In 2018/19 we managed to link up with and help out a great guy called Dave Ludgate - you may know him as @subowti - our guy in Ireland. Working hard with Costal Cleans, River Cleans and recently putting us in touch with a great charity ‘Surf2Heal’ who help youngsters overcome and deal with Autism by way of getting them out on the water using Surf Therapy.
Reuben and Andy (because of Dave) headed back over to China in November in order to visit the FatStick Factory and check out the 5 new 12’ Adaptive Boards that will be used by Surf2Heal and in the future, possibly other Surf charities. Stay tuned as the guys will be heading over to Cork in the New Year along with Sam Rogers to visit Surf2Heal and check out the boards in situ.
2019 saw Andy Warner start a SUP Hire & Teaching business on Hayling Island. With boards aplenty, both, iSUPs for hiring and Foamies for teaching, Andy is talking with charities with the hope of offering his services 1 day a week, for free, in order to help adults with mental health issues dealing with Anxiety, Depression and PTSD. We know how headstrong Andy can be and know how much this means to him. Being ex-services, Andy has found a lot of peace when he gets out on the water and thinks that he can help others too. Andy has said that this wouldn’t have been possible without FatStick, and we’re very proud to be a part of it.
Can we say 'most importantly'? We think so! Without you, without your passion, your care and your love for FatStick, we wouldn’t be where we are.
Now here comes the gushy bit - here at FatStick, Reuben spends countless hours on the website to save paying businesses to maintain it. He spends hours in the Warehouse sorting stock to save paying out for a stock controller. He spends time delivering boards where he can, answering mails, Facebook messages, being nagged by Andy, talking with the factories, designers, couriers.....the list is endless. He does this, not to be a penny pincher, but ultimately to keep the overheads down. This way, he can pass the savings over to you. It’s a fact.
So if you message, if the reply takes a little longer than usual - give us a gentle nudge. It’s likely that Reubs is in between jobs and will be there. So, with this part of the blog we want to take the time to give Reubs a little ‘pat on the back’ - keep up the good work Bossman.
The FatStick Team
We can’t go on without mentioning the likes of Andy Campbell, Pete Edkins, Gonzalo Daries, Emily Bones, Sunny Dominique, we are welcoming Hannah Louise Garber to the team and lastly, but certainly not least, our man Sam Rogers.
Andy Campbell is working tirelessly on the SUP Shack and the place looks amazing. He’s also now taken on a Wave Fish, the full carbon Raceboard along with the new Vida. To be fair, we honestly think that Andy could paddle a coffee table if he had to. You can’t keep him off the water! He remains our crash test dummy and we always love his feedback.
Pete Edkins is just Pete - riding monster waves, loving his time on the water and getting out there at every opportunity.
Gonzalo, our Spanish brother out there spreading the FatStick love with boards for sale. Starting any business is hard, but taking a UK SUP business and transferring it to another country is tough. Big FatStick love heading your way Gonzalo.
Emily (Bones) McDonald remains a relentless force for SUP and spreading the word of not only FatStick, but SUP in general. She has created the Hayling Island SUP Girls group in order to help get ladies into the sport. Making it accessible, affordable and fun This is everything we’re about - this is why Emily was always going to be an amazing team member!
Sunny has only recently joined us and paddles the concept model of our Vida. We are looking forward to seeing more of Sunny on the water around the UK shores.
Hannah has recently left the UK to pursue her dreams of living to SUP and to teach others too. She headed over to Mallorca in November and will be our Balearic Ambassador with her business - The Mallorca SUP Company. Having faced some serious challenges, this is a well deserved move for Hannah. She has a great belief in the sea and its healing powers, we expect to see a whole lot more of her tours, teaching, and adventures in Mallorca.
Sam Rogers has been epic this year (as he is all years). Joining us on our April visit to China, Sam has been a great supported and solid provider to FatStick. Helping Andy with Sandbar, being a big contributor to the feedback on the production of boards in the factory, helping out at the Kite Armada, Boat Shows, Dubfest and being an all-round stalwart, we thank him.
Sam, you're awesome! #fact
What Happens Next
Who knows? That’s the simple answer. We have a new Inflatable Tourer and Raceboard that has been in the making for the past 12 months - it was born on the boy's first trip over to China and it would seem as though Reuben is now happy with how it has progressed. The new iSUPs are in production. We are hitting the biggest number of boards ever made for FatStick for 2020, both inflatable and hard boards.
We are still firmly supporting the amazing work of Matt & Martin form The Lagoon and after an amazing conversation with Matt, the plans are growing and growing and seem to have no sign of stopping. The Lagoon will be a destination, not just on the south coast, but in the UK. If you haven’t already, check them out.
We also have a lovely little interview with the Bossman - something he loved doing - it shows you inside the heart of FatStick and all the reasons we’re here.
One More Important Bit
There’s one person left that we need to mention, and that’s Nick Kingston. As you may or may not be aware, Nick was part of the very early FatStick team and has been around with Reuben for many years. Nick stepped away from FatStick for personal reasons, allowing him more time to ‘just SUP’ but he has always remained a staunch supporter of the brand, and more importantly, Reuben.
Nick was recently diagnosed with Oesophageal Cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. He is adamant that he won’t let it define him and remains strong. He’s even managed to head out surfing during his recent treatment. So, if you get a chance, if you fancy helping out, take a look at the Island Paddle with Nick Kingston. It’s a page created as Nick is looking to SUP around Hayling Island on Giant SUPs in order to raise money for ‘The Rainbow Centre'. This will be organised at some point, but not by Nick - he has enough on. There’s a team of great folk involved and we will support them, Nick’s family and Nick anyway we can.
So, with all that written down now, it leaves only one thing left to say...
We hope you have a Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year and look forward to being a part of your SUP journey in 2020.
Peace out and big FatStick LOVE