This Company is Heli-Lifting ‘Surf Huts’ to Remote Surfing Destinations
They’re pretty cheap, too.
Friends, I need your help. Recently I stumbled across something interesting, if only quasi-related to surfing, and I can’t decide if I hate or rate it. They’re called ‘surf huts’ and please let me explain.
‘Surf huts’ are made by a newly formed Backcountry Hut Company, which is really a mouthful but let’s not give up on them yet. BHC is founded by Wilson Edgar, a Canadian man who’s made his marbles in business development. While leading the (Vancouver) B.C. Mountaineering Club, Wilson was approached by a fellow mounty who said, “Wouldn’t it be great if someone made a package where you could buy a hut at a fixed price, and it was already predesigned, pre-enigineered, and easy for a group of volunteers to assemble?”
And just like that, Wilson had an idea. What if he made a package where you could buy a hut at a fixed price, and it was already predesigned, pre-engineered, and easy for a group of volunteers to assemble? Slightly more complicated than Ikea furniture, but less complicated than a jigsaw puzzle. Genius!
Over the next couple years, Wilson researched the market to figure out if comparable services already existed, and what he could do to improve their business models. Over time he assembled a team, including his business partner, who is an architect by trade(Michael Leckie), and a manufacturer (Cyrill Werlen), and together they designed ‘hut’ prototypes. Initially, these huts were intended for mountaineers in the Pacific Northwest, but through talking with Leckie, who is himself an avid waverider, Wilson began to recognize another potential market demo: surfers.
The surfer’s dream is, roughly, this: make enough money (through nonintensive means) to feed yourself, your family, and your ceaseless addiction to waveriding. Retire around…eh, 45, and move somewhere warm, uncrowded, with a world-class wave out front. Kill fish, chop coconuts, get tubed, be merry.
Wilson Edgar might have just made this fantasy more plausible.
His newly coined ‘surf huts’ (seen above) have a starting price of $45,000, the supplies of which can be heli-lifted just about anywhere*. Once the supplies have been delivered, Wilson says the huts can be fully assembled within four days, with the help of four strong individuals and BHC’s step-by-step instructions. It’s basically adult Legos, but the end product is surprisingly attractive and sturdy. The huts can house between 2-24 people, depending on how many modules you choose to buy.
Some of the downsides include: an exhausting permitting process (which BHC helps its consumers to navigate), connection to water and electricity grids (this varies location by location, with more remote places being increasingly difficult to connect), and the fact that they haven’t yet had a customer build one of their huts (which relates back to the permitting thing, plus the fact they’ve been in business for less than a year). Still, Wilson assures me there is significant interest in his project.
After writing all that out, the concept actually seems brilliant, which makes me inclined to rate it. If they’ve made a truly functional, easily assembled hut starting below 50k, and it can be heli-lifted to remote locations around the world, I don’t see why people with a little bit of money wouldn’t jump on that.
I’ve got a buddy in Fiji who did this very thing on his own accord. He paid 30k for the land and 70 for the house — a two-story, but quaint, coastal shack — which means he could have saved a little money and a lotta hassle had ‘surf huts’ existed at the time. It seems like a no-brainer.
But am I wrong? Is there something sleazy about these ‘surf huts’ that my innocent eyes have failed to perceive?
Tell me, friends: Do you hate it or rate it?
*…in the continental US or Canada. Wilson is working on expanding his business to Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, and he’s been fielding calls from more exotic locales like Fiji, Costa Rica, and so forth.
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