ISLE Through the Years

Posted on July 13, 2018 by Doug Robichaud

14th Year Anniversary

ISLE through the years has been one hell of a ride. From only selling surfboards to now only selling paddle boards (recent news!). So far, 2018 is looking like one of our best years yet. Moonwalk with us down memory lane to see how we became who we are today. Below is the timeline of ISLE Surf & SUP: 2004-Present. ISLE Through the Years

2004 – Isle Surf was born

Two childhood friends, Doug Pate and Marc Miller, from Coronado, San Diego started a surfboard company called ISLE Surf. This was the first direct to consumer surfboard company to hit the internet. Key takeaways:
  • Started in Doug’s garage among the Christmas ornaments, vintage cars and oil stained floors
  • Spent months designing shapes and graphics
  • Placed their first big order but had no way to ship them so they wrapped them in house installation and shipped them via greyhound bus.
  • The business was run solely via Ebay auctions
ISLE Through the Years

2005 to 2007 – Build the business

For the next 3 years, Isle Surf continued to grow. They moved out of Doug’s parent’s tiny garage and moved into a modest warehouse and showroom to welcome local San Diego consumers and store more product. Key takeaways:
  • Hired their first employee to help with daily packing
  • Moved away from the Ebay model and started selling surfboards nationwide on their own website
  • The first direct to consumer model for surfboards was born and thriving
ISLE Through the Years

2008 – Started selling paddle boards 

Marc saw photos of Laird Hamilton on a paddle board and decided he wanted to try selling them along with surfboards. Marc and Doug worked on some sample designs based on some research and the first few arrived weeks later. When Marc jumped on a SUP for the first time, he was hooked. The stand up paddle board business was born and the name officially changed to ISLE Surf & SUP. Key takeaways:
  • ISLE Surf & SUP was one of the first companies to start selling paddle boards online
  • Selling paddle boards presented a whole host of new challenges: needed larger storage space and shipping super large boards across country
  • Paddle boardings popularity began to spread across the United States
ISLE Through the Years

2009 to 2012 – Building ISLE Surf & SUP 

Now that paddle boards were also in the picture, they decided to open their one and only local paddle board and surf Showroom in San Diego where they would cater to the local market and provide a place where people can see and hold their boards in person. Key takeaways:
  • ISLE opens a Showroom in sunny San Diego offering locals to buy paddle boards and surfboards in person.
ISLE Through the Years

2013 – Started selling inflatable paddles boards

Paddle boarding continued its growth in popularity which meant new innovative constructions and designs. ISLE Surf & SUP was one of the first paddle board companies to introduce Inflatable Paddle Boards (iSUPs) to their lineup. During this time ISLE had a few obstacles to tackle because with the SUPs rising in popularity, the demand for them went way up. Inventory shortage were common, and ISLE grew from a few employees to over 10 to keep up with the demand. Key takeaways:
  • ISLE Surf & SUP introduces inflatable paddle boards
  • Paddle boarding continues to rise in popularity
  • ISLE grows their team to over 10 people to keep up with demand
ISLE Through the Years

2014 to 2016 – New Branding + Focus on iSUPs

These were the golden years for ISLE. ISLE created a new proprietary construction for inflatable paddle boards. They were the pioneers of the 2-layer construction that was molded into 1 to reduce weight and improve durability.  With new constructions came modern designs and products with many new offerings: epoxy, inflatables, soft tops and a full line of paddles and even apparel. The future looked bright for ISLE and our focus was now mainly on Paddle boards. The new ISLE diamond logo was born. Key takeaways:
  • The paddle board market flourishes in the US
  • ISLE moved into a 15k warehouse operations center in National City and grew their team to over 20 employees
  • ISLE grew from a small business to a mid-size
  • People nationwide began to embrace ISLE
  • The new ISLE diamond logo was born.
ISLE Through the Years

2017 –  Started Limited Edition Boards

ISLE wanted to incorporate limited edition boards to play around with more unique designs, colors and smaller runs for exclusivity. They also revamped their website layout and design to a 2.0 version to better service their customers. This was also the year that ISLE took advantage of social media. Key takeaways:
  • Introduced Limited Edition boards to their lineup
  • Revamped website
  • Customers sent in thousands of images enjoying their product which they proudly displayed on their social media and website
  • Launched ambassador program
ISLE Through the Years

2018 and on…

ISLE moved into a new HQ in sunny San Diego. They started selling in Canada and plan to hit Europe soon. ISLE is looking forward to major growth in the years ahead! Doug and Marc the original founders have been involved with company since day one. Marc just left for a 2-year sabbatical sailing the South Pacific. Doug will continue leading ISLE along with our core team. ISLE Through the Years ISLE Through the Years


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