Waterborne's Patrick Dumas Pays Homage To Surf Culture With His Gear

Waterborne's Patrick Dumas Pays Homage To Surf Culture With His Gear

This brand in this latest profile plays in a bit of a different space than the other brands we've featured. As part of this program, we hope to help skaters discover new disciplines and ways to have fun on a skateboard. Mixing it up is important.

Sometime last year, Patrick Dumas of Waterborne skateboards approached us and asked how he could get more involved. We were impressed by his general chill vibe and desire to really support the growth of the sport, hence supporting organizations like ours.

It's our pleasure to give him the opportunity to tell our readers a bit about his story and how it's become interwoven into his brand.

What is a Waterborne Skateboard and why should someone try one? What’s different about your products from others on the market?

Waterborne Skateboards makes surf-inspired skateboards and accessories. Every single thing that we design and bring to the world has our unique spin on it.



The "Freedom Pack"

Our flagship technology, the Surf Adapter is a universal product that's affordable and unique. When it comes to our boards, our Carbon fiber Surfskates are otherworldly shapes. That is unique. For our JET-X, it's the turbine jet engine on the back that is unique. Lol. We love to push the boundaries of skateboarding in our products so that people can push their own boundaries.

Yes, this is a real thing.

Tell us how you discovered skateboarding and how it led to a career path?

I discovered skateboarding when I went to college and simply wanted to get around the massive campus more quickly. I was already an avid surfer, so being able to weave a skateboard through narrow pathways and students was a natural ability. When I discovered surf-style skateboarding, I fell in love with it but was outraged by the high cost of products. I wanted to make something that brought people into surfstyle skating at a reasonable price point.

Your brand’s gear seems to be born “out of the water.” How much does surfing play a role in the company’s design ethos?

Skateboarding was initially born of surfers who wanted to experience the speed, power, and flow of surfing on land. Waterborne pays homage to that story by making ways for us to get closer to that feeling of surfing. The desire is part of the ultimate philosophy of the “surfer’s path”. It's a lifelong obsession! We are obsessed with the feeling, and that means that more is never enough. You can imagine that’s what inspires us to pump out so much technology. It's not a profitable business model to be continuously one-upping ourselves with new skate technology. We do it because it's the surfer's path.

Who is your target customer?

I used to think that our target customers were young people, who didn’t have enough money for a traditional surfskate. Thus the $59 Surf Adapter. Ultimately, we’ve made something that rides better than the other surf-style options in my opinion. It's easier to maintain than the other options. It's more innovative and more true to surfing than the other options. It exceeds customer expectations more than the other options. That attracted a very loyal following of boarders across the world. Our customers vary hugely in age, identity, and motivation!

Having said that, there is an overall decline in youth participation in skating (and action sports in general). I think that the current youth generation is more captivated by digital entertainment. The attention economy (gaming, social media, streaming etc.) has gutted many sports that used to have young people lining up in droves to become skilled at something. I hope that the appeal of the natural outdoors, the challenge of developing skills, and the thrill of action sports will shift this cycle. Then young people can go back to the more fulfilling experiences that action sports have to offer, and we see more youth in skating again.

How do you see surfskate growing as a category? Any specific areas that are hot? Any other skateboard trends you’re seeing out there?

Honestly skate in general is trending down. I mentioned previously that it is likely due to competition from electronic entertainment. Ironically I do see a very promising future in electric skate racing. It is thrilling, accessible, and democratic in that all you need is a parking lot. I think electric skate technology is good enough for legitimately entertaining racing, and leagues to support the emerging sport.

We noticed that your brand is bringing new products to market every year. How do you keep product design on an innovative path year after year?

It's a combination of a passion for design, and poor budget management! I am a tinkerer at heart, and my mind is always thinking of mechanical improvements to what is already out there. Combine that with a capable team of product designers, engineers, manufacturing partners, and voila…you have constant innovation!

Another thing we noticed is your brand cranks out a ton of very sharp content. How do you keep your marketing creative year after year? How important is content for a skate brand?

We typically take one big film trip every year, to a new location. We bring as many talented riders as possible along with the best cinematographers in the world I mean that last part. Our camera operators are incredible artists!). That usually sets us up for hours of riding content for each new product that we have developed that year.

I will say that I have become disenchanted with the idea that all companies need to be content factories. It takes attention away from core values and makes you chase social media metrics. I don’t want Waterborne to be a media factory, and I don’t want our riders to be content creators either. I would like everyone to enjoy riding socially, but not on social media.

I want to attract people to the surfer’s path, not to their social media feeds.


What is your top offering these days? Top sellers?

Our best product, hands down, is the JETBOARD! Smiles per gallon run high on this 30mph 5.5ft long beast. The JETBOARD is surfing on land if I’ve ever done it. It’s an expressive toy, by my goodness it is worth it! I will go for long rides with friends and we all laugh with excitement up and down the Newport peninsula as we ride them.

Our top sellers in order are the Surf + Rail Adapter FIN System, DREAM Surf Truck, and DREAM TAURUS complete. These are our flagship products and each of them delivers the Waterborne promise of smoothness, performance, and quality construction.

Anything new coming down the pipe we should be watching out for?

We are working on a very revolutionary rear truck. Our Rail Adapter has already changed the game by giving the best in the world lean angle, and customizability to a rear truck. The Rail Adapter improves speed from pumping in a game-changing way, for surfskate, and it allows you to go unimaginably fast without getting speed wobbles.

What we are releasing next will enhance that performance all over again!

Bonus Question: Tell us about your most memorable skate session and/or a bucket list spot you’d like to skate.

I’ve got two. 1 was riding the Indian School ditch in New Mexico with friends. Its the most thrilling ride you could ever have on a surfskate. The day that I rode it was my first time back on a skateboard in 8 months, following a severe leg break and subsequent surgeries. I was so scared to ride such a steep spot with this injury. I was barely able to walk without a limp, and had no ability to run. Still I trusted my skills, and my skateboard.

You can see that line at the end of this video:

The second was a similar experience in a ditch near Las Vegas. We found this ditch on Google Earth, and when we arrived we were shocked by the steepness, of the banked walls, the roughness of the ground, the abundance of gravel, and the speed one got from dropping in. Nobody wanted to skate this spot, but I had confidence in my ability and my Scorpio Carbon. I have ridden so many miles on that board and performed so many maneuvers, that I just know what it was capable of. It knew that it could be an extension of my body and that its the only board that I could drop into this ditch on. I remember going further and faster than the drone filming me could follow. It was the ultimate adrenaline rush and the most critical skating that I care to do.

Very glad that I dropped in though! You can see that line at the 8-minute mark of this video a few paragraphs above.


But wait, there's more. Head over to Instagram for your chance to win a Waterborne Surf Adapter.

Click here and follow the instructions and you could win new gear.

The FIN System™ is a revolutionary Patented new upgrade for the Surf Adapter that allows riders to alter the pivot angle of their Surf Adapter. This Kit can be added to any existing Skateboard setup. 

The FINs can be added in 2 configurations, in addition to a standard 150° Surf Adapter configuration. One configuration is Super Carve 145° and the other is Mega Pump 155°. 

We are very excited to be offering this system to our riders! We hope that you find the FIN System as transformative and fun as the Surf Adapter itself! 

Waterborne Is a Brand Partner of SkateIDSA

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