V10 Copy - Again ** now with Poll **

Sunday, 27 May 2007 14:27 | Written by 
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ImageImagine that little Johnny hands his essay in to his university lecturer.  "I've copied someone else's paper," he says, "but it's ok, I've only used 70% of it and I've improved some of the details."  "It's a great piece of work," he adds, "the original had very good reviews."

Unlikely?  This appears to be exactly what Damien Daley has done with his "70%" copy of the V10, the "XLR8 Odyssey" surf ski.



The '70%' copied V10/XLR8 (Photo: XLR8 Paddle Sports)

The XLR8 website is at http://web.mac.com/xlr8paddlesports

Look at the photos and the video clip and you'll notice that the ski looks identical to the V10. 

Click on the ABOUT XLR8 link.  Half way down the page is this piece of information:

When the ski was originally developed it was engineered by World and Olympic Champions and had its prototype designed on a CAD machine.

Read that again!  He's not saying he designed the ski.  Of course not - it was designed by World Champion Oscar Chalupsky and Olympic Champion Greg Barton.  He hasn't only copied the ski; he's copied the marketing spiel as well. 

 XLR8 decided to use approx. 70% of the V10 changing the tail, deck, rudder, adjustable foot system, venturi system, construction lay-up and seem (sic) set-up.

There it is: he's saying he's copied 70% of someone else's work. 

XLR8 Users

The website lists some paddlers who are using the XLR8.  

  • Former Olympic Champion Ian Rowling. 
  • Nick Holt, "a 4 time National title holder".
  • Olympian Paula Harvey "has announced she will compete the 20 beaches later this year using the XLR8 Ocean Ski".
  • Tommy Woodriff.  According to the website, "Tommy believes that [local] ski paddlers should get behind [local] ski manufacturer's (sic) and buy [locally] made products."

Aha - so that's it.  It may be a copy, but it's locally made

Do these people know that Epic hasn't given permission for Daley to copy "70%" of their design?  Because they most emphatically have not. 

What's the problem with ripping off?

Some of you may be asking: Aside from the obvious ethical and moral issues, what's the problem with ripping off someone else's design? 

Here's the thing: Epic Kayaks, a U.S. based company that does its manufacturing in China, invested in R&D to the tune of US$200,000 to create the ski.  They combined the knowledge of Oscar Chalupsky and Greg Barton with a custom computer-aided design program developed for the project by John Dixon.  The V10 is called the V10 because it was their 10th attempt at the design.  The plug was CNC machined at massive expense. 

For details, see The V10 Story 

And, as Damien Daley says, With great stability, the Odyssey model (i.e. the V10) allows all paddlers to feel comfortable. This helps the paddler concentrate on keeping the ski going fast instead of trying to keep upright.  The V10 was a breakthrough in ski design.  The top of the range skis previously were too unstable for most paddlers to handle.  Subsequently other manufacturers like Fenn and Red7 developed equally stable skis, also at great expense.

The problem is that if people are allowed to get away with cheap copies, companies like Epic, Fenn, Red7, Huki and newcomers Honcho will simply cease to waste money on R&D and innovation.  And we'll all be losers.

"No flippin' crooks here mate!"

Paul Mauger, who runs the Currumbin Creek Series was offered sponsorship for his races by Damien Daley.

"I turned it down," he said, "no flippin' crooks here mate!"

"I have been considering whether or not to disqualify any or all copied skis such as the xlr8 from entering my series," he added. "At this stage it's only Ian Rowling who owns one up here, however should more start appearing then I could well act on this. Can you imagine the outcry should all series organisers go that route?"

Deal Gardiner agrees.  "I think it's about time the paddling community got together and stopped these guys doing this," he said.  "The only way to do it is to not allow the skis to race.  I am looking at that for our series and encourage other race organizers to do the same."

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