Svilo backgammon playing surfaces

gum surface, inlaid


gum surface, inlaid


suede fabric surface, inlaid


wool felt surface, inlaid


LEATHER surface, inlaid


printed surface


printed surface


Question:

What is the difference between gum, velvet, pvc and felt in terms of play, durability and overall quality?

How does cork compare to the materials fore mentioned?

In terms of quality and subtle differences. What is the difference between your discontinued models and the newer models other than price?

Thanks,

Tom



Answer:

Gum was introduced in the year 2000 in a successful effort to achieve better playability (sliding of checkers and resistence for dice rolling).

PVC is a leatherette like material used with the same purpose.

Both these materials resemble the appearance and behavior of natural leather. All of them have better playability and serviceability (cleaning) than the fabric materials.

Velvet, suede fabric and felt (including wool felt), and the natural suede, have a luxury look and feel and are used successfully more than a century.

We cannot pass by the customers' preference even if we endeavor to turn each of our new fashion into a classic. It should be noted that it is for generations to decide what is classic - we humans can only dream and try our best.

All these materials are superior to cork. Why was cork a classic then? Because it successfully superceded wood!

The real classic for many centuries was wood, but then it does not feel high class, dice slide, pieces are hard to move, and wood is noisy indeed!

Each model has phases of it's life: development, introduction, maturity and discontinuation. Some of the models may even be reborn. In each phase, in addition to the natural influence of cost, and the market situation, we may have different policies, reflecting on price.

Sometimes, we might even sell out below cost.

Older models tend to be underpriced, but that is only a generalization. I would not influence customer decision.

In fact, newer and more expensive models are better value IN OUR OPINION. When you still like the older lower priced one, you combine your special liking and the lower price.

Hope this makes things a little clearer.
In addition to my correspondence with a customer in 2005-2006, I may add a few lines about printed playing surfaces. These are by far the flattest surfaces for an unobstructed dice rolling and checker sliding. It is easier to add custom logo. On the con side, printed surfaces often wear out quickly. It is difficult to design and make unique custom boards. The fabric of printed boards tends to be cheaper as the whole process is tweaked to economize material and labor.

In addition to http://gammoncity.com/Surface.htm discussing surfaces, I can add here about felt surfaces. It is a non woven textile that is made by mechainically interleaving fibres. If you don't pluck fibres, with time the felt gets stronger. Felt produces a "slow roll" and "quiet roll" and it needs more vigor to make dice reach the opposite side of the board. Some people like fast boards. The fastest are wooden boards. In modern materials - such are the synthetic leather, gum. Other thinner non-woven materials as suede fabric or microfiber produce fast roll too.


Replacement of playing surfaces.

As far as I know only Tak Morioka and I offer surface repalcement. I offer surface replacement on all my boards (4 sizes). It cost 50 EURO to replace a standard surface and 120 EURO (labor and material) to replace a natural leather surface plus all additional fees and taxes as handling, transport, customs etc. It is, of course, much easier and cheaper to do this if one is in Bulgaria or EU. With many tournaments coming in Bulgaria, Istanbul, Greece, Hrvatska, Austria it may be feasible. If I had a service and dealer pointit wwould be still easier. You are welcome to apply if you are somehow related to your national backgammon society.
Beware of cheap imitations!

One may see unlicensed pictures of my boards on the internet pretending those boards were German. Maybe the guy expects to get an order and then resell a board he will buy from me, but he just does not describe the boards properly.

There are unlicensed pictures of my cups. If those people offering my dice cups (what they clearly cannot deliver) do not stop, I am going to expose to the shame of their regiional feds.

Some are buying a product only to try to reproduce it. I will stop sending products to that part of the world

I am a designer, I am not manufacturer>
I wish them all success, and I can help anyone who seeks cooperation with due respect.

I can help sell my products,

I can help establish a selling and servicing point.

I can sell only accessories: cups, cubes, checkers, dice.

I can help with semi-made products or parts.

I can help with know-how.