Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at Action Sports Retailer, held Feb. 5-7 in Long Beach, Calif. Plastic surfboard fin swivels in the waves
Waltie Swivel Fin Co. of Huntington Beach, Calif., is preparing to launch a swivel fin for surfboards. A patent application is pending. Prototype trials beginning in 1996 have involved several hundred surfers, said company owner Walter Betts.
"The fin turns with you like power steering on a car," Betts said.
He expects a retail price of about $80.
Spectrum Engineering molds the device on a 75-ton Newbury injection molding machine, Tony Longo, Spectrum owner and an entrepreneurial product developer, said in a telephone interview. A one-cavity insert mold shapes a proprietary material and the outer casing is made of polycarbonate.
Helmet maker hopes sales will get ahead
Rene Bruce is aiming to bolster his Asian-made line of skateboards and Logic-brand protective gear, including skateboard helmets and knee and elbow pads.
Men Yow Industry Co. Ltd. of Tai Nan, Taiwan, molds the second-generation helmets of ABS with an inner liner of expanded polystyrene, said Bruce, owner of Rene Sales LLC in Newport Beach, Calif.
"I went over to Asia and did the sourcing myself," he said.
Marketing began in early 1999.
Sales for 1999 totaled $300,000, largely for boards but also including about 30 percent for helmets.
"We will triple that or maybe go by tenfold over ... depending on funding," Bruce said. A helmet retails for $32-$49 depending on paint or chrome decoration.