V-racks and intellectual property

I forgot to mention this in my previous posts about the Lighthouse to Lighthouse race.

On Friday, we arrived at the hotel around 3:30 or so. There were two other cars with v-racks and surf skis on top, one with Pennsylvania plates with two “Goodboy” racks and the other with one Goodboy rack and one KayakPro rack. Mike’s car has one Goodboy rack and one of John Eberhardt’s not-as-good-as-the-original-but-passable clones of the Goodboy rack.

As an aside, I should mention that Mike’s Goodboy rack is a result of a deal I worked out with the Mr. Goodboy himself, Cliff Roach, where I took a bunch of orders and he sent them all to me, I assembled them and distributed them to Rochester paddlers. I brought 6 racks, including my own. Unfortunately my rack got stolen, so now I have my Eberhardt clone rack and a KayakPro rack I bought because I don’t like the Eberhardt one much.

So anybody, a guy walks over and he’s looking intently at Mike’s racks. I notice he’s wearing a “Keystone Kayaks” t-shirt, and I remember that it used to be the only web presence for Goodboy racks was on the Keystone Kayak’s web site, so I asked him if he was Cliff Roach, and he was. Considering we’re rocking a clone of his intellectual property on our roof… awkward.

He asks us why we cut off the curved bit of his rack, and I explained it was a clone of his design by a guy who didn’t have the resources to bend the aluminum. I quickly reminded him of my group order, and explained how Eberhardt made this clone after my Goodboy rack got stolen, and I hope that mollified him.