Once upon a board, Red Paddle Co-founder, John Hibbard, realised there might be a better way of doing things. It was 2008 and paddleboarding was just getting going. As he paddled along on a heavy composite SUP, he had this crazy idea that it could be made better with an inflatable board. It wasn’t just a hunch either. Having spent over a decade as a full-time, sponsored competitor on the professional windsurfing world tour, John was getting pretty weary of pleading with, and generally avoiding airline check-in staff due to the mountain of cumbersome windsurfing kit required for his numerous international trips (it was tough, but someone had to do it!).
A problem, he realised, that every paddleboarder the world over would have to face if they wanted to travel anywhere with their standard hard board. As he paddled, he pondered on this thought. On one hand, the sport of SUP was set to allow pretty much anyone to enjoy the world around them from the water, unlike any other watersport before it. On the other hand, how many of those people had enough room to store a 12-foot board, let alone a vehicle to transport it? Something had to be done.
In this video John takes us through the story of Red Paddle Co, how the brand started, where it is today, the ethos of the brand and the people behind it.
A DECADE OF DEDICATION
2018 marks the 10th Anniversary of the world’s leading inflatable SUP brand, Red Paddle Co. To celebrate their first decade of dedication, innovation and adventure the brand have released their video ‘Since 2008’ as the latest announcement in their year-long campaign.
The video, which is narrated by Co-Founder John Hibbard, offers a unique and exclusive look at the driving forces behind the team, brand and SUP industry as a whole. Far from being a polished sales pitch, this six-minute video pulls back the curtain to reveal just what it takes to innovate and push the boundaries of inflatable technology.
“Performance is deep down in our DNA at Red Paddle Co” says Hibbard, “We approach that technology and innovation in a slightly different way. From the beginning, we set out to create boards that perform for everyone, not just elite athletes, by looking at every part of the paddling experience. Forget marketing, colours and branding. The most important thing for us, is to produce the most reliable products.”
Earlier this year, the brand announced a new two-year warranty on all 2018 boards which is further supported by warranty rates of just 0.02% globally. This staggeringly low benchmark comes as no surprise when considering Red Paddle Co are the only iSUP company in the world to produce their boards in their own private facility using their trademarked, industry leading MSL Technology. That said, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for this once small UK-based brand. John admits “We’ve made our mistakes over the years which only serves to strengthen our experience. We’ve learnt from those mistakes and listened to the feedback from our customers. In doing so we have been able to continually evolve and innovate our processes and products.”
At the end of last year, the brand released a Special Edition 10’6 Ride MSL, the world’s most popular inflatable SUP, in a striking purple colour-way which has already proven itself as a huge success. It is no doubt that Red Paddle Co are currently leading the charge in inflatable paddle board technology and whilst they celebrate their first decade, they have their eyes firmly set on the next.
“We’re currently working on some major and very exciting projects” Says Hibbard, “2018 is going to be a big year for Red Paddle Co and the SUP industry”. A comment which comes on the eve of an imminent announcement expected from the brand who are said to be launching the new sister brand, Red Original, which aims to take every adventure to the next level through an inspired range of accessories.
Via Red Paddle Co