Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co came to life in 2015, as a small company dedicated to making high quality longboard style surf SUPS, and premium quality inflatable paddleboards (iSUPS).
Long before SUP was mainstream and the industry was flooded with cheap boards and companies jumping on the bandwagon of popularity, choice was pretty limited. It mostly came from windsurf brands using similar styles and construction methods as their windsurf boards.
Having had boards from all the major brands and trying to find something more suitable based on classic surfboard design, Freshwater Bay Paddleboards Founder, Charlie Cripwell, decided that if the main brands weren’t going to make the boards he wanted, then he’d better find a way of doing it himself!
As the company grew, it attracted fans and accolades from both the Surfing World and Paddle-Sports World. Riders included Former British Masters Longboard Champions, the Head of Paddle-Sports for SportScotland, and even the Editor of SUPMag which, considering he tests so many boards and could ride anything he wants, is a pretty good recommendation. Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co also became known for its high-quality inflatable boards, using the best construction methods but with shapes more suitable and better designed than many of the big iSUP brands. These boards were used by SUPers all over the UK and shipped as far as New Zealand.
As the popularity of SUP started to increase, more and more companies came to the market. Many of whom had no interest in paddleboarding or paddleboarders – it was just a way to make a quick buck and get boards to market as quickly and cheaply as possible. After years of prototyping, testing and growing Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co, Charlie came to realise that he just didn’t want to compete in an industry that had changed beyond recognition.
Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co remained something of a cult brand, with used boards hardly ever coming up for sale. Once people bought one, they rarely let them go. Those that did come up for sale often sold for more than the original price of a new board, as demand was higher than supply.
Towards the end of 2020 someone wanted a Freshwater Bay Paddleboard so much that they bought the company, just so that we would start making them again!
So now, Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co isn’t just Charlie; it’s Charlie and Chris. Chris happens to be a pretty cool guy for an ex-CEO of a £Billion company. He also owns custom Bike Companies, making high-end carbon and steel bikes for Athletes and discerning riders, so he’s used to dealing with products and people at the premium end of the market. Together, Chris and Charlie plan to put the quality back into the SUP industry and get people out on the boards they’ve been waiting for.
There’s still plenty of cheap brands on the market, plus a few that are ‘good enough’. But for when ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough for you, there’s a Freshwater Bay Paddleboard.