This whole event with my damaged Exocet board has been kind of fascinating, but also very frustrating. From the very beginning I've been making the point to Progressive Sports, the outfit in Daytona Beach where I bought the board, and to Exocet that the board is fragile. Yet the whole thing has gone in an odd turn.
For some reason the salesperson got hooked on the idea that the damage happened because the board had some sort of flaw. I never made that particular point but the idea of the “flaw” went all the way to the president of Exocet. The president, Patrice Belbeoch, said:
Sorry for the issue you are having with your board, i believe Steve has answered you correctly
From the picture posted the issue comes from an impact and not from any structure miss manufacturing
I suggest that you ask to any custom shop doing composite repairs and they will tell you the same
On the picture you can see that the structure or impact are crushed, such dings can only been occurred by an outside object hitting the board
it could be that you do not even feel the impact has the board is pretty massive, but it the object like wood or any others hit the board in the right angle then you will have such crush
As a manufacturer and i am looking at all warranty we may have, I can tell you clearly that this is not a structural mistake
This construction is durable and have barely any warranty issues on the entire SUP and Windsurf line
Let me know if you need more feedback
I made it clear that the damage didn't happen because of a flaw but as a result of the fragile nature of the board. It seemed that I was basically screwed because nobody was addressing the basic nature of the board.
Then it got weird. I sent a message to JD Motes, the salesperson from Progressive Sports who sold me the board. He apparently looked at my blog and this picture:
I'm not going to publish the full interaction (yet) but he told me that I had no business taking a board of this construction into this kind of environment, and that I should have known better. Here's the rub: I told him before I bought the board exactly what kind of environment I'd be paddling in. I did it verbally, in messages (making it clear the Hudson needed a “durable river board”), and even in writing on the Standup Zone forum:
That 14 foot board is an intriguing board. It has a lot going for it: great price for the size, mast insert, tie-downs. I'm impressed.
How's the construction, compared to, say, the Kona One? I paddle where rocks are a fact of life. A solid board is a necessity.
I even had the same conversation with Steve Gottlieb the proprietor of Progressive, making it clear what kind of environment I'd be paddling in, and he assured me right before I gave him my credit card number the board that it was sturdy and would be fine for a rocky environment.
BTW, the Kona One is a windsurfer made by Exocet. I've owned one for years. It's durable and fun to sail. I've never had any problem with it, except for squirrels, but that's another story.
A responsible salesperson should do more than just sell product. He/she should make sure customers get the appropriate product. A salesperson should take care of customers. That makes good business sense. It means you get return sales because your customers trust you. That is clearly not happening here.