There’s something to be said about garnering so much adulation around the world that products peripheral to your core business are snapped up within hours.
Proving that celebrity status need not originate from the entertainment industry is Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla chief that’s helped to colour rocket launches, space exploration and electric cars as sexy smart. Over the weekend, the Californian-headquartered car company launched a limited-edition run of 200 surfboards that purportedly sport the “same high-quality matte and gloss finishes” used on Tesla vehicles. They were priced at $1,500 each – and sold out in a day.
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The hefty price tag doesn’t come without credo. The board was developed by one of surfing’s most recognisable brands, Lost Surfboards, and will supposedly have been shaped by owner / co-founder Matt “Mayhem” Biolos himself. Biolos has been in the business for over 30 years, and has hand-shaped boards that have gone on to win world championships under the feet of many legendary surfers.
Yet there appears to have been no concrete agenda behind such a collaboration aside from sending media outlets into a frenzy, not even a tweet from the Tesla head honcho, who’s well-known for his tongue-in-cheek and often cryptic statements on the social media platform. (If you were wondering if his ‘8-bit floating point’ tweet is related to the board: no, it’s actually a computing / mathematical term.)
By contrast, earlier in 2018, Musk filmed a promotional video for the sale of actual, working flamethrowers designed by his tunneling firm The Boring Company. Laughing yet? Well, they moved twenty thousand units priced at US$500 each, raising $10m revenue in about a month. This, after selling fifty thousand hats for US$20 each.
Oh, they burned through the stock of the matching fire extinguishers, too.
Suffice to say, not all 200 buyers will have been genuine surfers. As with the extinguishers, flamethrowers and caps, a healthy proportion are likely to be item flippers hoping to turn a profit from being first on the scene. Here’s one surfboard already available at a buyout of S$6,050, shipping generously absorbed after a 300% markup.
Until the motivation for this collab with Lost surfaces, we’re left green with envy at how this dreamer can crowdsource business funding from borderline whimsical products.
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