In this edition of SUP Company Spotlight, InflatableBoarder.com caught up with OBERsup founder, Luca Ambrosoni. OBERsup is an Italian startup that is launching a full line of inflatable paddle boards and accessories.
How were you initially introduced to the sport of stand up paddleboarding?
A friend of mine made me try Stand Up Paddle 7 years ago. Initially I was skeptical, but from the first paddle I fell in love with it!
What ignited the spark in you to get involved in the industry?
Stand up paddleboarding is everything for me now — I can relieve the tensions of everyday life with a simple excursion or yoga practices. It keeps me trained and at the same time allows me to unleash my adrenaline by paddling a river or riding waves.
How important have good employees been to your success?
They are essential. Now the industry is inflationary and everyone is involved in this sector, especially when it comes to inflatables. People who work with passion will make a difference in the coming years. We have entered the field recently too but only because we wanted to gain experience. Collaboration with the Horizon 36 group has enabled us to understand the importance of the equipment and gear testing.
If you had a chance to start your company over again, what would you do differently?
Our company is too young at this point to answer this question. Maybe we’ll have something to add a few years down the road.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
This is a premature question as well. Despite all we have learned, our passion is paying off and we already have many requests for our equipment. However, we still need to wait a bit to market our products. We want each paddle board to evoke emotion and become an inseparable travel companion, and we are perfecting a few final details.
How many hours a day do you work on average, and what does your typical day look like?
We work mostly in the evening or afternoon, and on the weekends we test materials and prototypes.
What motivates you, and who has been your greatest inspiration?
The biggest motivation is to change the vision of the inflatable SUP. It is obvious that most users will use gear for things like easy riding or snorkeling, but we want the SUP to become our friend, companion, and confidant who can accompany us in the most amazing places, make us win challenges, and allow us to experience the greatness of nature on lakes, rivers, or the sea. The OBERsup boards have to live with us, age with us, and inspire us in this fantastic adventure that is the outdoors.
How do you define success?
I never think of success in economic terms, but rather as a track of our journey. Success to me is instilling my passions and ideals in as many people as possible.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in the SUP industry?
I like to be in touch with what I enjoy most, although as I mentioned before, the SUP industry has become a business even for people who are not interested in this world. The inflatable is the most striking example — years ago many big producers denigrated the inflatable SUP, but they’re now seeing gains after getting involved.
Where do you see the paddleboarding industry in 10 years? 20 years?
I think the SUP will become a tool like the bike. Everyone has a bike in the garage, many will use it for a walk in the summer, and many will make it a lifestyle.