Our Story


Once upon a board, Red Paddle Co-founder, John Hibbard, realised there might be a better way of doing things. It was 2008 and paddleboarding was just getting going. As he paddled along on a heavy composite SUP, he had this crazy idea that it could be made better with an inflatable board.

It wasn’t just a hunch either. Having spent over a decade as a full-time, sponsored competitor on the professional windsurfing world tour, John was getting pretty weary of pleading with, and generally avoiding airline check-in staff due to the mountain of cumbersome windsurfing kit required for his numerous international trips (it was tough, but someone had to do it!). A problem, he realised, that every paddleboarder the world over would have to face if they wanted to travel anywhere with their standard hard board.

As he paddled, he pondered on this thought. On one hand, the sport of SUP was set to allow pretty much anyone to enjoy the world around them from the water, unlike any other watersport before it. On the other hand, how many of those people had enough room to store a 12-foot board, let alone a vehicle to transport it?

Something had to be done.

Red Paddle Co founder, John Hibbard, talks us through the history of the brand and takes us on a journey of discovery, adventure and innovation.

Find out how it all started, learn all about our values & brand ethos and how far we’ve come since those humble beginnings in 2008.