Depactus is the surf industry’s not so odd future
Words by Jake Howard
The resurrection of the surf business was always going to be interesting. Six years removed from the crash of 2008, when Quik was dumping employees by the hundreds and Bong ended up with a total valuation of “worthless,” it’s a different world in which we surf. New, smaller, more efficient brands have blossomed, and tomorrow we get our first look at the latest startup Depactus.
Initially announced at a trade show earlier this year, Depactus is the brainchild of lead-foot Luke Egan and Electric sunglasses mastermind Bruce Beach. The brand’s tagging itself as where “the land meets the sea.” While other startups have been fashion driven, Depactus thinking functional. Today they officially launch their digital and social platforms, giving us the first look at what they’ve been up to. Product goes on sale Feb. 1, 2015
As far as functionality goes, what they’re talking about is pockets lined with special non-stick material so old bars of wax don’t gum things up. Think stretchy trunks with seams that are sewn, welded and taped for durability and wearability. They will also be offering trunks with more than one pocket. What? Yes, nearly half a century since Allen Green devised the first pair of Quik trunks, somebody came up with the novel concept that trunks can actually have more than one pocket.
And in terms of their outerwear, they’ve moved up the outside pockets on their shells so when you’re sitting on a Jet Ski in the cold all day you can at least try and keep your mitts warm.
“We’ve done our research, we’ve studied what’s out there, we’ve literally looked at everything from materials to construction, and our goal is to improve the design to hopefully help provide the best surfing experience possible,” says Squiggy, aka Lawrance Quigly, the VP of Product and a man with 20-plus years of design experience to his credit.
“The basic thing is we want to build equipment that you can spend all day in the water in an it’s going stand up to the salt and stress,” says Bruce. “Everything’s designed with functionality in mind, the spirit of adventure, getting out there and doing it, being a surfer."
“I had this kernel of an idea and Bruce and I had a conversation,” says Luke. “We’d done Electric together, but at the time he’d just gotten out of the company altogether and wanted to go travel and surf with his family. So I said, ‘Cool, go surf and hit me up when you get back.’”
After his sojourn, Bruce and Luke reconnected, dialled in a business plan, rallied investors, built a top-shelf team, including VP of Sales Tom Ruiz who’s coming off of 16 years at Volcom, and like that Depactus was born.
“Bruce and I went out and bought probably $3,000 worth of boardshorts and tested all of them,” smirks Luke, making it clearly evident that “testing boardshorts” hasn’t been the worst part of the project.
And their team, which they’ve dubbed the “Men of Extraordinary Pursuits,” or “MEPs” for short, is anchored by hellmen Mark Healey, Matt Meola, Ry Craike, Fisher Heverly and master craftsman Chris Christenson.
So, the team is assembled and Depactus.com is soon to be live, their social media channels are well stocked with hard-charging surfing and die-hard fish spearing, and Louie and Bruce are banking on the fact that it’s high time surfing manned up.