In this edition of SUP Company Spotlight, InflatableBoarder.com had the opportunity to interview NIXY Sports founders, Nicolas and Ale Szczedrin. Headquartered in Irvine, CA, NIXY Sports is a company that is focused entirely on the inflatable SUP market with four models ranging in size from 8’5″ to 12’6″…
How were you initially introduced to the sport of stand-up paddle boarding?
We have been going camping on Catalina Island, CA once a year for the last 15 years. We always rented a kayak to enjoy and carry our scuba diving gear from the shop to the beach we would dive. A few years ago, they started renting paddle boards. Out of curiosity we rented one and there was no turning back. We loved it and we were hooked immediately. We would rent SUPs anytime we had a chance until it became a better option to own one because we used it so much.
What ignited the spark in you to get involved in the industry?
We are passionate about paddle boarding and it’s an activity that we love sharing with our friends and family. After spending a long time unsuccessfully looking for a good inflatable paddle board & package that would not cost us a fortune (we wanted more than one board) we decided to use our design and engineering background to create the inflatable paddle boards that we wanted with all the features that we “required”. When the final product was in our hands, it was just too good not to share with everyone! We had created a high-quality board, light, portable, with great performance, extremely stable, with amazing accessories and details. By selling directly online, we could offer the package at such competitive prices, that we decided to start the business and it has been great since then!
How important have good employees been to your success?
We have an amazing team of passionate employees that help us thrive and make us better. We are thankful for their passion and commitment to our brand. We are who we are because of our super team!
If you had a chance to start your company over again, what would you do differently?
We are learning every day and we are evolving since day one at NIXY. So far, we have done the best to our abilities and resources. But since our business was born out of passion we really can’t think of how to do that differently.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
There is only failures if you don’t learn from your mistakes, when we learn from our mistakes we call it experience and we have a lot of it. One is spending too much time testing and improving our prototypes to the point that our final production is late and we have missed the beginning of the season.
How many hours a day do you work on average, and what does your typical day look like?
We work regular office hours during the week, improving our website, but most importantly, always focusing on giving the best customer service to our clients. They are our number one priority! However, we are constantly developing new products and ideas, we never stop thinking and asking ourselves how we can do better. During the weekends we are available to answer questions and help our customers… while we are out on the water enjoying our inflatable SUPs!
What motivates you, and who has been your greatest inspiration?
Our biggest motivation is to help make the inflatable SUP world become an easy, portable and fun workout/activity that anybody can enjoy and take anywhere they wish. Connecting with nature, being outdoors, enjoying life while paddle boarding is such a rewarding experience that we want to reach all sectors and make it easy for anyone to enjoy it!
How do you define success?
Every time our customers share their pictures enjoying their NIXY inflatable SUPs, we feel extremely successful. Every time a customer shares how much they love our boards, we feel fulfilled!
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the SUP industry?
We love being outdoors and in Southern California, SUPing is just part of our life. We are passionate about this sport and to find so many amazing people out there sharing the same passion is a great source of inspiration! We have found that people that love paddle boarding have a passion for life that is contagious. We feel fortunate to be part of this amazing community!
Where do you see the paddleboarding industry in 10 years? 20 years?
We can see iSUPs becoming a lifestyle, something that is accessible to anyone and it can be enjoyed not only during the summer. It is always a fun activity to share with family and friends and we do not think it will get old. It will become a part of your life, like a bike!