Think Evo - Experiences

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11 years 11 months ago #5387 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
HEAR HEAR ! :)

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11 years 11 months ago #5388 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Rightarmbad,

You have a way with words.:-) I don't think I could have articulated what you have stated any better. I would venture to say there have probably been over a thousand hits on this discussion string since it started. Not to mention other discussions that have been spawned via phone, word of mouth, texting, etc.

A guy named Thomas Friedman wrote a book called "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" about globalization. In his book he describes the "Electronic Horde" (i.e. People Connected to the Internet) whose discussion and opinions profoundly shape the global market place. Opinions, thoughts, and decisions about markets are made almost instantaneously. I suspect the decision makers at Think have hired some smart MBAs to build planned obsolescence into their skis or they are profoundly ignorant of the power of the Internet.

My 2 cents.

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11 years 11 months ago - 11 years 11 months ago #5391 by cdo
Replied by cdo on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
It seems odd that in some parts of the world the build quality of Think ski's varies.....has anyone in Australia seen a Think that has gel coat rather than an epoxy finish? I have only ever seen epoxy ones.
I am also interested in the comment that they had altered the molds of the Evo in the new boats....anyone have a picture of the change?
All the Australian Thinks I have seen have been made by Liangjin and the quality (apart from some bad rudder tubes because of poor preparation?) appears very good.
Also good to hear that at least some others like myself have a almost perfectly finished Think that is holding up to 100 of hours of use without any issues (starting to wonder if most of the boats I have seen and paddle with were the exception rather than the norm). In fact I open the hatch on mine to look at a really solid smart construction, as opposed to some other manufactures I have seen.
I have no association with Think other than I own a Kevlar Evo and am also considering a second purchase.....but maybe not any more?
Last edit: 11 years 11 months ago by cdo.

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11 years 11 months ago #5392 by DarylRemmler
Hello all,
Thanks for your comments on my skis. I try to take any feedback in a positive way, to help deliver a better product.
Regarding Ed's (Cody 91) boat, I will provide some history here. Ed's boat is from Thailand, not China. It is built along side some other touring kayak brands, and I work with a team that is committed to building a great product.
Unfortnately I can not personally inspect every boat, so I did not see Ed's boat before delivery. However, the dealer in Florida where Ed purchased his ski has a great reputation, and does not send along second quality product.
Ed lives in Virginia, and there is a Think dealer located about 1 hour from his home. Ed chose to purchase the ski from the dealer in Florida as he wanted an overstern rudder installed, and his local dealer was not comfortable with this according to Ed (I did not know any of this until after the fact). The Evo in question was first shipped 4000 km from Washington to Florida, where the boat was drilled and an overstern kit installed, then repacked and shipped another 1000 km common carrier to Virginia. At some point in this journey, I presume the boat took a good knock and developed a crack at the footwell drain.
Once Ed informed me of this, I have stayed in close contact with Ed. I arranged for his local dealer to inspect and repair his drain, even though they did not make the sale. I also informed Ed that I would cover the cost of repair, even though the damage was likely caused by the common carrier, not a defect or fault of the product. To my knowledge the ski has not been delivered to the local dealer for repair.
Ed never asked me to replace his ski, however once I read the post in this forum (a couple of days ago), it was clear Ed was not happy with his ski, and I asked him to drop off his ski at the local dealer, and that I would make a full refund. I don't think any of the repair or refund information has been communicated in this thread.
At Think we produce a few hundred boats a year. There are no MBA's making decisions about how long our products should last. It is people passionate about the sport, trying to build a good product, and maybe make a living doing it.
Best regards,
Daryl Remmler
Think Kayak Inc

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11 years 11 months ago #5393 by cdo
Replied by cdo on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Hi Daryl,
Out of interest: are you able to confirm that the Thailand built Evo's have a different hull shape and are these the only boats with a gel coat finish v's epoxy paint?

Thanks

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11 years 11 months ago #5394 by DarylRemmler
Currently the fibreglass boats come out of the mold with a clear gelcoat finish, and then have an epoxy paint finish applied over top.
Best regards,
Daryl

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11 years 11 months ago #5395 by DarylRemmler
Hull shape is identical, deck has a longer footwell, and cutaways to narrow the boat at the catch.
Daryl

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11 years 11 months ago #5396 by cdo
Replied by cdo on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Thanks Daryl,
Just to clarify....do all Evo now have this altered deck or just the Thailand built ones?

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11 years 11 months ago #5397 by DarylRemmler
All 2011 product will have the altered deck.
Best regards,
Daryl

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11 years 11 months ago #5398 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Daryl,

Thanks for responding and joining the discussion online. I believe this is the most I’ve ever seen you communicate in one message. I was hoping you would just answer my email messages but since you posted this I feel obliged to respond.

I believe most of what you’ve stated in this post is correct but I would like to further clarify a few points for the good readers of this forum.

Based on my saved emails, I did ask you for you to replace my defective ski on 9/28/2010 and again on 10/9/2010. As far as I know, you have not responded to any of those requests. If I may humbly ask, please do so via email, phone, or online to this forum.

Whether it’s 4000 km, 1000 km or 60 miles, is it the buyer’s responsibility that goods be delivered free from damage and in working order? As things stand, I’m the guy with the broken ski with several thousand dollars gone from my bank account. By the statements on your post, it almost seems you’re throwing your own dealer under the bus.

For the record, you have not offered me a full refund. I believe you stated you would give the dealer a refund upon your return from China later this month. It would be up to me to recover any of the boat refund and associated shipping costs from the dealer. If I may point out, the dealer seems to be a way to shirk any responsibility for this transaction.

As I mentioned to you, I’m in the process of getting the boat to your other dealer but just like you, I live a very busy life and I dearly value my time. I plan to have the boat to the dealer in another week but it doesn’t help that a roundtrip to the dealer will be over 120 miles and the shop is only open a few hours during the week and only 1 day during the weekend.

As you indicated, you did offer to have the dealer fix the leaks on the boat but you have never responded to my requests to have the faulty gelcoat repaired. It also remains uncertain that this dealer will be able to repair the boat to high standard since their specialty is whitewater and recreational kayaks. I believe no one in the store staff even knows how to paddle a ski.

Please let me know if you believe I’ve stated something that is not true or incorrect. As I indicated in my last email, instead of a repair or a refund, all I ask is for you to send me a quality ski, that is free from damage and works as it was intended to. I don’t think that is unreasonable thing for you to do.

Respectfully,

Ed

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11 years 11 months ago #5399 by DarylRemmler
Ed,
This is why manufacturers usually avoid online threads. It has quickly disintegrated into a slag fest, not only of Think, but now two very good dealers in the surfski community. NOBODY is shirking responsibility and it's extremely irritating that you suggest this.
No, I'm not responsible if your ski was damaged in shipping, and you accepted the boat in good order. Will I fix it? Yes.
I have offered from day one to repair your ski.
When it was clear you were not happy with your ski, I offered a refund through the dealer you purchased your ski from. If you are not happy with these two VERY REASONABLE solutions, I am sorry to disappoint.
I will not send you a replacement ski. You are more than welcome to purchase another, and I hope you choose to support you local dealer. If you do so choose I will ask the dealer to make sure you are 100% satisfied with the product before it leaves the store.
I will make no further comments on this thread.

Daryl Remmler
Think Kayak Inc.

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11 years 11 months ago #5400 by cody91
Replied by cody91 on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Daryl,

Thanks for responding. My appologies, I did not mean for this to be a slagfest just looking for a response to some unanswered emails and phone calls. At the end of the day I'm just a guy who wants to paddle. No need to comment further. I'll kindly take the refund you've offered and move on. Hopefully a little wiser than when I started.

Kind regards,

Ed

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11 years 11 months ago #5402 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Doesn't help me one bit Mr. Remmler and you deserve the slag you get. For others , follow the advise and be staisfied at purchase , you are not likely to get any support after. I looked real hard but not having xray vision couldn't see the poorly designed and executed rudder tube to hull connection.






:angry:

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11 years 11 months ago #5403 by fredrik
Replied by fredrik on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
I must say I follow this discussion with some interest.

First because it is totally unacceptable that the selling company (Think and DD3 earlier) is not following up its customers properly - namely by ensuring that they reveive a piece of paid equipment in one piece and in order.

It is also easy to understand Mr Remmler's position - that it is irritating to be blamed publically on the most important surfski forum in the world. Maybe unfairly.

However, what strikes me is that there seem to be two weak links from the birth of a ski to the garage of the end user.

1. Quality control at the factory - in China, Thailand or wherever
2. Handling during transportation - a ski must be handled like an egg.

I believe Think needs to ensure better quality control at the factory than they obviously have today. Either by having the factory sending new skis to customer who have received faulty skis, or by sending Think a number of extra skis, which they can resend to the unhappy customers (deduct the freight on the next China invoice, Mr Think!)

I believe very few paddlers are interested in a discount on a bad ski - they just want the ski they paid for in the first place. Naturally, no buyer want to mess with epoxy and glue and whatnot before they put the ski in the water.

Transportation - Mr Remmler, just make sure you get a transportation insurance and insist that your dealers insure their freight too. Then, Think will not be out of pocket on damaged goods, but it will be a hassle for you to do the paperwork - which will motivate you/your dealer to use the best transporting company for surfskis next time.

Good Luck! I believe the Think skis are here to stay and that the quality is probably very good most of the time. And you have actally been recognized for that!

But there have obviously been a number of skis with problems.

Unfortunately, for Mr Remmler there is only one proper way to fix that, and that is to recognize the problem and to fix it so that the customer is happy - even if that is to send a new ski - and if neccessary a 2nd new ski if the transporter mess up. That is what being in business is all about.

PS: Mr Remmler, nobody opens the ski wrapping, inspects the ski before signing off on the transporters delivery form - although that would have been the proper thing to do.

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11 years 11 months ago #5406 by cdo
Replied by cdo on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
When I collected my Evo new from the dealer it was wrapped in bubble wrap which the dealer then unwrapped for me and together we completely went over the ski. As already stated the fit and finish was almost a perfect 'work of art' and the dealer explained everything he could about the boat and its setup (and he often races an Evo himself). If this process had happen with Ed he propably would not have accepted the ski then and there and Think's reputation would not have been tainted? Is this simple customer introduction to their new ski too much to ask for? Certainly quality control should already have occurred well before this but it should still occur to ensure no damage has occurred in delivery and the product meets both the dealers and customers expectations.

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11 years 11 months ago #5410 by AR_convert
From reading the forums in the past couple of years it seems nearly all the brands can have quality control issues, and it also seems that this is despite the best intentions of the owners of those companies.

The lesson to be learnt from this, I think, is that you should go over any boat, new or used, with a fine tooth comb and if you are not experienced with boats take someone with you who is so that you are not left with a bad taste in your mouth when you spot that imperfection in the build at home.

I was shocked that you were told to go get some epoxy.... :ohmy:

That doesnt instill any confidence in after sales service :blink:

I looked closely at the "think" boats locally when looking for my next ski but was put off that despite all the boats presenting beautifully they all had cracks around the cockpit drains in the hull, which may have been from mishandling, but when they are on display in a shop and they all have it, well, it was enough for me not to look any further.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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11 years 11 months ago #5423 by wmongie
Replied by wmongie on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Being not only and avid reader of these forums, but also the owner of a South African made Evo this has certainly been an interesting read. Although I've always envied those living in countries where you can order a 'real' Think surfski, the stories on this thread, as well as the exchange between Mr Remmler and Ed have been very interesting.

Unfortunately, this situation isn't unique to Think, or the surfski industry. Every day, consumers are paying the price for the lack of communication from the company supplying a product or service. I believe in supporting the smaller guys and I know they can deliver a quality product but where they fail, too often IMHO, is in their communication with their clients and after sales service. As they get bigger and more successful, the owners have less time to focus on the most important part of their businesses; their customers. There are always two sides to every story but unfortunately, Ed's story follows the same lines as so many before him and I know exactly how it feels. You wait patiently for the supplier to respond to your e-mails. You give them a fair chance and the benefit of the doubt but their replies, if you ever receive a reply, simply don't live up to your expectations and you're left feeling cheated and bitter.

Companies have to go back to basics and realise that without a loyal customer base, they are doomed to failure. it may take a little longer for some of them but they will fail in the end. You can only put so many faulty products out without repairing or replacing them before people stop buying your product.

Having said all that, people are much more willing to tell others about a bad experience than a good one. I absolutely LOVE my Knysna Racing Kayaks Think Evo. The build quality is not spectacular. The gelcoat is bubbling in various places and every time come home from a paddle, I expect to see the bubbles starting to burst. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet but I know it's coming. My boat picks up water during every paddle and the rudder shaft was installed at a funny angle so when the boat is level and viewed from behind the rudder isn't straight but I also know that this isn't slowing me down as much as the fact that my technique needs work and I need to spend more time on the water. My boat certainly doesn't weigh anywhere near the 15kg stated on the Think website but then again, my boat wasn't manufactured by Think! I don't know how much it's supposed to weigh but it certainly isn't light. It is solid though and with the amount of to-ing and fro-ing I do to the beach, I need a strong boat. It's hull design is spectacular and although we don't benefit from fancy extras like built-in leash attachments and carrying handles here in SA, it's a great boat for the intermediate paddler and is a lot more affordable than the China/Thailand manufactured ones.

It's important to share the mishaps but let's all try and share the positive stories too. Service sucks in every country and in every industry in the world. Let's support the guys who offer good service and tell the ones who don't what they're doing wrong. I don't want Think Kayaks to go out of business because I believe the surfski world would be losing a great player but they also have to play the game, just like everybody else.

Wayne
PS: And there I was, thinking I wouldn't have an opportunity to rant today ;)

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11 years 11 months ago #5424 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Fair enough Wayne , all the issues of quality control and customer service aside (and there's a pile !) I really liked the way my evo paddled and like even more the performance profile of my legend. Super comfortable and fun to paddle.....that's a great place for a mfg. to start , now high ho with the follow up and everybody wins ! ;)

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11 years 11 months ago #5425 by ejpoulsen
Gee, I had noooo idea there was so much intrigue surrounding the Think boats. I purchased a couple year old Evo second hand off Craigslist here in California. The boat's label says it was made by "Liang Jin" in China. It is kevlar over honeycomb core with epoxy paint. Overall it is gorgeous. The texture of nomex core is slightly visible through the finish, but I consider this normal for this "weight" of composite construction. The imperfections have all been self-induced. I have no idea if the prior/original owner had to fix anything (eg the rudder axle tube, steering tubes, etc.), and the previous own had taken good care of the boat. The paint is slightly fragile compared to gel coat, but overall I have been super pleased with my Evo--comfortable, great secondary stability, nice features like the lease attachment point and adjustable foot plaate; overall well thought out and well-executed. Bravo. I assumed this was the norm for Think. SOOOOOoooooo sorry to hear about other folks' frustrations--good luck and I hope you're all able to get sound skis under you soon.

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11 years 11 months ago #5426 by cdo
Replied by cdo on topic Re:Think Evo - Experiences
Hi
I strongly expect your experience (ejpoulsen) with Think is close to the norm......just for obvious reasons people tend to be more vocal when there is an issue as opposed to no real concerns.

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