Okay, that's hooey. Plastic dies regularly - just when you need it most. It explodes into shards and falls to the ground. Witness plastic cutlery and dinner plates. But plastic design never does - and we've been seeing plastic design in the matter of photo tripods for decades. Here's an example.
Sirix are a Chinese firm who make tripods that look remarkably like the ones we saw 20 years ago on the general photo market. Their legs and tripod screws are metal, but nearly everything else about them is black plastic. To be fair, it seems good quality material made up in familiar form. Professionals wanting an industrial-grade tripod for studio use can stop reading right now and go earn a living.
The rest of us may actually benefit from the Sirix Digital Tripod more than you'd think. To start with...it is digital...no more of that old analog tripod business...Cough, cough.
And it has a removable quick-release block for the bottom of the camera. These are also known as quick-loss blocks since so many of them get mislaid in drawers and camera bags. In my 8 years behind the CE counter there was never a week when someone didn't come in with a tripod missing the quick-release block, and they were never a standard item. We had a cardboard box full of orphan blocks upstairs and would repair to the storeroom to see if we could match the casting on the tripod. It was so rare that when we did
get a match we would break out in song and folk dancing.
At least the head has a 90º option that lets you tilt a camera into portrait orientation quickly. The fact that this is also possible ( though not advisable ) for video shooting is neither here nor there. Everyone has to do that at least once and it is better to do it early on while the scars can heal.
Surprisingly, the Sirix does have a pretty decent set of leg locks and a carrying handle - if you are going to lump it down the beach to take surfing pictures you'll have your hands full of everything else and the handle is a nice touch. The fact that it is plastic enough and cheap enough to let you risk it near salt water is also a feature. And when you do need that tripod for the sunset shot, it can be there in the boot of your car - covered in sand - to save the day.
Just don't lose the quick release block.