Culver City, CA July 24, 2011 – Tower Paddle Boards, a disruptive upstart paddle board brand that sells only direct to consumer, unveiled their invention of the world's first 6" thick inflatable paddle during the on set filming of their Shark Tank pitch. This marked the first public unveiling of a product concept that Tower believed, when coupled with it's disruptive direct to consumer only business model, would revolutionize the entire paddle board industry.
Tower's innovation resulted in an inflatable paddle board (an "iSUP") that was 325% more rigid than all prior products on the market worldwide, and in doing so made inflatable paddle boards a superior alternative to traditional hard paddle boards. Their innovation increased the thickness of an iSUP by 50% to 6" thick. All prior models on the market were 4" thick, and as a result exhibited horrible on the water performance. They were largely considered a gimmick within the industry.
Inflatable paddle boards, like their predecessors, inflatable surfboards, represent less than 1% of their respective markets, largely because of their poor performance. They're bendy, a bit unstable, and ride slowly through the water like a banana as they push a lot of water. Most 4" iSUPs are 29" to 30" wide and 10" long. Tower's 6" thick board is 9"10" long and also wider at 32", producing a board that is dramatically more rigid and thus faster, but also more stable.
"We know the historical user experience of riding an inflatable paddle board is less than ideal, but we loved that they rolled up and we could ship them easily in a UPS box. That fit our direct to consumer business model." said Tower Paddle Boards founder Stephan Aarstol. "Alternatively, hard paddle boards were a horrible direct to consumer business. Boards had to be shipped via freight as they were massive at 3' wide and 12' long, and about 15% of them got damaged in shipment."
"We were really rooting for people to love inflatable paddle boards primarily because it fixed our business model. We started a process of R&D to make existing inflatable paddle boards better. We experimented with 6" and 8" thick boards. That simple change fixed everything about iSUPs." continued Stephan. "Not only were they nearly as rigid and fast on the water as hard boards performance wise, but they were easier for us to ship and easier for customers to store and transport versus a massive hard board. Add to that they were nearly indestructible, versus foam with an epoxy shell hard boards that were very fragile."
Pricing is not yet set, but expectations are that inflatable paddle boards will be less expensive than hard boards.
About Tower Paddle Boards
Tower Paddle Boards (on the web at TowerPaddleBoards.com) is an emerging design and innovation leader in flat water SUP and paddle surfing boards, paddles, accessories, and surf wear. Their flagship retail SUP shop in San Diego carries the Tower brand as well as other SUP boards and stand up accessory brands.