Are we the right brand for you?
Trailblazing your local water front. Each time we paddle out, we know that a new adventure is waiting for us.
POP understands the wants and needs of this culture because we live it. We check the conditions every morning. We’ve felt the sun on our shoulders. We know the excitement of discovering a new spot. We’ve looked out at the horizon, and had our breath taken away time, and time again.
Our founder said it best, “My focus wasn’t to build another SUP company; it was to build a community and to become a brand for purpose not just profit.” – Nick Lanfranco.
This approach is why we are the fastest growing SUP brand.
Yes.. we’re known for our vibrant and retro designs, but it doesn’t stop there. Our best innovators are our loyal customers and we take all of your ideas to heart.
Whether you’re taking the day to relax in the open water, setting foot on your first board, or prepping for the next SUP competition, we want to know how you feel. Our customer feedback is what gives our brand life. We invite you to POPUp and Paddle and reach back out to us!
Check out POP Paddleboards CEO and Founder Nick Lanfranco guest appearance on Business Rockstars.
Posted Jan 05, 2016, OC Register
“Forget everything you think you know about stand-up paddleboarding. Founder and CEO of Pop Paddleboards Nick Lanfranco is aiming to revolutionize the industry with brighter colors, lighter boards and trend-setting outerwear.”
Compared with other sporting industries, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a very small sport with a short, seasonal window. That explains why it is mainly driven by passion. It is that passion; however, which has led the sport of stand up paddleboarding to experience a surge in popularity, allowing for new entrants, board innovations and appeal to landlocked consumers that may have overlooked buying a paddleboard in the past.
One such fairly new entrant to the scene is POP Paddleboards. Created in 2012, POP Paddleboards noted the existence of strong, competitive brands in the space, but also realized room for innovation and providing customers with other choices. The larger brands include Bote Paddleboards, SIC Paddleboards and Starboard Paddleboards, which continue to breathe refreshing innovations into the growing industry. Despite the brand equity attached to those names, POP Paddleboards felt that there was an opportunity to exploit.
“The buzz in the industry is there is not much room for any new board makers because we are seeing more of them leaving than coming,” explained POP Paddleboards creator Nick Lanfranco. “New brands do seem to emerge once in a while, but unfortunately we see them immediately moving towards a liquidation mode rather than a brand-building mode. We see POP’s opportunity in the consumer experience side of the market like retail shops, rental outfitters, tours and lessons. This is where the opportunities are wide open to enter this exciting business. We feel it’s also a great way to start out and have a good pulse on what the true potential for stand up paddling is in the action sports industry.”
The financial graphs in the industry show a bell shaped curve where 75% of a paddleboard company’s inventory moves within 90 to 120 days. The industry is experiencing enormous growth in the number of accessories and gadgets available for paddleboards, including seats, lights, ice chests, beer holders, fishing rod holders and rowing systems. Many paddleboard companies are adding these line extensions to their brands.
POP is carving its own path, which is a commitment to making stand up paddleboarding accessible to the masses by backing up each board with what the company claims to be unmatched customer service. Its use of a fun, colorful retro style with its boards certainly seeks to set it apart from the competition.
Lanfranco has received no financial backing to date and admits that his company continues to run very lean while constantly improving efficiency — spending dimes like dollars. 50% of POP’s revenue goes to manufacturing and supporting its growth. Marketing makes up about 15% of the budget, advertising is 10% and operational costs are 25%.
“Thanks to our talented crew of SUP ninjas we are able to internalize virtually every role demanded by our business,” added Lanfranco.
The 5-year model for POP Paddleboards is to focus on wholesale to retail partnerships. It is removing the direct-to-consumer influence on its website and creating a strong alliance with new and existing retail partners. In the interest of growing these relationships, POP will no longer be selling direct on its website.
“Taking one step back in this critical time will forge the relationship behind the driving force of our brand – the retail shops selling our brand,” said Lanfranco. ”Whether you’re a distributor ordering a container of boards or a rental outfitter starting a new business, we extend our knowledge, resources and support to make our partners successful. Growing our partners’ businesses is how we grow ours.”
The key for growth of the industry as a whole will be to turn people outside of California and Florida into passionate paddleboarding participants.
POP Paddleboards is stoked to announce the newest addition to the crew! Joe Sabina, will be the brand Vice President alongside POP Paddleboard Founder, Nick Lanfranco. The team plan to take the brand to new heights among many visions they foresee within the paddleboard industry.
“We took our time searching for a qualified person who shares the same business spirit and vision that we have for SUP industry,” said Lanfranco. “Joe is sharp. The whole camp including myself is excited to welcome him into his leadership position as the new VP of POP Paddleboards. His “Joe-ism” is going to be a great compliment to the brand.”
Hailing from Laguna Niguel, California, Sabina has always carried a passion for the water as well as board sports, especially as a grom being slashed around Salt Creek Beach’s sandy barrels and rocky point breaks in Dana Point.
“A few years ago, thanks to Nick, I’ve become a big fan of the sport,” said Sabina. “It’s just a different way of surfing and you can do it just for exercise and cross-training, which I really appreciate.”
At the eager age of 9 years, Sabina hopped onto his first surfboard and the rest is waterman history.
“My friend’s older brother took us out surfing on body boards,” said Sabina. “He gave me one of his old boards which had been in the sun so much that it turned brown. So of course we painted it red and black stripes with white stars and thought it was super cool.”
Sand bars and point breaks awoke a monster as Sabina tackled each board sport after his beginner’s initiation and hasn’t stopped since. From surf to skate to snow and now paddle, Sabina is what we consider a well-rounded individual who has some exciting goals and concepts for Pop.
“I want to genuinely help customers,” said Sabina. “Whether it’s just one person who wants a few boards to start their own rental outfit or if it’s somebody who wants to be a large-scale distributor, I want to make sure that our clients are successful.”
As business developed, Sabina and Lanfranco began to open the doors to smaller scale Paddleboard operations.
“They’ve become really good producers for us,” said Sabina. “They start off by renting out a few boards to family and friends and before you know it, they become the go-to person in their community for paddleboarding.”
Lanfranco and Sabina continue to service customers, both big and small, with well-touted personalized customer service that echoes the brand’s vision of exploration, fitness, water-obsessed fun-loving nature geeks to the fullest scale.
“I wants to call at least one wholesale partner a day and just check in and make sure they are happy,” said Sabina. “Relationship management is a big part of what I enjoy. I think that’s where I get a lot of my joy is seeing the success of different wholesale accounts.”
Lanfranco and Sabina–now partners in crime, are aiming to take POP to a new level with innovative board designs, business and relationship management as well as bringing it back POP’s roots: creating a fun atmosphere–both in and out of the water.
“Working with Nick is like working with your best friend,” said Sabina. “ I feel good about the brand and the crew I’m working with.
Hey Joe-whaddaya know–We had to ask a few more critical questions, of course:
POP: Slater or Reynolds?
POP: Favorite song to sing in the shower?
Joe: Dean Martin’s “Volare”
POP: Product you can’t live without?
Joe: My tent–I like to camp.
POP: Breakfast is…?
Joe: A hobo breakfast: eggs, potatoes and cheese
POP: Stranded on an island, what’s your one thing you have to have?
Joe: Flint–I need to make fire.
POP: PETA stands for…?
Joe: The People who protect animals?
POP: Random fact.
Joe: It is very dangerous to be around squirrels in Yosemite. They have the plague and people are getting sick.
POP: Save the whales because…?
Joe: They’re beautiful and they’re important to the eco system.