Question from Anthony G. "Are your inflatables made in the USA or just the hardboards?"
Anthony, thanks for reaching out. Happy to clarify. I get asked this question a lot, so I'll give you the long answer :) We build it all, but not 100% of the iSUP's. We build 100% of hardboards. Actually, all hardboard materials are sourced in the NorthWest USA, besides the EVA traction pads (no raw EVA foam manufacturers in the US). CrossBoards (skateboards) are built here, Powder surfers 100% here (snowboards), we build paddles, fins, and some inflatables, but not all. We set out to build everything here ourselves, but iSUP's are different. A few years ago, we had to get help. Most raw materials have to be bought from China (unfortunately, no US producers for several components). Any iSUP's we build here, the materials come from there, which can be a supply chain logistical nightmare, for a small business, when there are around 11 different materials for 500 to 1,000 boards. Another problem caused by the supply chain issues as well as the labor intensity of small batches of iSUP's was that the boards myself, my brother, and a couple of others built by hand were great but too expensive for most folks ($1,385 was the sale price for several years and our margins were still too low to be sustainable). So now, through a friend that lives here, who has family ties overseas, we work closely with their engineers and got them set up with our unique designs, materials, construction techniques, and quality control standards (took nearly 6 months). They do a great job following our specifications and designs; we can focus on quality, new ideas, better and more useful accessories, etc. (Price/value!) There's a chance we get all of them back in the US, but we need to grow some more first for the economics of it all to make sense. Given our experiences and extra efforts, I'd have to say we understand more about iSUP and hardboard construction than 99% of other, much larger brands. Our attention to the finer details is what sets up apart and I think that's what drives our referrals. We literally spend $500/month on online ads which is nothing for a business these days. Our focus is on making boards that stand out so much that our customers love to recommend them to friends - that's about 90% of our sales. Not the fastest way to grow but that's okay with us. We just want to build gear as best we can and take care of our customers. We don't need to sell 10,000 boards and we're definitely not here to make Facebook or Google rich-er. :) I hope that helps. Thanks a lot for the support! Warm Regards, Jason