen and give me some good thought provoking questions. Funny thing is I was one of those people that actually drove out into the middle of the desert to see PJ and it was one of the best concerts I had ever seen. I like the idea of the first company in the ecosurfing industry and I am all for starting a new movement based on different values and missions. After millions of years of evolution we are still starting wars and dumping toxics into the ocean, not too sure I would call that progressive existence.

      Once again, thanks for your comments. I love hearing what other people think.

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