Posted on July 25, 2019 by Jeff Hale
It seems like every start-up, tech company, and lifestyle-oriented business loves to tout their innovative office perks and dedication to work-life balance. But a very small percentage of those companies practice what they preach on a daily basis. ISLE Surf & SUP understands that a positive work environment leads to higher productivity and happier, healthier employees — plus, it’s far more rewarding to spend 40 hours a week with like-minded individuals in a place you enjoy.
As a rider owned and operated company, we live and breathe our passion for getting on the water, and this is reflected in every inch of our office environment. From decorating our walls with an incredible collection of vintage surfboards to enjoying monthly company paddles, we incorporate Southern California surf culture into ISLE HQ as much as possible. It’s one of the reasons most of our employees stay for years and years. Let’s take a spin around our office so that you can see what we’re so pumped about.
We started out with 5,822 square feet of open-air space -- think old warehouse turned office. It's complete with high ceilings, exposed wooden beams, tons of live plants, a collaborative desk layout, private conference rooms for quiet time, and plenty of Feng Shui to help us harmonize with our surroundings. It truly feels like a home away from home.
Our continually growing surfboard collection is one of a kind. From custom contest boards ridden by 11x world champion Kelly Slater to vintage classics shaped by the hands of Dick Brewer, Skip Frye, Ben Apia, and many more legends — we’ve got something every surfer would be stoked to ride. If there’s ever a style of surfboard an employee wants to get their hands on — like the vintage Mini-Simmons I'm shooting for an article on the different types of surfboards — our owners will acquire a classic example for us to enjoy.
We like to keep our employees healthy, happy, and hydrated. That's why we have fresh Kombucha on tap brewed by a family-owned and operated company, GT’s Kombucha. This fizzy, fermented probiotic drink has a number of health benefits, and we can’t get enough. Even better to some, our office park neighbors at Embarcadero Brewing have blessed us with a co-branded Hazy Hula. It’s super smooth with a slight hint of bitterness and an unfiltered, well-balanced hoppy profile.
It’s not all fun and games at ISLE Surf & SUP. We take our time on the ping pong table and the basketball court very seriously. What better way to blow off some steam than a quick game of pong? Our co-founder Doug Pate dominates matches on a regular basis, but the rest of us are quickly catching up to the deadly forehand attacks he launches from six steps behind the table. If you want to play a game of ISLE or HORSE, you’d better have your shooting motion locked-down. Our COO Steve Mariucci hits nothing but net from pretty much any spot in the office.
Despite Remi’s sour expression in the photo above, dogs love our office as much as we do. We’ve got three full-time pooches and two part-time SUP pups that keep us smiling with their happy tails. Few things take the stress out of a difficult project like a quick visit from a dog that desperately needs a few minutes of your loving attention. And our employees who don’t own dogs are always happy to get their daily fix of canine love.
Being in an office full-time isn’t necessarily the best way to stay in paddling shape. That’s why we crush our mini-workout goals every hour, on the hour — and we love to hold each other accountable! From wall-sits to dumbbells and crunches, we each choose our favorite way to get our blood flowing. If you’re in a meeting, eating lunch, or trying to run out the door when the cuckoo clock starts singing, you’d better drop and give us 25 push-ups.
Some of us are a little shy about getting in front of the camera (we hide it well). But we’re all stoked on having an in-house video production team and a dedicated film studio to let our creative juices flow. So when we’re not traveling to the myriad of beautiful beaches, lakes, and rivers in our backyard and around the planet, we’ve got everything a filmmaker could ask for in the ISLE studio.
We couldn’t say we practice what we preach without some regular company trips to Coronado Island. It’s the easiest way for us to get intimately familiar with our newest products and celebrate our paddling passion. Life is so much better when you love what you do, and we love to get on the water. Even though we all paddle together as a company once a month, most of us are surfing and paddling in smaller workgroups before and after work every day of the week. We seriously can’t get enough time in the water with each other.
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