TWO brothers who are manufacturing what are believed to be the most robust and eco friendly surfboards in the world have raised over £500,000 from investors across the globe in the next stage in the Skunkworks Surf Co journey.
The Crowdcube campaign, which was launched over a month ago by the Coleraine based manufacturer, has now officially closed with 426 investors joining the Skunkworks Surfboard Co team and raising a total of £504,890.
Ricky and Chris Martin, from Portrush, have been manufacturing surfboards which are being exported to surf schools across the globe.
But, since coming second place out of 900 UK based businesses, in 2016 in the Voom: Pitch To Rich Campaign with tycoon Richard Branson, the brothers upscaled their operations and moved into a 16,000sqft factory in Coleraine and attracted £500,000 in investment from successful entrepreneurs.
But, with sales growth, and a growing interest among the surfing community and investors across the world, it was time for the brothers to invite more people to join the on the next phase of the plan.
“Our boards are revolutionary,” said Ricky Martin, the owner of Alive Surf School.
“Mending broken foam boards is the single biggest expense of running a surf school, and, as the owner of, this was becoming a major problem.
“We thought, if we are having to deal with this then every surf school around the globe is dealing with it too.”
The next few years saw the brothers develop an idea, literally from a garage prototype to the point where they started maufacturing and selling.
“The interest has been phenomenal but it was time for us to reach out to the surfing and business community in Northern Ireland and across the globe so we launched a hugely successful campaign.
“Our boards are being sold globally. Last year, we shipped over 600 boards to surf schools in Norway, France, Spain, Morocco, Portugal, the UK and Ireland. This year we aim to multiply that figure by six.”
At the launch of the Crowdcube campaign the brothers announced their ambitious plans to become totally waste free by 2020.
“In the past 12 months we have partnered up with Jaguar Landrover in their Waste To Waves initiative.” said Ricky. “We would like to thank each of the 426 investors, the team at Crowdcube, our in-house team and everyone who helped us spread the word, for being part of our journey and we are looking forward to the future.”