The Founders Story
It all started at a traffic light in Port Moody British Columbia, when Justin Schroenn turned to his brothers Matthew and Gareth and blurted out the words, “What if we invented this”!
Little did the brothers know that this “Eureka” moment would lead the brothers down a 6 year road of obsession that would ultimately culminate in their founding of a compelling new sport and a brand new way that people relate to the water.
Growing up in Durban, South Africa, a world-renowned surf capital, the brothers always had a passion for the water, particularly swimming. Upon immigrating to Canada, although no waves they embraced the more traditional Canadian water sports such as Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddle and they spent many a Vancouver summer day exploring the coastline from English bay to Kitsilano. But still swimming was what they loved. Justin became so enthused with Kayaking that he purchased his own 9 ft kayak with a wheely system to transport it home. After a day on the water, he would tow his Kayak up the steep West End Vancouver hills, cram it into the elevator and drag it into his 1 bedroom apartment where it became the dominant piece of artwork on the wall.
It was those days where the “Eureka” moment conversation began to perculate.
“What if we invented this?”
The “THIS” was a board that would combine their love of paddle boarding and kayaking with there constant desire to swim. A board that would enable you to travel and explore long distances but kept you in the surface of the water. A board that would allow you go as fast or as slow as you liked. A board that would allow your whole body to empowered and aquatic. A board that was small and light and was practical for an urban life.
Justin and Matthew urgently phoned the third brother Gareth to discuss, and they all quickly agreed that this would be a game changer and began to analyse what this would mean both as a business and to their time on the water.
But with no board shaping experience how would they even begin.
For the next 18 months, one by one they turned their bedrooms into workshops and became frequent shoppers at their local hardware store. Sculpting foam, learning to fibreglass, and ultimately building wooden molds the brothers learnt every element of board making. 13 prototypes and uncountable setbacks they persevered through many fails but ultimately one day in a West End outdoor pool they found it.
Shortly after this the brothers secured funding from their first four amazing Angel investors which enabled the funding of the first patent applications, production of the first pre-production boards and a small travel budget to build relationships in Hawaii and Greece.
Swmbrd is now listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange and full production will begin in the Spring of 2022.
As the Founders say! “See you on the Water”