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Our Story | Yacht Club Sports

Our Story | Yacht Club Sports


I consider myself a designer. You know, I’ve always done this kind of thing since I was able to draw. With the help of my mom, I learned how to sew, and so I started making these trunks that were more baggy and fit better when you’re surfing. By the time I was in my last year of college, I was making pretty much everything I wore. I grew up in Hawaii. We lived right across the street from a marina – from a yacht club. There was a lot of kids who were just like you, who wanted to surf, who wanted to ride skateboards, who wanted to sail. Every day was like an adventure, in the marina. When I first got to San Diego, I was about 18 years old. I was looking for a job one day. I had a friend that was working at Joe Roper Surfboard Repair. One of the shapers that work at the factory kind of took me under his wing and he introduced us to the machines and the fiberglass and the shaping machines, and after one year, I was doing so many repairs, I learned to do every facet of the process – all the way through. I started to realize that the shaper was the pinnacle of the industry. He’s the one that got his name on the board, so I realized “okay” that’s what I got to do. In 1988, I shaped my first board. That was “OO1” in the whole line of things. With dumb luck I had a lot of success. My sales quadrupled, from one year to the next. It was definitely something that exceeded any of my expectations. 2003 I had three kids, and you’re watching these kids growing up and because the surfboard factory was was very hands-on it almost was getting about the best of me and I started thinking, “why don’t I have dinner with the family every night?” And so I started kind of just thinking about a simpler path. So I talked to my wife and we decided to just sell the business, sell my house, sell some commercial property that I had, and I went to Utah and it was pretty refreshing, pretty fun. But then in, you know, 2008 there was a a bit of a real estate crisis. It was, it was pretty challenging to go through 2008 and see that your worst nightmares come true. Looking back, we drew together as a family. I think that was a good part of it. So, California called me back after 2008. To come back after five years out of state kind of seemed like starting completely over again. Within a year or two, I’m starting to drift back towards surfboards. I made a few sample boards. I rented a small shop. That’s where Chris Ruddy Surfboards jumped back onto the scene, 2014. There’s a lot of value in making things with your hands. I always feel good when I’m able to close my eyes and envision something, and then make it. I thought I could do a lot more than just make a surfboard. That’s where the stand-up paddleboards come in. As I’m designing these boards, a lot of them have hand-painted stripes that have irregularities and little brushstrokes, an occasional little drip that comes off. That’s not a flaw to me. That’s part of an original piece of art. What I see out there now as I see a lot of the young people staring at their hands. They’re not looking out at the great place we live in. So that’s why I’m so excited about the Yacht Club SUP is with my experience in Hawaii, we didn’t have cell phones. We were jumping off the docks into the water and swimming, going to the yacht club, playing in the pool. That’s where I’m focusing this new brand. When I decided to start using the name “Yacht Club”, I’m basically showcasing, in my products, my childhood. Besides all the fun that you can have on these things, I want this to be a product that people can get to bring the family together and to reconnect with what’s going on around them.

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