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Red Paddle Co is a Business Reporter client
Since 2008 Red Paddle Co has been designing and building high-quality paddle boards, sold in more than 50 countries
Started by John Hibbard, Red Paddle Co set out with a clear mission to challenge the status quo in the emerging sport of stand up paddle boarding (SUP). Before then, the vast majority of boards were produced using glass fibre resins and foam. These “hard boards” were prone to damage, hard to transport and store and were hampering the adoption of the sport. There were a couple of inflatable boards on the market which, although they solved the transport and storage issue, had poor on-water performance. They flexed badly and were prone to leaks. John set out on a mission to change this.The team at Red Paddle Co believed that riding an inflatable board shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on performance or quality, so they set about designing and building boards that performed as well as their hard board cousins. On many occasions progression was hampered by the availability of quality components so the team started a process of designing materials and parts from scratch to deliver on their mission.
Next came the importance of building a brand that could communicate its USPs and attract a global consumer. Within three years Red Paddle Co boards were being sold in 10 countries. This has grown to over 50 countries and more than 2000 independent retailers and activity providers across the world. A strategy of continued innovation has seen Red Paddle Co register a number of patents as well as developing industry-leading processes and materials. These have taken inflatable technology to the forefront of the industry, to the point that inflatable boards are now the dominant technology, almost completely replacing the hard board materials of 15 years ago.
By summer 2017 Red Paddle Co had a highly engaged base of customers that were asking for more products from the brand they loved and trusted. In the spring of 2018 Red Original was born. Red Original took the founding principles of Red Paddle Co to never compromise on performance, looks and quality, and launched a range of active lifestyle accessories to meet the demands of its passionate customer base. Standout products such as changing robes, waterproof bags and SUP safety equipment have propelled Red Original to become a leading provider of these products. Stocked by the likes of John Lewis and Ellis Brigham, the Red Original brand goes from strength to strength. The business is headquartered in South Devon, UK, close to some of the country’s best beaches and rivers – a perfect testing ground for its products. The head office is home to a team of 40 people working across design, logistics, sales, marketing and customer service, with further staff based in Europe and Australia overseeing the brand’s activities in these regions. There is a clear ESG focus within the business. Earlier this year Red Paddle Co completed its B-Corp application. It is focused on a continuous “Taking Steps” strategy to improve its global impact, and is also working towards a Net Zero status. A design-for-disassembly approach to product development aims to keep Red Paddle Co products serviceable for years to come by allowing customers to replace component parts when necessary.Red Paddle Co grew out of a passion for watersports and high-quality equipment and service. This passion runs through the business to this day, with all employees taking an active part in the culture and future of the business. Red Paddle Co is set to continue to innovate it’s products and service in the years to come, inspiring adventures the world over.
Inspiring adventures the world over: red-equipment.co.uk
Originally published on Business Reporter