I’ll never forget the first time I left town for a surf trip. I was 13 and my Dad rather foolishly agreed to take my friends and I down the coast. It was awesome, and while I still remember the waves like I rode them yesterday, everything else we did on that trip is seared into my memory too. That entire experience helped solidify those friendships.
These days, I am fortunate enough to enjoy a life where I can mix business and pleasure. Recently, I met a super interesting guy from Slovakia (a landlocked, mountainous country) who loves surfing as much as I do and also had a surf inspired business. His name is Peter Fabor and he runs a small business called Surf Office. As budding entrepreneurs, we’ve made a habit of keeping in touch and finding ways to help each other’s businesses. It fueled the idea to gather some other people whose brands we loved into a room for much of the same: share ideas, inspiration, and general surf stoke. This manifested itself as the first Surfpreneurs Camp in Lisbon in 2016, where 21 surfing entrepreneurs came together for several days of problem solving, brainstorms, collaborations, and of course some surfing.
The time we spent together reminded me that the things which unite surfers out of the water can create just as strong a bond as the act of surfing itself. We’re all seeking new experiences, running down an unbeaten path in search of something new, and often breaking the mold like so many surfers before us. Entrepreneurship encompasses all that and a whole lot more. As such, it goes without saying the time spent together was unforgettable. We were able to build some strong new connections and in the nine months since I’ve watched my surfpreneur friends accomplish some amazing things:
-Julian Siewart from Surf Nomade met Adam Bromby, who in a former life worked for surf camps. Since the camp finished, Julian has said that Adam’s insight into how best to work with the surf camp industry has increased his revenues by at least 20%.
-Marc and Idyll are from Barcelona and run the amazing Surf City Festival, a surf-themed art and culture festival. In March 2017, The Lisbon Crooks and Surfers presented their wares as part of this fantastic festival, extending the reach and audience of their Portugal based brand.
-Magic Quiver Surf Lodge has housed Surf Office retreats, and in a double whammy, Surf Office started hosting inspirational talks given by the founder of SurfEars, Christian Dittrich.
Surf trips are awesome and if you manage to score amazing waves, even better. But we can never underestimate the power of the relationships we get to build in a short period of time. For the people I got to meet in the Surfpreneur Community, the relationships propelled business-minded surfers into exciting new opportunities.
If you’re the founder of a surf-inspired business and the Surfpreneur Community interests you, check out the upcoming events in Australia, Portugal, and Mexico.