OUR SOCAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE
Our SoCal sales representative is one of the most passionate of the bunch. Joe embodies the core of a waterman. When he’s not surfing Cardiff or paddling miles offshore on his prone he’ll be talking surf at a local retailer. Joe has an acute sense of what works for any given condition. As a master of the art himself, he has no problem finding the magic model for any region of California’s diverse coastline. Recently we were able to catch him for a quick “board” meeting.
Let’s jump right into it
I have this great photo of you getting absolutely slotted. Can you tell me more about this day?
Yeah for sure, that was at Terra Mar (Carlsbad) on one of the last decent south swells right before the summer turned to fall. I decided to take out my Walden Magic. It wasn’t too crowded, just the SurfTech crew was out like Bryce, Todd,and Jason was on the cliffs taking some pictures. I caught this left nug, grabbed my rail, then I kicked out knowing it was pretty good. I grew up in Long Island New York so I like to grab my rail a lot. I’m stoked Jason got the shot, it’s nice to see photo evidence of the grab working out.
So New York…. A rare origin story for a surfer, how did you fall for surfing on the East Coast?
I learned to surf all through Long Beach island which was pretty cool. I started surfing right before middle school, went with my buddy’s dad and was hooked from there on out. I ended up running a surf shop over there which really exposed me to the surf lifestyle and culture. I liked the way it is so different from a traditional team sport. It’s all about what you make of it.
I know you’re an all around waterman. But I’m curious what kind of board hooked you in first?
The shortboard grind was definitely my first peek at surfing. But the classic noserider longboard was the one that drew me in. I’ve always liked bigger boards. It’s less frustrating to catch waves and a good variety keeps me interested in the activity itself. I try to ride everything from a 5’10 all the way up to an 11’8. Lately I’ve been into mid-lengths. I sorta have a new-age mid-length/life crisis going on. I prefer surfing deep water reefs that offer early takeoffs and longer rides so volume is my friend. I’m not at all a one turn type of guy. I like to ride the waves to the beach if I can. One of my good friends from Oahu once said, “it’s not how you start the wave it’s how you finish it” that’s the mentality I choose to surf with.
Joe, if I looked in your garage what boards would I find? Let’s do a quiver check
I have over 35 boards in my house right now and it’s not that big. Yeah, I’m a board hoarder. It's bad. Just to name a few:
Nah Joe, it's okay. You’ve definitely caught a case. . . in the best way possible.
So the next question is going to be tough. Name your favorite all-around model in the SurfTech quiver & tell us why.
Umm can I do two?
So for sure the12’ft Bark Commander Stock: It’s a tried and true kinda shape that Joe has been working on for awhile now. Joe is an icon, and serious paddler everyone who gets on the board loves it. There’s something to be said for shapers who ride their boards as well as he does. He absolutely rips a longboard too. He’s had some killer sessions at the ranch he won’t even talk to me about.
Prone surfing is becoming more a part of my routine. I’m doing the Catalina Classic which is a pretty historic race, it’s been going on for 40 or 50 years. I’ve gotten into that more and more because you can’t just be a surfer paddling, you’re actually a full-on waterman at that point. I like to be well-rounded in the way I can do a little bit of everything. There’s a cool group out of Cardiff called NCP(North County Paddlers) that I paddle with on a weekly basis. It depends on what type of goal we’re working towards and the time of year but most of the time we’ll paddle from Cardiff to Ponto or Beacons and back
Coming in close 2nd is the 9’0 Walden Magic: I ordered it because I know Walden shapes stellar boards but I didn’t know as much about this particular model as I usually do. That being said, to this day, I haven’t had a bad session on it. It’s an adaptable model you can nose ride on it, surf on the tail, mess with the fins, ride it in whatever conditions and it does well.
Ok Joe. What would you say you do here? Or more officially what’s your job title and description?
Apparently I’m the Southern California Sales representative. What that means is I’m the seller of all SurfTech products to the stores in the region and my job is to maintain those key relationships with the dealers. But I think it’s a little more than just that- Surfing and paddling has become a big passion of mine. I don’t really feel like I go to work everyday.
Relationship building is key with these dealers. I’m always on the road to maintain that face to face relationship with those guys. Making sure their needs are covered and they are educated on the product means joint-success. I try to think outside of the box to help them grow their business and put boards in the shop that actually move.
As a sales rep you have a direct line to shops and shoppers. In your opinion, what do the people want?
I think people go into the shop to get some knowledge surrounding the product. They expect to talk to employees who are knowledgeable about the equipment and can help narrow down their selections. They can go online to get a lot of information but they want that in-person experience that confirms everything they’ve researched. That expertise, knowledge and personal connection is what leads to a sale.
Keeping repeat customers is very important to the survival of the business so creating a space where customers feel good about their purchases and walking through the doors with any questions is a must. I really try to always make sure there is message coherence from the brand website, to the retailer and the customer themselves.
I know you’ve been in the game for more than a few years now. What changes have you seen in boards people are demanding or in surf culture in general?
When I ran a couple surf shops back in the early 2000s we sold a ton of SurfTech boards. Back then durability was probably the number one thing people looked for in a board. They wanted a board they could go surf 10 foot Indonesia and would still be in one piece on the flight home to surf two foot shorebreak when they got home.
Now I think the market has shifted to fully performance boards with still that element of durability. Luckily SurfTech technology has evolved, especially in TurfLite to where it can be the most durable in the market and still has those performance elements. It’s good to see that even after a couple years the resale value stays high if the customer takes care of it.
Joe, it’s been legendary. Thanks for chatting,
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