In this edition of SUP Company Spotlight, InflatableBoarder.com caught up with SUP on the fly’s John Rounds. With 25 years of experience in the sporting goods and outdoor industry, John’s strong background in product development and manufacturing has allowed him to launch an impressive range of inflatable paddle boards with a major focus on the growing SUP fishing market.
How were you initially introduced to the sport of stand up paddleboarding?
I was on a business trip to Hawaii and took a SUP surf lesson on Waikiki beach. I was hooked the minute I stepped on the board.
What ignited the spark in you to get involved in the industry?
It was a combination of personal passion for the sport, an opportunity to create and build my own brand, and increase control over my destiny.
How important have good employees been to your success?
Could not be more important. Our staff and brand ambassadors are the glue that keeps everything moving forward.
If you had a chance to start your company over again, what would you do differently?
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Too many to count, LOL. We believe that every failure is an opportunity to learn, grow and improve. We have been doing a lot of learning and growing!
How many hours a day do you work on average, and what does your typical day look like?
This project is all consuming. We are either on the SUP’s paddling, promoting them, improving them, working on future product development, marketing materials, testing, supporting our retail partners, or working on our digital assets almost every hour of every day.
What motivates you, and who has been your greatest inspiration?
I love creating and building a brand of our own. Getting people on the water for the first time and seeing it open up a whole new world to them is one of the most gratifying parts of what we do. The more people are outdoors, in and around nature, and experiencing all the amazing aspects of SUP the better life becomes.
How do you define success?
A blend of making positive impact and building financial success in the process. We are very successful with the first part so far and are working on the second part 🙂
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the SUP industry?
Great energy, positive people, growing industry, and the constant innovation.
Where do you see the paddleboarding industry in 10 years? 20 years?
SUP becoming an Olympic sport will have a dramatic impact on the sport and industry. Youth SUP programs at schools and universities will likely become as mainstream as other sports programs being currently offered. An increase in safety awareness around the use of PFD’s and leashes will become a common part of the equipment and dialogue. Also I believe SUP will have a significant impact on increasing the awareness around the pollution (specifically plastic) in our fresh and salt water bodies of water around the world. As more and more people experience the beauty of SUP they also see the plastic trash that is so prolific. The more people that experience both of those the better chance we all have of people taking a stand to make changes so we can clean things up and preserve beautiful natural resources.