The Current State of Fingerboards
As we all know, fingerboards have been around for quite some time. . .
I started making fingerboards back in 2011 and started my first company in 2012. When I first started, people were making boards out of passion. Fingerboards weren't "popular" per say, but in fact an art form for both riders and creators.
With the exception to maybe about 5-10 companies that made a full time gig out of it, people were simply into making fingerboards for the love and art of it. Everyone had one idea in mind- Progress the community forward with quality products for people to enjoy and cherish worldwide.
When I closed shop at Cali Fingers back in 2018, fingerboards were starting to gain more and more traction. The scene was saturated with tons of companies who cared about their craft, as well as the enjoyment people got out of their products.
When I returned to the community back in 2020, things had changed. Drastically.
Not only were there more and more companies, but the resources to create fingerboards had only been amplified with tools like 3D printers and machinery to easily cut corners. With that, I saw a large drop in what a "high-quality" fingerboard entailed. Now people could mask imperfections with "real-wear graphics" and purchase molds by simply doing a quick browse on Amazon.
Now, I am all for the scene progressing and getting fresh craft; however, I saw a lot of people pulling hype from other companies for their own personal gain. Making fingerboards should be an expression of YOU and the things that YOU love and hold close to yourself. It is one things to be inspired, but another to bank off of what others build.
With that comes resellers and hype. . .
As someone who has been collecting records for years and has seen a huge surge in vinyl record sales, I have seen people exploit the work of musicians for their own personal gain by reselling albums for double, triple, sometimes even quadruple the retail price. I have seen the same thing happen with fingerboards. Artists put their heart, soul, and time into their products, whether they are albums or fingerboards. When people take that heart, soul, and time and decide that they can make a quick buck due to the "economics," I start to see some red flags.
People going and selling other people work for huge profit gains because it is "rare" does not sit right to me. If the artist felt that their work was worth that price point, it should be up to them to set it as so, since they are the ones creating it and pouring themselves into it. Not someone who decided to purchase it with the intention to profit off it. There has to be some kind of necessary compensation for the work being put into deck, and that compensation needs to be at the artist level. Not at a reseller level.
I challenge you, and the rest of the fingerboard community, to hold each other accountable so that we can continue to see amazing work from the top tier artists working hard to bring you the best fingerboards your fingers will ever shred. We all need to look out for one another and recognize that exploiting artists for personal profit is not what the fingerboarding community is about.
Respect the prices that artists charge for their work and fingerboard for the love of it, not for the money. 'Nuff said.