Elon Musk, you Hyperloop-promising, journalist-rating Silicon Valley snake charmer … you’ve done it again.
Probably still buoyed by his successful flamethrower flash sale earlier this year (sold under The Boring Company umbrella, his geotechnical tunnel construction company, which … yeah, it made no sense), Musk just slapped the Tesla logo on a carbon fiber surfboard. One day later, all 200 units of the $1,500 board are gone. The page 404’s if you try to visit it now.
For starters: No surprise that the board sold out. Musk was able to move 20,000 of those flamethrowers, not to mention 50,000 Boring Company hats. And the surfboard was at least designed by someone from the industry — Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, of San Clemente, CA’s Lost Surfboards. It apparently uses the same “high-quality matte finish” Tesla uses on its cars, featuring a black deck with the iconic “T”, and a red bottom with the name spelled out. It also doesn’t come with fins.
Our estimation? The fins-not-included-ness shouldn’t matter for most of the 200 who bought this thing, or the others who plan to pick one (very, very upsold) off the secondary market. These boards will grace many a painstakingly assembled man cave, home office or converted garage … but it’s unlikely they’ll be crushing too many barrels. And that’s not the biggest deal, after all: homes comprised purely of personal statement pieces are a rare thing.
Still, this latest marketing ploy from Musk doesn’t feel right. It’s the rough equivalent of an arena’s halftime t-shirt cannon toss, with all the fans (i.e., the World Wide Web) knocking over popcorn and spilling sodas to catch a shirt a shirt that’s two sizes too small. Getting attention in an age where our minds and time are pulled in myriad different directions is no small success, but doing so by offering the tool of a straightforward, as goddamn authentic as it gets passion, in the form of a glossy surfboard with a black deck, no less (ever heard of the sun, man?) feels lame.
As long as these campaigns work, though, you can't blame Musk and his peeps for keeping it going. Just a shame we never had a chance to buy PayPal jet skis.
h/t Fast Company
All images from Tesla