SkunkWorks Surf Co.Skunkworks is Breaking Waves - SkunkWorks Surf Co. | Soft Surfboards and Stand Up Paddleboards
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Aug 31, 2015

Skunkworks is Breaking Waves

100 DAYS AFTER TAKING THE STAGE AT THE PITCH TO RICH FINALE, THE SKUNKWORKS SURFBOARD COMPANY IS STILL RIDING THE CREST OF THE WAVE. CATCHING UP AT A RECENT VOOM WINNERS’ EVENT, THE COMPANY’S CO-FOUNDERS, BROTHERS RICKY AND CHRIS MARTIN, TOLD US THE LAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN ANYTHING BUT QUIET – THEY’VE BEEN COLLECTING AWARDS, FINE TUNING THEIR PRODUCT OFFERING AND CATCHING THE ATTENTION OF THE SURF COMMUNITY.

WHAT’S THE BREAK WORTH?

AS RUNNERS’ UP IN THE NEW THINGS CATEGORY, SKUNKWORKS RECEIVED A £10,000 CASH INJECTION. THE TEAM IS USING THIS TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THEIR COMPANY’S MISSION – TO CREATE THE MOST ROBUST, HIGH PERFORMANCE SOFT SURFBOARDS AND STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDS IN THE WORLD.

TO ACHIEVE THIS AIM, THE BROTHERS ARE DESIGNING, SOURCING AND PRODUCING WHAT THEY DESCRIBE AS THE “NEXT GENERATION” OF SURFBOARDS AT SKUNKWORKS’ HQ IN COLERAINE, NORTHERN IRELAND. FOR THEM IT’S ALL ABOUT PERFORMANCE ON THE WAVES AND MAKING THE INDUSTRY MORE SUSTAINABLE. “OUR PITCH TO RICH PRIZE IS BEING INVESTED IN BRANDING AND MARKETING, HELPING US TALK TO TRADITIONAL SURFERS ABOUT THESE NEW TECHNOLOGIES,” SAYS CHRIS.

HOW DID IT BEGIN?

BORN OUT OF FRUSTRATION FOR LEARNER SURFBOARDS, WHICH TYPICALLY LAST A COUPLE OF MONTHS BEFORE THEY FALL APART, THE TWO BROTHERS ASKED: “THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY?”

SKUNKWORKS GREW OUT OF A CONFLICT RICKY AND CHRIS FACED: A DEEP CONNECTION TO THE SEA AND A DISLIKE OF USING PLASTIC TO MAKE SURFBOARDS. THEIR CURIOUS NATURES, LED THEM TO EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS, WHICH IN TURN LED THEM TO MAKE A VERSION THAT IS 100% RECYCLABLE, USING NO GLUES, ADHESIVES, OR RESINS.

AN INDICATION OF THE COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL OF SKUNKWORKS IS THE INVENT 2015 AWARD THEY RECENTLY PICKED UP FOR BEST ENGINEERING, DESPITE THE FACT THAT NEITHER BROTHER HAS A BACKGROUND IN THE SUBJECT. “SKUNKWORKS BEGAN WHEN WE APPROACHED A LEADING ENGINEERING COMPANY TO CUSTOM-DESIGN AND BUILD THE MACHINERY WE NEEDED. WHEN SOMEONE SAID THAT WOULDN’T WORK, WE JUST GOT AROUND THE PROBLEM IN ANOTHER WAY. IT WAS ALL AN OPEN BOOK TO US.”

MAKING WAVES AT THE TEST STAGE

SKUNKWORKS HAS A PROFESSIONAL TESTING COMPANY AND SURF SCHOOL PUTTING THE BOARDS THROUGH THEIR PACES AND ENSURING THEY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO ACHIEVE SCALE IN A SURFING INDUSTRY THAT IS FORECAST TO REACH $13.24 BILLION BY 2017.

THE TEAM IS CURRENTLY PUTTING FINISHING TOUCHES TO ITS NEW 8’ BOARD. SPEAKING ABOUT THE LATEST DESIGN, CHRIS SAID: “SOME BOARDS PERFORM BEAUTIFULLY, SOME DON’T. SOME LOOK GOOD, OTHERS NOT SO GREAT. IT’S AN EXCEPTIONAL THING TO GET BOTH RIGHT AND THE PITCH TO RICH WINNINGS HAVE HELPED US CONVERT OUR 8’ CONCEPT INTO A FANTASTIC END PRODUCT.”

YOU CAN WATCH THE SKUNKWORKS SURFBOARD COMPANY TESTING THEIR LATEST 8′ BOARD HERE. AND FOR ALL THE LATEST COMPANY NEWS, VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.

FIND OUT WHAT ALL OUR PITCH TO RICH WINNERS HAVE BEEN UP TO BY WATCHING THIS SHORT FILM 100 DAYS OF #VOOM. AND, AS EVER, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND LINKEDIN TO KEEP UP TO DATE ON ALL THE LATEST PITCH TO RICH NEWS.

Virgin Media. August 31, 2015.

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