Have you wished that you could ride all the different Hamboards one after the other to meet your perfect match? If you are attending the Yoga Surf Skate Getaway hosted by Hamboard rider Nico Klimek, that dream can come true. We will be stocking the ‘Short Board House’ in Strathmere, NJ with Hamboards of all shapes and sizes - from our smallest board (The Biscuit) to our largest board (The Classic). This ‘House of Ham’ will give you access to all of the Hamboards, land paddles and riding with a super rad gang of girls.
The YSS Getaway takes place at a surfer’s dream cottage that is known as ‘The Short Board House’. Its’ Bright Blue paint stands out from all the other homes and the sea breeze wafts through the windows. The front of the Short Board House overlooks the ocean and the back opens to the bay. When the Yoga Surf Skate Getaway moves in, this little surf house becomes overstocked with Hamboards. The boards line the front of the home, presenting themselves in height order like they’re taking a family photo. From the street, you may even mistake this house for a Hamboard flagship store. The long road in front of the house quickly becomes dotted with girls cruising by on Loggers, Pingers, and Pescaditos. Like kids in a candy shop, the girls are pulling out one board, and then the next as the smooth pavement becomes a runway of surfskaters.
Board sports have a way of bonding people together - and for the Yoga Surf Skate Getaway, Hamboards are no different. These longboards create opportunities to learn about one another. Naturally, the girls begin to chat, sharing their ‘board backgrounds’ and their skateboard and surfskate history. Experienced girls carve down the street and hang ten while girls that are very new to Hamboards may be learning to push or use the land paddle. At last year’s getaway there was a lot of love for the Logger and the Pinger. Both of these boards are part of the Carve Collection. Boards from the Carve Collection are designed for pumping and carving and on the larger boards in the Carve Collection you can even practice hanging ten.
What helps make the YSS Getaway so special are the sponsors that come on board in support of the mission. Owner of Hamboards, Don Sandusky, states, "We're stoked to support the YSS Getaway. There's no gender assigned to board sports, but while these women are learning together, the support is rad. They have a natural perma-grin for days on end. The waves may or may not cooperate, but these ladies sure do unleash the beach with their Hammys." Sponsors of the YSS Getaway like Hamboards, Jetty, Jacto and La Bamba NYC get excited to partner with the YSS Getaway as it represents their brand and the surfy beach life they embody. “We’re excited to sponsor the YSS Getaway because it’s so important to us that women have a safe and supportive space to explore their courage as well as their fears, through camaraderie and movement. We couldn’t be more grateful to be part of a retreat where women form awesome bonds and share stories so they can grow and surf together,” stated Ann Kim, Founder of La Bamba NYC.
And just to make sure we’re clear - this Getaway isn’t just skate. In the evenings there is live music and chatting as the night grows dark. These ladies skate hard, practice yoga and battle waves. They cook, eat, drink and laugh like best friends. They are a group of women that will come together for a common love of board sports, yoga and supporting one another. Throughout the Getaway, Yoga sessions are strategically sprinkled in. Yoga for surfers and skateboarders is so important as it not only reduces muscle tightness and soreness, but also increases flexibility and balance. Yoga instructor and nutrition coach, Katie Podralski, will be leading yoga sessions at the getaway as well as a mindful eating exercise. The goal of yoga is ultimately never the pose contrary to popular belief. Katie explains the importance of yoga and mindfulness:
“The goal of yoga is to find ourselves in the moment, in the midst of the asana (postures). To observe and notice the breath. To be mindful. Our day to day activities (whether it's skateboarding or surfing or driving in a car on our way to work) and our mindfulness (the ability to just take a breath and be aware of our mental state) can make us the most optimal version of ourselves. Because rather than focusing on how we could’ve done a better olly or been smoother or faster or better here and there, we can start to focus on being fearless. Being courageous. Being accepting. Being vulnerable. Just being. Taking the pressure off of ourselves and giving ourselves permission to feel, do, taste, and have a zest for life is really what our focus should be.”
Whether or not you are going on the Yoga Surf Skate Getaway this May or on another retreat in the near future that encompasses board sports, we encourage you to get your own Hamboard squad together. Set up skate sessions, go to yoga classes, encourage one another and learn from each other. Hamboarding is more than just surfskate - it’s also a lifestyle that you can shape anyway you choose.
For information on The May 2019 Yoga Surf Skate Getaway check out @neeks.peeks on Instagram and send her an email at email@example.com
The flow and feeling of surfing is only a Hamboard® away…
Hamboards® is a street-ready skateboard that captures the essence of surfing – the skateboards that really feel like surfing. Their motto is “Ride the Pave.”
Each Hamboard model is known for its high quality, handcrafted style and a surfboard-like feel and look. In the surfing community they are known as the closest thing to surfing on land.
Hamboards was founded in 2003 and is operated by the Hamborg family in Huntington Beach, Calif. Pete, 52, the patriarch of this surfing family, is helped by his five lifeguard sons: Gus, Anders, Chapman, Jachin, and Moses. Their mother, Kathy, keeps everyone in line and surfs as well. Holding true to a family style business, cousin Don Sandusky manages the business from the East Coast office, while family friend Basil Krikelis keeps them all legal. Whenever possible, the East Coast team sneaks out to the West Coast for a surfer’s version of a “board meeting.”
Hamboards were initially designed around the Hamborg’s kitchen table and inside their garage. And truth be told, for a long time it was just an overgrown hobby until early 2012 when the transition to being a true business started to occur (surfers take note: this transition stuff is not a totally “stokable” process).
Currently this little family-run company that grew out of a garage down near the beach is selling Hamboards worldwide. The Hamborgs have stayed true to their roots and Hamboards are a fresh and authentic surf/skate brand.
Never designing a “product” but always making a board that they wanted to ride themselves, the Hamboard clan refused to compromise on quality and craftsmanship in every detail. Not realizing “you shouldn’t” design a skateboard the way they have…they went ahead and did it anyway…and came up with something ground breaking.
The result? No matter where you are – the flow and feeling of surfing is only a Hamboard away. There is a little bit of surfer in almost all of us, and everyone has a “California Dream” of one sort or another. When you ride a Hamboard suddenly your body takes your mind to that place in your imagination where you are cruising down the face of a glassy peeling sun-kissed wave in front of a white sand beach thick with palm trees. We know of nothing else that has this magic. Hamboards has the “lightning in a bottle” when it comes to capturing the surfing experience.
To get the biggest selection of Hamboards for purchase you can go to www.hamboards.com. You can also visit upscale surf lifestyle retailers like Huntington Surf and Sport, Ron Jons, Maui and Sons, Aqua East, East of Maui, PB Boys Club, Trident Surf, Maui Nix, and Surf Station – they all carry Hamboards.
For Hamboards rental opportunities check out Jacks on the Beach in Huntington Beach, and Sailing Crazy in New Caney, Texas.
Hamboard riders are already planning something new. With the new Hamboard designed land-paddle, called the Streetsweeper®, the connection with Stand Up Paddleboarding is locked in tight. Suddenly the flow and feel of Stand Up Paddleboarding, plus the excellent workout and fitness challenge, is now as accessible and convenient as grabbing your Hamboard and Streetweeper and hopping on.
The original HAMBOARDS®… Ride The Pave was posted on InventionsStories.com back in November, 2013. We contacted Don Sandusky, Principle at Hamboards and asked him to answer the following questions:
If you had the idea for Hamboards today, what would you have done different?
“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”, Alexander Pope, 1711. So many layers to that great quote… Hamboards started as a garage hobby about 10 years ago, but the Hamboards company just turned 5. Since we decided to be a company, my single biggest regret is wasting so much time admiring our own beautiful navels and expecting our popularity to motivate the institutional USA retail sales channels to breath our business to life! Yes, we hit the Shark Tank jackpot and we continue to enjoy an outsized, active and engaged social media platform, but being authentic and popular is only a part of business success. If I could roll back the clock to 2012, we could have saved a lot of blood sweat and tears with an immediate and relentless focus deriving a viable/scalable supply chain, engaging a reliable fulfillment center and building a viable direct to consumer “e-commerce machine”. I wouldn’t have wasted nearly so much time, talents and treasure trying to force small-scale manufacturing and pursuing the institutionalized USA Sports Retail sales channel… But then again, we didn’t know what we didn’t know back then.
In what stores and websites can they be found in and how did you make it happen?
In the USA, our primary direct sales channel is our online marketplace, www.hamboards.com and our own Amazon marketplace. Direct sales require intensive focus on product quality, customer service, inventory management and in order to manage it all… a fully synchronized information Technology is critical here. Pioneering through direct sales ain’t easy, but at least we have an opportunity for direct dialog with our own enthusiasts. Our retail shop in Huntington Beach has been great for sinking local roots, but everything in Southern California is administratively cumbersome and very expensive, so the HamShop is far from a financial success. As for the wholesale route, the USA Sports Retail marketplace has been a train-wreck for ~3 years running and the USA Distribution and Specialty Shop approach have been similarly dubious… From our perspective, there’s only consolidation and more pain ahead.
Outside the USA, our primary sales have been through pioneering… what we call Official Brand Importers, who represent our brand online and sell direct to consumers via web and through their own retail shops. We are starting to find success with a handful of traditional territory distributors as well. Our best markets have been Iberia, UK, Scandinavia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Outside the USA, we sell EXW, which is great business if you can get it. We’ll be at ISPO Munich February 4-8, 2017. Come see us at B6.424 in the surf skate longboard embassy.! (https://www.facebook.com/LongboardEmbassy/)
What is the most challenging obstacle you face today and what is your approach to overcoming it?
No revelation in the fact that the top handful board sports equipment distributors command the majority of revenue and profits, so long as their institutions are aligned and disciplined. In that steady-state, start-up’s, like Hamboards, are worthy of investment because strategic partnerships are reasonably common and additive… But when the industry Commanders fail, the pioneers suffer even worse.
The traditional USA Retail sales channel has been in absolute shambles while it restructures and reacts to e-commerce. The little guys get hurt the worst… and here’s how… The small brands are often consigned at these large retailers. Bankrupt retailers are liquidating consigned sporting goods in their shops (e.g., 50%-40% discount) and the Courts are agreeing to Terms of Settlement such that the Retailer pays the manufacturers 60% of the proceeds… So: 50% of retail price * 60% = 30%, which probably is below the innovative manufacturers costs of goods sold. The small branded innovators can’t even claw-back their own consigned inventory to sell themselves. (http://www.kccllc.net/sportsauthority/document/1610527160401000000000029, pages 5 to 8). These innovators are at the end of the line and hardly stand a chance. That math inverts most of the small and innovative equipment manufacturers that relied upon these Retailers. The board sports industry, by its very design, is thriving with innovation, competition and freshness. Leadership has failed the industry when innovation is ignored and pioneers are discouraged.
It’s still problematic. Now,.. the primary board sports manufacturers and distributors have full warehouses, so they’re cramming inventory down through all manner of discounted sales channels. The current cadre of industry leaders seem to be desperately groping between each other for bigger slices of a shrinking pie. I think of it like they stuck big straw inside a blueberry pie and sucked half the insides out and now they’re fighting over the slices. None of this is because of a lack of innovation or consumer demand… but because that’s how the industry has been managed. Distributors are competing against Retailers while Manufacturers are attempting to go direct in effort to end-run the entire mess. Amazing… These circumstances are debilitating the start-ups and sports equipment innovators. Specialty retailers who operate with limited cash flow anyway, are flooded with copy-cat product lines and liquidation promotions… All of this may seem necessary to CFO’s and bankers but, but these tactics are damaging to the entire industry. Over the last two years there have been myriad restructuring (bankruptcies) of sports equipment retailers, and some of the admirable few of the better managed retailers, like Big 5 (https://sgbonline.com/big-5-sees-q4-earnings-reaching-high-end-of-guidance/) have captured value.
Hamboards approach to avoiding the herd mentality has been what I call the “prairie dog approach”… We keep working on authentic innovation and direct sales. We pop-up opportunistically when it’s clear and keep our heads down otherwise. We actually have a working company so Hamboards continues to focus on innovative product and communication with our enthusiasts. We are fortunate to connect with an admittedly small group of enthusiastic customers, but they are worldwide and we benefit by a highly relevant and engaged direct dialog. It’s way more work, and much smaller-scale than we would like, but at least we’re not charging off a financial cliff.
If your readers know of or have a niche surf/skate/board sports product, and a brand that fits with the HAMBOARDS lifestyle… and you would like to explore a fit with us to reach direct to consumer marketplaces, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We think that an authentic, niche business doesn’t necessarily need to be limited to location, but you must face facts: the USA Retail channel is in shambles and AMAZON has already established the consumer expectation standard for direct to consumer e-sales. So, if you’re going to step-up to running a worldwide, direct to consumer niche marketplace, you better 1) have a scalable and reliable supply solution, 2) have a reliable fulfilment and customer service solution, 3) master synchronized information technology and 4) embrace the fact that the world is truly flat! At Hamboards, purely by necessity, we’ve mastered this approach (in a very small but scalable way) and we’re looking forward to adding more innovative niche brands to our rapidly expanding marketplaces.
George Williams staying loose, limber and dialing in his turns on the Fish in between contest heats. George has been riding Hamboards for ages and his pops, Chris Williams, uses Hamboards for his Laguna Beach based surf team, Soul Surf, to fine tune his pupils surfing.